Phil Villars is the Head of Planning and Environment at WSP, a global company advising clients on Transportation and Infrastructure, Property and Buildings, Environment, Industry, Resources and Energy sectors. He manages 200 planners and environmental specialists. He has enjoyed an exciting and rewarding career in the industry (both in the planning and private sector) for over 30 years, and has shared with us his five reasons why you should choose a career in planning too.
1. Varied career
Choosing a career in planning is extremely exciting, as it will involve delivering high quality new places. Whether they are residential, commercial, mixed use, leisure in towns and cities, it is a great prospect!
A career in planning can involve a range of roles (from working in the public sector to the private one) and a variety of areas: residential, commercial, conservation, urban regeneration and urban design. These are just some of the most popular career paths to take within the industry.
As a planner, you will also work and interface with people from different sectors, whether it is architects, engineers, archaeologists or water specialists. You will deal with clients, but also local politicians and local residents. Planners are responsible for creating new innovative developments, but at the same time they need to have the public’s best interest in mind.
Every day is different and no matter how experienced you are: there is always a new and exciting fresh challenge awaiting.
2. Delivering new developments
One of the most rewarding aspects of a career in planning is being able to experience the process of plan to product. As a planner, you will coordinate the delivery of a project and you will get to know, and get involved with, different disciplines. You will be making a difference to the way in which people live (housing and spaces), shop (retail), enjoy leisure time (restaurants) and work (industry). You will also play a key role at balancing the conflicting demands of new housing, new infrastructure and the environment.
3. Birmingham regeneration
It is a great time to start a career in property development and planning in Birmingham right now. As the second largest city in the UK, Birmingham is continually developing new buildings and landmarks. With multiple industrial revolution-era landmarks, the city is currently working towards some large development projects which are due to be completed within the next decade. This includes: the new Curzon Street Station / HS2, Arena Central, Paradise and New Garden Square. Birmingham, and its region, is going through major development changes at an increasing rate and planners will play a huge part of this evolving environment.
There is no better place to study property development and planning than immersing yourself in the Birmingham local and regional environment.
4. Provide solutions to challenges facing society
Due to the current global situation, the way in which we live, work and play is changing. Over the next decade, the role of planning will become more important than ever. As a planner, you will play a key role in designing and developing sustainable, safe and attractive places, in answer to global challenges both in terms of health and climate change. As a result, there will be an increase in demand for forward thinking planners.
5. Job satisfaction
A career in planning and development can be highly rewarding. The role requires you to deal with new challenges and opportunities on a daily basis and provide innovative solutions to places and cities making them more liveable and attractive. You will have the real opportunity to make a significant impact on improving people’s quality of life and on the sustainable growth of cities.
Think a career in property development and planning is for you? Apply now and start the journey to your dream career today.