urban planning interview questions: 66 Urban Planner Interview Questions (With Example Answers)


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    urban planning interview questions: 66 Urban Planner Interview Questions (With Example Answers)


    If you’re an urban planner looking for a job, you know that interviews are always stressful. But with the right preparation and information about what employers want to hear (and see), you can make sure your interview goes smoothly. We’ve compiled 66 of the most common questions that cities ask in their interviews below—each one with a sample answer to help you prepare for your own encounter with a hiring manager or HR rep from your dream city.

    What are some of the challenges facing your city?

    A good way to start is by asking the interviewer how they see the city’s biggest challenges. You can then follow up with a question about what assets the city has that could help it tackle those challenges.

    If you want to be really thorough, you can also ask about some specific issues or projects that are currently being discussed by local government officials and residents alike (e.g., transportation improvements).

    How do you think of the relationship between transportation and land use?

    The relationship between land use and transportation is a two-way street. Land use planning is the first step in transportation planning, and vice versa. If you don’t have a good plan for how people will get around your city, then it doesn’t matter how many high-rises you build or what kinds of stores are within walking distance: people won’t be able to get where they need to go easily enough to make those developments worthwhile.

    Transportation planners need to understand that their work cannot be separated from other aspects of urban planning–they must work together with architects, economists and other experts from other fields who have given thought about what kind of city would best serve its citizens’ needs (and then convince them!). Land use planners need knowledge about how traffic flows through their cities so they can design streets that allow cars but also provide space for pedestrians without sacrificing safety or convenience; this includes understanding which intersections are busiest at different times during the day (and night), as well as knowing which routes are most popular among cyclists versus drivers versus pedestrians

    How do you think about public transit planning in a place like this?

    Public transit is a critical part of urban planning and development. It’s important to plan for future growth when designing public transit systems, as well as making sure they are accessible and efficient.

    For example, if you’re designing a new bus route in an area that doesn’t have much foot traffic, it’s important to make sure there are enough stops along the way so people can get off easily. If not enough stops are available or if you put them too far apart from one another, then people won’t use your bus service because it takes too long (or isn’t convenient) for them to walk between stops.

    What is your understanding of our previous approaches to land use planning, and what will be different about them now?

    • What is your understanding of the previous approaches to land use planning, and what will be different about them now?
    • How do you intend to approach this task differently from previous planners?

    How do you approach making a decision that seems unpopular but is in the best interests of people involved?

    When you’re faced with a decision that seems unpopular but is in the best interests of people involved, it’s important to be able to explain your reasoning behind it.

    If you have experience making unpopular decisions and dealing with their consequences, this question will be easy for you. However, if this isn’t something that comes naturally for you–or if it does but not enough for an interviewer’s liking–you may want to prepare yourself beforehand.

    It’s helpful to think about some examples from your past jobs where there were similar situations (e.g., budget cuts). Then, write down how and why those decisions were made so that when asked about them during an interview, all those details are fresh in mind!

    Working with an existing city or municipality, what would you do to improve its quality of life?

    • Listen to what the city says it needs.
    • Identify the problems with the city.
    • Brainstorm solutions to those problems.
    • Present your solutions to the city in a way that makes them easy for them to digest and understand, but also gives them enough information so that they can make informed decisions about whether or not they want your plan implemented as-is or modified slightly based on feedback from other stakeholders (e.g., residents).

    How would you get people excited about taking part in revitalization projects in their neighborhoods?

    • Understand what people want.
    • Create a vision for the future.
    • Engage with the community.
    • Make it easy for people to get involved.
    • Give people a sense of ownership

    What is your vision for how technology will change the way we live in cities over the next 20 years?

    The way we live in cities is constantly changing. Technology is a major factor in this, and it will continue to shape how we live in the future.

    Over the next 20 years, technology will have an even greater impact on how we use our cities and interact with each other than it has had over the past few decades. For example:

    • We’ll be able to monitor air quality and pollution levels more easily through sensors placed around town (and even inside buildings). This will help people avoid exposure to harmful chemicals or gases when they’re walking around town during bad weather conditions or after an industrial spillage has occurred nearby. * Driverless cars will become more common on city streets as companies develop better computer systems that allow these vehicles to navigate safely through traffic without human input; this could reduce accidents caused by human error while also freeing up space currently used for parking lots at shopping centers!

    What do you feel are the most important qualities for someone wanting to become a planner today?

    • Good communication skills. This is the most important quality for anyone wanting to become a planner today. You need to be able to speak and write clearly, so that people can understand what you’re saying or writing. You also need good listening skills, because part of your job will involve listening to stakeholders and gathering information from them.
    • Understanding of different groups of people: Planners must be able to understand how various groups within society view issues such as urban growth and development, transportation systems, housing policies etc., in order for planners themselves not only understand but also empathize with these differing perspectives before making any recommendations towards resolution/solutions through planning processes (e.g., master plans).
    • Ability work effectively within teams: Planners need good teamwork skills because projects often require more than one person working together; therefore it is important that each member knows their role within the team structure before starting any project work together so everyone stays focused on getting things done instead wasting valuable time trying figure out who should do what next while still completing their individual tasks correctly too!

    Many urban planner interview questions address how well you understand the needs of different groups of people.

    Many urban planner interview questions address how well you understand the needs of different groups of people. It’s important to know that not everyone has the same set of needs, so it’s important to consider these differences when making decisions.

    In addition to understanding how different groups will be affected by a decision, it’s also helpful to understand how they will react and feel about it. For example, if you build a new bridge over water but don’t provide any access points for those who are unable to swim across safely (like elderly or disabled people), then this could lead them feeling unsafe in their community because they can’t get across safely anymore–and that would be bad!

    It’s also important for urban planners not only know what kinds of things might affect their community members but also how much each factor matters relative other factors too; otherwise we might end up building something completely unnecessary just because one person wanted it badly enough.”


    The urban planning interview questions in this article are just a sample of what you might be asked during an interview. The best way to prepare for your own interview is by doing research about the city or area where you want to work and by practicing answering questions like these before going into the meeting. You can also use our free career assessment tool (below) to get personalized feedback on which jobs might be right for you based on your skillset and interests!

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