Home > Uncategorized > The profession Related to The Architecture : Urban Planner and Urban Designer

The profession Related to The Architecture : Urban Planner and Urban Designer

by Yudithia Adelin

What is Urban Planning ?

Urban planning is the biggest science of urban design and the components inside (houses, buildings, shops, etc.). Other professions which is the branch of these are Architecture and urban design. The study of urban planning has a wider level of knowledge and not detailed compared with the Architecture or urban design.[1]Urban planning involves the arrangement of building design, public spaces, transportation systems, services and various facilities for the benefit of the masses.[2] In this area also needs the ability of architects, landscape architects and urban design to design development of the area which is the goal, that is why the Urban Planner is a master of science for a variety of urban design scientific.

Who is Urban Planner ?

The importance of urban planning has increased throughout the 21st century, as we began to face the problem of rapidly increase of population growth, climate change and sustainable development.[3] Urban Planner is someone who knows the best way to use the land around the environment, but they also must learn about the policy area. They were assigned to report the best location for build houses, shops, offices, schools and parks. They are also tasked to solve a growing problem in society, such as traffic and increased air pollution. Urban planners make sure everybody can move in a public place convenient and enjoyable. Before doing the planning, they usually made an approach to the community. The first thing they do usually are find out how much of the population live, the available roads, drainage, sewers, schools, museums, parks and other public places. Urban Planner will listen to the opinions and desires of the people who live in the area so they could improve the environment according to desire from the surrounding community. They will spend a lot of time designing and placing the building is planned, this is why they spent on average work 40 hours per week.[4] Currently, many urban planners working for national governments and also to design the developing areas.

What is The Relation Between Architect and Urban Planner ?

An Urban Planner must know how to design a building, or at least they can know the purpose of the buildings to be built and communicate to the society. Studies of this design involves a branch of science of architecture and landscape architecture. Architect is responsible to design homes and buildings. They are also design offices, schools and parks. Relation between Urban Planner and Architect can be seen when

both professions were involved in an urban design project in one area. An Urban Planner responsible to give instructions to the architects to design buildings that needed area. These two profession that has essentially the same basic knowledge of design. The difference is only seen from the form of products. Urban planning as a whole provides a design of an area (where they positioned the building as an aesthetic, safe and comfortable), while the architecture shows how the building looks to be built in areas that will be worked on.

In education, actually Urban Planner has its own branch of science (some universities in Indonesia and many University abroad has been provided the Urban Planning Department). However, many people who are architecture graduates turn become Urban Planner. Because that has been be explained earlier if both science has the same basic design, the study of the utilization of space and public communication, the architecture itself is a branch of science of Urban Planning.

What is Urban Design ?

Urban Design is the science of making connections between people, movement, shape the city and its environment. Urban Design is a branch of science of Urban Planning. Actually, these two sciences is closely related pick. Differences between Urban Planning and Urban Design are:

Urban Planning: Managing change and utilization of a wide area for a long fairly period of time (50-20 years)[5], through planning and land use policies geographic area (neighborhood, city and region). Usually study the existing policy.

Urban Design: Checking the appearance and functions of the city (using a system of zoning or a particular area only), especially for the use of public space in the short term. Urban planning also to create a place (placemaking), land use and urban design. They illustrate through pictures, landscape visualization and the development.

Who is Urban Designer ?

In fact, Urban Designer is not an accredited profession. There are no professional education or university that has a special curriculum on this subject. An Urban Designer requires a broad understanding about the city and region to get good results. This involves a system of city planning, operations planning and how one place has the characteristic.

An urban designer needs a broad understanding of cities, towns and villages, and ways of making them work better. This involves understanding how the planning system operates, how developers make their sums add up, how to assess what makes a particular place special, how to make places easy to move around by foot and vehicle, how to bring life to places that have become run down, how to conserve historic buildings, how to make the most of the landscape, how to think about the future of small and large development sites, how to involve local people, how to make sure that projects actually happen, how to communicate effectively, how to negotiate, and how to write design policy and guidance.[6] Urban Designers argued that architects should be concerned with the place, not just with designing a building to satisfy the client’s demands alone. Planners should be concerned, not just with land use, but with the physical form of development.

What is The Relation Between Architect and Urban Designer ?

Urban design is one of the newest professions. The label ‘urban designer’ is little more than 25 years old. Much of what urban designers do – shaping the places where we live – was done by professionals of various kinds before then, but the job was seen from the perspective of particular professions. Architects and planners used to argue about the roles of their two professions.

Architects would accuse planners of interfering with aesthetic matters about which they were not qualified to judge. Planners would accuse architects of designing buildings solely as objects, with little attempt to take account of their context or of their likely impact on the surroundings. In 1978 some architects and planners called a truce.[7] This professional sniping is pointless, they said. We have something in common: we are all in the business of making places. That should be the basis of our working together. This can be seen after the many architectural graduates who work as Urban Designer. They see the opportunities of the many similarities of knowledge has been learned at university such as design, urban planning and communication skills.


Formally, Urban Planning and Urban Design are largely concerned with the shaping of exterior spaces, as contrasted with the architect’s more typical focus on individual buildings as discrete objects. Urban Design incorporates aspects of Landscape Architecture, considering the use of natural as well as built forms in the shaping of urban space. But the two professions have the same of knowledge base. Did not rule out opportunities for graduates of architecture to become Urban Planner or Urban Designer, just the opposite.


[1] “Perencanaan Kota”, (http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perencanaan_kota), <accessed March 23, 2011>.

[2] “The art of creating and shaping cities and towns”, (http://www.urbandesign.org/urbandesign.html), <accessed March 23, 2011>.

[3] “Urban Planner”, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_planner), <accessed March 23, 2011>.

[4] “Architect”, 2010, (http://www.bls.gov/k12/build04.htm), <accessed March 23, 2011>.

[5]“What is the difference between urban planning and urban design?”, 2011, (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_difference_between_urban_planning_and_urban_design), <accessed March 23, 2011>

[6] “What is an urban designer?”, 2003, (http://www.udg.org.uk/?document_id=475), <accessed March 23, 2011>

[7]“a new Profession”, 2003, (http://www.udg.org.uk/?document_id=468), <accessed March 23, 2011>

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    there is something wrong with architects these day…
    they tend to play the role of a solo artist, trying to make a best looking building
    though there are allot of things to consider.

    talking about building, building have surroundings, especially in the urban area.
    many architect want a building that stand imposting and distinguished, a one man show,
    to create a good community building cant stand alone, therefore creating a building
    also requires a good comprehension of urban planning. and that, every architect should not forget

    quoting from “Seven Fallacies in Architectural Culture” by Douglas Kelbaugh “If students
    and practitioners are artists first and architects second, they are urbanists third”

    meaning to say that yes… they are leaving the “essence” of architectural…
    which is the art of creating, not creating art.

    Bernard Ibrahim

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