Careers in Urban & Regional Planning

Architect examining urban model in office.

Cities took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of population loss and people’s preferences for where they wanted to live. According to the Pew Research Center, only 19 percent of Americans preferred living in a city in 2021, compared to 23 percent in 2018, while interest in the suburbs increased from 42 percent to 46 percent.

But it would be a huge mistake to count out cities. They are and will continue to be a nation’s centers of commerce, government, media, sports, and the arts. And while the problems that plague the nation might seem to manifest themselves most visibly in cites—problems like crime, inequality, lack of housing, and the manifold effects of climate change—it is in cities, through the work of urban planners, civic leaders, and others, where these issues are being addressed head-on.

“Smart” cities, multimodal transportation, “green” infrastructure, the return to human scale—these trends are all being advanced in these remarkable laboratories of human innovation. And it is astute and well-educated urban and regional planners who are at the heart of these groundbreaking developments.

Career Options for Urban & Regional Planning Graduates

Careers in urban and regional planning are as varied as the cities of the nation and the world. Here is a sampling of possible jobs in this exciting field.

Urban and Regional Planner

Urban and regional planners develop a variety of short- and long-term plans to guide the development or revitalization of a city, community, urban area, or region. They work with builders, city officials, and members of the public, reviewing building plans and offering expertise on a range of issues related to growth and development, zoning laws and other regulations, neighborhood preservation, and adaptive reuse of existing spaces.

Project Manager

Project managers use their knowledge of urban and regional planning to see that projects are completed on-time and within budget, making changes as needed and informing relevant parties of the progress of projects and any issues that may arise.

Sustainability Manager

Sustainability managers are concerned with assessing and minimizing the environmental impact of various projects, seeking “green” solutions to the myriad issues that arise during the construction and operation phases.


These are just a few of the career paths available to graduates of the Georgetown University Master’s in Urban & Regional Planning. Our students acquire the skills, expertise, and networking connections they need for a successful planning career.

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