The Urban Planner

Insights into urban planning and community organization

15 Beautiful and Informative Urban Planning Infographics

One of the professions that is likely to see growth in the coming years is urban planning. It is clear that we need to plan more for the future, especially when it comes to the lay out of cities. It is important to plan out the way the city will be laid out, since it will help determine the flow of traffic, as well as the use of resources.

If you are interested in learning a little bit more about urban planning, whether you are a professional, or merely an interested citizen, you can find out more from the following infographics. These infographics address different aspects of urban planning and many are quite beautiful as well as informative:

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The World’s 25 Best Cities to Live In

Are you itching to make a move? Want to know where you should go? There are plenty of amazing places to live all over the world. Of course, each of us may have different opinions as to what constitutes a great place to live. There are twenty five cities on our list, and they’ve been chosen because they are safe, they offer lots of things, they are convenient cities, and they are beautiful to boot. These rankings are from the Mercer 2009 Quality of Living Survey.

  1. Vienna, Austria: Vienna was ranked as the number one place to live for years, but if fell off the list for a few years due to political issues. But, this city on the Danube with its sunny skies, beautiful architecture and thriving culture is back at number one.
  2. Zurich, Switzerland: Switzerland is one of the best places to live in all the world, and Zurich is their number one city for best place to live. It’s clean, safe and beautiful.
  3. Geneva, Switzerland: Another Swiss beauty, Geneva is right on a lake. It’s a quiet town, but has everything you might need or want in a place to live.
  4. Vancouver, Canada: There’s no spot more picturesque than Vancouver. It also happens to be a great place to live.
  5. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland, New Zealand’s most populous metropolitan area, is actually tied for fourth with Vancouver.
  6. Dusseldorf, Germany: Germany offers some of the world’s most convenient cities. They have made a commitment to making mobility a high priority in their city infrastructure. They have several cities that made the list, with Dusseldorf ranking highest.
  7. Munich, Germany: Another of Germany’s beautiful cities ranks seventh.
  8. Frankfurt, Germany: One of Germany’s most industrious and business oriented cities; Frankfurt ranks number eight.
  9. Bern, Switzerland: Another Swiss jewel. Bern is a beautiful city with an impeccably maintained old town.
  10. Sydney, Australia: Australia’s most famous town ranks as the country’s best place to live. Sydney is full of things to do for visitors and locals alike, and it has wonderful weather.
  11. Copenhagen, Denmark: Copenhagen, situated on two picturesque islands, is one of the world’s most environmentally friendly. The water in the city’s inner harbor is so clean you can swim in it. Most people commute to work by bicycle.
  12. Wellington, New Zealand: Wellington is New Zealand’s capital and third most populous city. It sits right on the water.
  13. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Amsterdam is a beautiful city, with canals at every turn. It is also the capital city and the most populous in The Netherlands.
  14. Brussels, Belgium: Brussels is Belgium’s largest city and its capital. Architecturally speaking, it is also one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
  15. Toronto, Canada: Toronto is Canada’s most populous city, and the capital of Ontario. 25% of Canada’s population lives in Toronto.
    It has the world’s third largest theater district, after New York and London.
  16. Ottawa, Canada: Ottawa is certainly much smaller than Toronto, but is arguably one of Canada’s most beautiful cities. It has been ranked among the top cleanest cities in the world.
  17. Berlin, Germany: Now a unified city, Berlin is one of the most cultural cities in Germany.
  18. Melbourne, Australia: Melbourne is the capital of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia.
  19. Luxembourg, Luxembourg: Luxembourg is a tiny landlocked country in Europe. Its capital city, also called Luxembourg, is very picturesque.
  20. Stockholm, Sweden: Sweden’s capital is one of the cleanest cities in Europe and has some of the best parks.
  21. Perth, Australia: Perth is the fourth most populous city in Australia, and like most of Australia’s biggest cities, sits on a beautiful waterway.
  22. Montreal, Canada: Montreal is the largest city in Quebec, and the second largest city in Canada.
  23. Nurnberg, Germany: Nurnberg is a beautiful Bavarian city, located along the Rhine.
  24. Oslo, Norway: Oslo is Norway’s capital and largest city. It is also one of the world’s most expensive cities.
  25. Dublin, Ireland: Dublin is Ireland’s capital and largest city. It is home to spectacular old architecture and a population of just over 1 million people.

19 Google Android Apps for Community Organizers

Community planning is a growing field, especially in areas experiencing urban sprawl. Community planners often spend time both in the office and out in the city, so their smart phones become great productivity tools.

Here are 19 apps for the Android that Community Planners are sure to use over and over. From staying organized in and out of the office to learning more about the community you’re in, you’ll be amazed at all the things you can do with your Android.

  1. Talking Calendar: Keep up with your appointments with a calendar that talks to you!
  2. AK Notepad: This notepad for Android provides a great way to make, store and track notes. This little app makes it much easier to stay organized and keep track of your notes.
  3. Scan to PDF: Scan a paper document and convert it to a PDF file instantly on your phone. This application is great for eliminating paper and keeping all your documents secure.
  4. Upvise: This Android app lets you access and share business information back at the office when you’re away.
  5. Opera Mini: This app can browse the entire Web on your Android phone and save time and money. Opera mini compresses pages up to 90%, making web browsing fast. Synchronize your bookmarks, history, notes and more between your computer and mobile phone.
  6. Voice Recorder: This application is a handy voice recorder that records your data onto an SD card. You can also send the data as an attached file via Gmail.
  7. Find Green: This app helps you locate green businesses in your area. It’s great for organizing support of local businesses or helping determine locations for new businesses.
  8. Civil Engineering Calculations: This app can help you with all the typical civil engineering calculations.
  9. To Do Task Manager Pro: Keep your activities organized, and your to do lists in order.
  10. Time Clock Time Tracker: The perfect app for anybody who bills by the hour or tracks projects that way. Easily keep track of your time spent on each project.
  11. 5001 Amazing Facts: Learn new information and amaze your friends.
  12. Civil Engineering Suite: This app contains all the current engineering apps by Option Basics 101.
  13. Civil Engineering Professional: This app performs more than 250 of the most common civil engineering calculations.
  14. Twidroid: This is one of the most popular twitter client on the android platform. You’ll find it makes it easy to keep up with those you follow on twitter and send tweets yourself.
  15. Loopt: Loopt connects you to your friends and the places around you. See where your friends are and what they’re doing. Connect on the fly and instantly share photos, comments, and cool places.
  16. Travel Advisory Alerts: This application is the perfect one for professionals who travel a lot. Keep up with all the travel alerts, such as terror alerts and disease outbreaks.
  17. SwiFTP: This application allows you to FTP to your phone from any machine on the internet. You’ll love being able to do quick file transfers right to your Android.
  18. Wifi Buddy: Wifi Buddy is a Wifi network scanner tool. The screen shows all nearby Wi-Fi stations, the quality of their signal, and their chosen broadcast channel. This one is great for when you’re out of the office and need to work remotely.
  19. Folder Organizer: This app lets you organize your apps, bookmarks, contacts and shortcuts by creating labels. You can also customize the icons for the labels that you create. You can really make your phone more organized and easier to use by taking advantage of this application.

As a community planner, you’ll be involved in planning areas for recreation, commerce and city events. It’s a demanding job, and one that requires that you be both productive and organized. Using your Android to your advantage can really help you keep track of both your business and your personal life and stay ahead of all your tasks at work. You’ll love using your Android to keep you up to date on everything you have going on.

20 Essential Web Apps for Urban Planners

Urban Planners and civil engineers have interesting jobs that combine business management, budget responsibility, and engineering into one job. Using your smart phone is a great way to stay productive whether you’re in the office, at a job site or on the road. Here are 20 web applications we think urban planners will love. Some are for the Android and others for the iPhone.

For the Android

  1. Civil Engineering Suite: This app contains all the current engineering apps by Option Basics 101.
  2. Civil Engineering Calculations: This app can help you with all the typical civil engineering calculations.
  3. Coulomb Earth Pressure: This app helps you with one of the most common civil engineering calculations. It helps you determine the Coulomb active and passive earth pressure coefficient of soil.
  4. Civil Engineering Calculations: Another application for performing the most common civil engineering calculations on your Android.
  5. Civil Engineering Professional: This app performs more than 250 of the most common civil engineering calculations.
  6. Talking Calendar: Keep up with your appointments with a calendar that talks to you!
  7. AK Notepad: This notepad for Android provides a great way to make, store and track notes. This little app makes it much easier to stay organized and keep track of your notes.
  8. Scan to PDF: Scan a paper document and convert it to a PDF file instantly on your phone. This application is great for eliminating paper and keeping all your documents secure.
  9. Upvise: This Android app lets you access and share business information back at the office when you’re away.
  10. Opera Mini: This app can browse the entire Web on your Android phone and save time and money. Opera mini compresses pages up to 90%, making web browsing fast. Synchronize your bookmarks, history, notes and more between your computer and mobile phone.

For Your iPhone

  1. Civil Engineering Formulator: This iPhone application contains 75 of the most important formulas for a civil engineer.As an urban planner, you’re certain to use these calculations on a regular basis as part of determining building size and the structural requirements of buildings your city is planning.
  2. Statics: This iPhone application gives lots of formulas and information on force and uniform load.
  3. Civil Engineering in a Flash: This is great for the person studying for their civil engineering exam. Learn lots of terms with flashcards on your phone.
  4. Civil Engineering Calculations: This is the iPhone and iPad version of the Android App listed above. It performs the most common civil engineering calculations, like pipe flow, channel flow, vertical curve, etc.
  5. OmniFocus: This task management application allows you to create to do lists, as well as sync with documents on your desktop. This application can really help you stay organized, which is especially important if you bounce between your office and job sites.
  6. Google Calendar: Check your Google calendar from anywhere. You never have to worry about being out of touch when you don’t go into the office.
  7. Full Screen Web Browser: Does just what it says: lets you browse in full screen.
  8. Evernote: You’ll never take notes on paper again. It’s so easy to take notes on your phone and save them or file them.
  9. AirSharing: A great way to share files: AirSharing allows you to mount your iPhone or iPod Touch as a wireless drive on any computer, drag and drop files and then view them on your device.
  10. Sim City: What urban planner doesn’t want to play Sim City? This game is often used to describe to young people exactly what the urban planner’s job entails. This is the original deluxe version of the game for your iPhone.

As technology advances, you can be certain that there will be more industry and job specific applications for all sorts of smart phones. So, it pays to keep on the lookout for new applications that can make your life easier at work and at home. Your smart phone is a great productivity tool if you know how to use it and if you have all the right applications to make it really work for you.

The Ultimate Guide to Urban Planning Education

University-level urban planning education is generally provided as an academic degree in urban, city or regional planning and is awarded  either as an Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, or Doctorate. As urban planning programs tends to be quite smaller in them, therefore, they are taught as part of different courses in an architecture school, a geography department or at a policy school. This can be understood as this way as planning programs in architecture school with focus on physical planning and design whereas in policy school they focus on policy and administration.

A typical course in urban planning happens to be a broad and interdisciplinary field, which has a typical planning degree program focusing over breadth over depth, as their coursework give backgrounds for all areas of planning. Core courses normally include coursework in history/theory of urban planning, urban design, statistics, land use/planning law, urban economics, and planning practice. Many planning degree programs let a student to “concentrate” over a specific area of interest within planning, like as land use, environmental planning, housing, community development, economic development, historic preservation, international development, urban design, transportation planning, or geographic information systems (GIS). Whereas some programs let students emphasize and focus more on real estate. There are many programs that let a student to concentrate over real estate, and have more focus on real estate programs.

City planning programs are generally have accreditation from one or more planning organizations for establishing standards in planning education, as well as providing  route to certification. Generally degree programs are accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, which is a professional accreditation board. Schools with planning programs in North America are accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board. It provides accreditation generally to two types of programs, one is graduate programs and other is undergraduate programs. For urban planning there around 14 accredited undergraduate programs are run in the United States and one in Canada. For accredited graduate programs there are about 71 graduate programs in the United States, 2 programs in the Canada and 1 in Puerto Rico.

Programs which looks for accreditation from the PAB (Planning Accreditation Board) are needed to meet out the strict guidelines, is needed for candidature. First the program in question must apply to be a candidate that is a multiphase process. The five preconditions for accreditation are:

  • There should be at least 25 students in the program to be accredited.
  • Program’s parent school must be accredited by institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
  • The title of program and degree should have term “Planning” included in it.
  • Undergraduate programs should offer 4 full time years of study or equivalent, while graduate programs are to be a provider of 2 full time years of study or equivalent.
  • Primary aim of the program should be to educate students so they become a practicing planning professional.

Masters in Urban Planning

Masters in Urban Planning will help any student meet the challenges that will enable them generate a positive attitude as well as be prepared to face the different challenges in this field. The student will have the option of selecting a number of courses as per their goals and needs. While looking for a school offering these courses the student needs to keep a number of things in mind. With this degree, they will not only increase their knowledge but also increase the chances of a better career and better pay.

Urban Planning covers a wide field and most programs focuses on breath. Students will have to select from a number of electives besides the core courses that they will undertake. Some of the topics they will cover include the acquiring of skills in policy formulation, Forecasting and monitoring urban programs and performance as well as getting knowledge on the development and relationship between different institutions in the public and private sector as well as the design and implementation of different plans.

The core courses in these programs include the History and Theory of Urban Planning, Urban planning Policy and Problem Process, Urban analytical Methods, Urban Research Methods, Urban Economic issues and analysis and others. The students will also select from a number of electives such as urban management, environmental law, community development and urbanization and the Environment among others. Students are also required to undertake their Thesis as well as an internship component in order to graduate.

While seeking these courses, students are exposed to two choices: Campus based program or online program. The selection will depend with the schedule of the student as well as the goals. Whatever their choice is, they should select schools that are accreddited by the relevant authorities to avoid having a useless degree after they have graduated.

They should also ensure that they have checked out the requirements for the schools admission before they qualify. For those seeking financial aid, some schools that offer a number of grants and scholarship from which they can select. In addition to this, it is important that they check out the program type as well as the type of facilities and equipment the school has to offer to the student. The reputation of the school also plays an important part in the selection and therefore, should be taken into account. Additionaly, the type of instructors in terms of knowledge, experience and skills should be considered in order to get the best value out of the specified school.