“Excuse me, what are you doing?” “Oh, hey! I’m an urban planner, and my job around here
is to make sure that this place is planned properly.” “I take in to account lots of different things
including economic and political factors to make sure that your city,
and my city, is planned properly.” “Check out my latest project!” Wooosh! (general crashing noises) Spaceship. That guy’s a pretty good urban planner. And if this scene looks familiar from your childhood,
you might just love a job as an urban planner. So come along. We’re gonna chat
to someone who actually does it. I’m gonna take this, and I’m gonna clean this up later. If you’ve ever wondered how your city or your town is laid out the way it is, or who’s responsible for these choices, then you’ve already thought about
urban and regional planning. It’s an incredibly challenging career that takes
into account a hundred different things to make sure that we all have a great place to live. – Brrrrm (spaceship landing noise) Lawrence?
– Hey Hans, how ya going? – Good mate, how are you?
– Yeah well thanks! This looks pretty impressive, but I don’t know
much about it. Can we go have a chat somewhere? – Absolutely!
– Let’s get out of the office. Come on, you and me. – So Hans, what would you like to know?
– Oh Lawrence mate, we’re in the middle of a city and I have no idea how this sort of thing comes to be,
but you’re an urban planner, what is that? It’s really trying to balance how we live,
work and play, as in that’s what we actually do. We manage in terms of how our cities grow. We actually help inform decision makers to make
the best decisions so the future of Perth is secure! Right, there must be a thousand things going around
in your brain ‘cause there’s roads and waterways and things for the future that you going to build, right? We work together with other professionals as well,
so it’s not just us in terms of planners but we work with architects, engineers,
environmental scientists. So it’s a really multidisciplinary type of approach
and that’s the great thing about urban planning. So what do you do on a daily basis? I mean, what time do you have to turn up
and what sort of jobs do you get up to? A regular, typical day is roughly about nine to five,
as in, we are office based generally but a lot of the time, in terms of lots of site visits, so we actually
have to go to the places in which we’re planning for. And often in terms of like, if there’s a
community meeting or if a council’s meeting as well, we go there to actually support and provide that information – so occasionally there’s a few after hours meetings as well. And you obviously love it.
What are some of the biggest challenges that you face? We’re all about actually balancing competing outcomes.
There’s often environmental issues, economic issues and social issues that we have to actually weigh up
and try to actually get that sustainable outcome. And that sustainable development outcome
is pretty tricky. So how did you get into it?
Did you have a love of Lego? That’s my question. I did love Lego but I know a lot of my friends who are
planners didn’t actually love Lego so much. – They’re a bit more of ‘Sim City’ type of people.
– OK But planning gives you the opportunity to actually
specialise in terms of, you can be in local government, state, private practice and in collaboration with say,
architectural firms, with the engineers, with the environmental science people. So there’s a lot of opportunities and spectrum
in terms of what you can do with planning. We have you to thank for all of these things!
Well not technically but still… – I think it’s time for the Edge questions, you ready?
– Sure thing! Here we go, number one: If I want to do what you do,
what steps do I have to take to get there? If you’re thinking about it in high school,
get into geography or economics. A four year course at uni is what you actually have to do and that will set you up in terms of a
Urban and Regional Planning degree, and off you go. Second question: What sort of person is gonna love
doing what you do and gonna be really good at it? Probably someone that actually
really wants to make a difference. And that’s the ambition of actually being a planner. You need to actually have the right
attitude of wanting to help others. Right, and final question: If you could offer a piece of advice to somebody
who’s thinking about doing what you do, what would you tell them? Be a good listener, as in,
that’s probably the best thing to actually have. To really understand and dismantle problems,
you need to be a good listener first. So that’s probably the biggest thing and…
best of luck! Sounds like such an interesting career.
Thank you so much for answering the questions! – Pleasure Hans.
– Let’s go have a chat about that big statue of me, OK I’m thinking gold.