When to Consult With an Urban Planner

An urban planner or town planner is a professional who may oversee the plans of urban development, meaning the development of large neighbourhoods and even entire cities. They will be familiar with details such as traffic congestion, zoning laws, and the like, and can advise developers about the feasibility of certain plans. If you're a developer, you may have plans to develop a neighbourhood or may have already built a certain area, but are noticing that it's not thriving as you expected. Note when you would do well to consult with an urban planner in these cases, and how he or she can assist.

When an area is economically depressed

You may be worried about developing a parcel of land in a certain area because it's economically depressed, and an urban planner can assist. He or she can note if zoning laws are prohibiting small businesses from opening and being successful, or if traffic patterns and roadways are prohibiting customers from easily finding certain businesses in the area.

An urban planner can also note what businesses might do well in the area, versus those that are not the best fit for the local demographic, such as trendy restaurants that cater to a professional crowd versus family restaurants, or vice versa. An area that is thriving economically can be a better investment for a developer, so discuss with an urban planner how these improvements can be made before developing or improving the neighbourhood.

When a development has not gained attention of buyers

If you've already developed an area of land and it has not gotten the attention of buyers, renters, and others, you may need to consult with an urban planner. You may have overlooked some details that would make the area desirable, such as public parks and sidewalks, added traffic lanes and lights to ease congestion, the installation of public schools or convenience stores, natural landscaping, and the like. The area may also be zoned so strictly that families business tenants would be hesitant to move into that area, fearing that they would not be able to run a business from home, keep a commercial vehicle on their residential property, or run their commercial business in a profitable way.

An urban planner can note all these details about your development and pinpoint why you're not getting buyers and the interest you expected. They can give you recommendations for needed changes and work with city councilpersons to get those zoning laws changed or have public schools and parks installed in the area, in order to attract buyers and other investors.