How do urban planners work
More than an architect
An urban planner is much more than an architect who designs houses, garages, theaters or schools. Urban planning is always a complex, often difficult project. That is why urban planners do not focus on houses, but on the people who are supposed to live and work in the district. But urban planners often also have to repair the negligence of their predecessors. Take Ratingen-West, for example: urban planners are to develop a lively district from the dormitory town near Düsseldorf Airport. The Krefeld architect and urban planner Ulla Schreiber first formulated questions from the situation he found: "Can't I turn it into a 24-hour district? That means not with opening times of 24 hours, but integrating the airport and saying, there is coming someone who is jet-lagged, needs a hairdresser and a delicious beer. " A good urban planner has to know who lives in a neighborhood, has to find out what the residents want and who can contact them. So that the ideas are not discussed alone at the green table and remain theory, urban planners need to know local guidelines and ordinances in addition to their technical equipment. You have to know which laws are effective, which political bodies work with and against each other and, above all, how to effectively include citizens' wishes in the planning.
"The professional task of urban planners is the creative, technical, economic, ecological and social urban and spatial planning, in particular the development of urban planning", is the cumbersome statement in the building chamber laws of the federal states. But still little is known about the job description and activities of urban planners. Hardly anyone also knows that even the professional title is registered as a protected term in the chambers of architects in the federal states.
The training to become an urban planner is a complex and always an interdisciplinary path. In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, you can become an urban planner by completing a full degree in urban planning, through specialization and advanced courses, or you can take urban planning parallel to studying architecture. In practice, this means that city planners don't just work at their desks or drawing boards, they also have to go outside to get to know the people for whom they are designing work and living quarters.
The Nürtingen University of Applied Sciences is the only university to offer the Urban Planning course. Urban planning can also be learned at various universities, sometimes as a supplement to architecture studies. The University of Kassel, for example, offers a full degree in urban planning, and the subject is also represented at the TU Hamburg-Harburg.
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