Urban planning jobs: What you need to know

By Emma Smith 18 April 2017

Local experts in Indonesia review a housing plan. Photo by: UN-Habitat

Global urbanization means cities are home to the majority of the world's population. Ensuring these cities are safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable has therefore become a priority of global development, and urban planning professionals can play a critical role in achieving this.

“Urban planning is the core of smart cities because it is not the technology that builds the city, it is the people and their perception of the use of the technology itself,” said Nuha Eltinay, director of urban planning and sustainable development for the City Development Strategy Program at the Arab Urban Development Institute.

If you are considering a job as an urban planner in global development, here are some of the skills you should develop and opportunities you can expect.


Inclusion is one of the pillars of smart cities, and this involves a participatory approach that engages stakeholders at all levels. Communication is therefore an essential skill, explained Eltinay.

This article is for Devex Members
For full access to the content of the article sign in or join Devex.

About the author

Emma Smith

Emma Smith is a reporting and communications associate at Devex, based in Barcelona. She focuses on bringing the latest career and hiring trends, tips, and insights to our global development community. Emma has a background in journalism and, in addition to writing for news publications, has worked with organizations focusing on child rights and women’s rights in sustainable development.

Join the Discussion