Since 1970, our rigorous and well-focused two-year Master of Planning (M.PL.) program allows our students to develop the knowledge and skills they require to become leaders in the planning field and to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving urban environment.
If you are considering becoming a planner, you should enjoy the following:
Planners almost always work as part of a team, either with other planners, other professionals such as engineers or architects, or with politicians and citizens. With your varied background and communication skills, you will often be the one person who brings together a coherent plan of action that draws upon ideas of experts and knowledgeable participants.
Understanding data and numbers
Planners must feel comfortable interpreting population statistics, economic and social data, geographical information, resource inventories and environmental indicators. You will use this information to support your policy and project proposals.
The physical world around you
Most planners have a genuine interest in geography and the environment. Understanding how landscapes are formed, what happens to surface water when land is developed, how topography affects the design of roads and subdivisions, how to safely dispose of human and industrial waste, and how to preserve trees and natural resources, all require the natural curiosity and broad background that planners possess.
Understanding your neighbours
Most planners are concerned with balancing the rights of individuals with the needs of the larger population. Families, single people, young and old, working and unemployed, new immigrants - you will need to seek out and understand the diverse voices of your community.
Communicating with flair
Planners put together text, charts and pictures into reports and presentations for clients, other professionals, the general public and politicians. Planners also create maps, plans and 3-D models and present their ideas with flair.
People have strong feelings about their property, homes, businesses and communities. Planners often face situations where they must respect conflicting views, mediate effectively, seek compromises and ultimately help others make difficult decisions.
Because so much of a planner's job involves working with people in the community and taking directions from elected councils, you will often have to make time outside of normal working hours to attend meetings. Many planners work in government - either at the municipal, regional, provincial or federal level.