Published: 29 Sep 2009
Urban designer is a loose term that can apply to those specialising in urban planning or focused on using design to make cities, towns and villages functional places to live.
An urban designer should have knowledge of the planning system, how developers work, the needs of pedestrians and traffic, how to conserve historic buildings alongside new urban fabric, how to conduct consultations and involve the public in place making, how to write design policy and guidance and how urban environments evolve.
Other skills include integrating existing landscape and buildings into new developments and creating regeneration plans for neglected urban areas. For a full list of tasks an urban designer may be asked to perform visit the Urban Design Group.
Urban designers do not have a professional body or any official form of accreditation and urban design courses can cover a variety of different subjects and approaches.
Most employers will look for an individual who has completed a related undergraduate degree such as town planning, architecture, landscape architecture, geography or engineering followed by an urban design postgraduate qualification. It is also important to gain practical work experience during your studies.
A junior urban designer can expect to start on a salary of between £16,000 and £20,000 rising to £35,000 to £40,000 after five years experience.