Urban and regional planners are concerned with the development and improvement of human settlements. In their work, they deal with how sectors such as housing, transportation, parks, and industrial uses interconnect, and the effects of these activities on the natural environment, social well-being, and the local economy. They have a professional obligation to pay attention to public aspirations and goals and to promote actions that safeguard resources for the long-term future.
As a consequence, the program is designed to prepare students with substantive knowledge about cities and regions, and with thinking and problem-solving skills for career flexibility and lifelong learning. Our graduates become leaders who contribute to the community and the profession.
The program curriculum features a strong grounding in the planning process as applied in cities and regions. It includes: identifying problems and successes, analyzing them, finding alternatives, estimating the feasibility of other approaches, and involving people who have interests in a specific urban or regional problem in the associated decision-making. Instruction is given in team work and clear communication. Students learn about other professions and disciplines which are closely related to planning such as architecture, landscape architecture, politics, economics, sociology, community development, geography, civil engineering, and business. They also learn how planning is done in other cities and regions through two field trips built into the program, and opportunities for study abroad at six universities in Europe and Australia. Planning experience is gained through project-based studios and through field placements in planning and organizations and community agencies.
A planning education leads to varied employment. Some examples:
- Environmental/Ecological Planner - promoting environmental protection through planning and design at the site or landscape scale;
- Planning Case Worker - addressing planning disputes using alternative dispute resolution, working mainly in law firms and for the Ontario Municipal Board;
- Municipal Land-use Planner - reviewing applications for development or redevelopment, advising proponents, staff, and citizen groups;
- Site Planner - developing urban design concepts and ideas in 3-dimensional forms and executing the graphic representation of these forms;
- Development Planner - co-ordinating subdivision approvals, development permits, building inspections; working in real estate development or planning consulting firms;
- Community Planner - working with community groups to enhance their participation in development;
- Planning Analyst - initiating and integrating a wide variety of studies: Statistical, fiscal, and land use analyses; transportation studies; servicing and environmental information; demographic, housing, and commercial/industrial projection studies;
- International Development Planner - helping agencies in developing countries to produce plans and policies;
- Other positions include housing market analyst, commercial property assessor, transportation planner, real estate analyst, economic development planner, policy planner, and more.
Students may apply to challenge some courses providing informal educational opportunities and/or current work experience have allowed the student to develop advanced skill and knowledge in the relevant course areas. The student must be enrolled in the program. Further details regarding challenge credits are found under the Registrar's Office section of this calendar.
Students from our program frequently go on to postgraduate degrees in public administration, business, law, architecture, social work, education, and of course, in urban and regional planning.
Students must take three lower level liberal studies courses and three upper level liberal studies courses to graduate.
Liberal Studies - Degree Completion Program
Students must take two lower level liberal studies courses and three upper level liberal studies courses to graduate.
Students may pursue any Minor offered by Ryerson (with exceptions), and are eligible for only one Minor. Please refer to the Minors Policy section of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and restrictions.
The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education Certificates
Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible restrictions. Please refer to the Curriculum Advising website at www.ryerson.ca/curriculumadvising for complete details.