Urban and Regional Planning Research Areas and Disciplines
One area in which urban planners are doing research is in designing more efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and environmentally friendly urban areas. A current area is in megaprojects, which seeks to understand how new, large-scale public facilities can impact communities and the city at large. Also, urban planners develop concepts and practical guidelines that may be used by citizens and professionals to promote sustainable community development.
Transportation planning is another hot topic in Canada. Urban planners are designing newer ways of getting people around. This includes deciding where to put a new bridge, expanding the number of lanes on a highway, and designating certain streets for non-motorized travel only at certain times of the day. They look at the behavior of individual decision-makers, who face a multitude of choices regarding modes, routes, trip destinations and the like.
The planning of office buildings is also being investigated. This includes the financial, tenant preferences, and public perception of the greening of office buildings. These studies are generally done in collaboration with architects and civil engineers.
Research in social planning involves the design, delivery, and assessment of public and private programs aimed to enhance quality of life. This includes public health and safety, opportunities for economic growth and security, and supporting communities. For example, the shifting of the workplace from the office to the home environment is being investigated, with an emphasis on the coping mechanisms telecommuters use to separate work from home.
Study and Work in Urban and Regional Planning in Canada