- Design urban environments taking into account the future needs of those who live and work within them
- Rewarding and creative work with the potential to have a big impact on a place and the environment it is in
- You'll need creative vision, sensitivity to the needs of people, and the ability to communicate your ideas effectively
- Work as part of a team to create designs for spaces within populated areas to best meet the needs of the area
- Work on regeneration projects where an area that has been neglected is redeveloped to attract people and business, or to provide housing and green spaces for residents
- Be given a brief or a particular area to look at, and then you'll need to research and develop designs that best meet the needs of the brief and the location
- Develop designs using relevant software, working with others like councils, planners, architects, landscape designers, and developers to bring together a creative vision of a future place
You'll be based in an office, but may be working on-site too. Your working environment will be varied and busy. You may occasionally work during evenings or at weekends to meet with local communities. You could also be self-employed and set your own hours.
This career would suit someone who has creative vision, the ability to pitch ideas and bring others along with them, and sensitivity to the environment and the competing needs of the people within it.
Most urban designers will move into this role after studying a related subject like architecture, design, human geography, urban planning or other similar degrees. There are also specialist master's degree programmes that focus in on urban design, and many employers will look for this kind of qualification.
You could also start out by gaining work experience with an architecture practice or urban planning consultancy to work out if this role is for you.
In terms of your general skills, you'll need excellent design skills (including the ability to use computer aided design (CAD) software), excellent organisational skills to manage complex projects, budgeting and planning skills, and the ability to present and 'sell' your ideas effectively.
This is a relatively new career type which is growing as towns and cities have grown in size and number, and because of the challenges they face as they develop. This role is both exciting and rewarding as you have the opportunity to really shape the future of an area.