Saturday, March 7, 2009

Really Really Ridiculously Good Looking

According to the Infrastructurist I'm sexy and in demand. Line up ladies:

10. Urban Designer - $45,000 to $100,000+ urbandesign

What they do: Design complex public spaces. The job is a hybrid discipline of architecture and urban planning, with the aim of creating balanced and livable cities, towns, and neighborhoods.

Why it’s hot: Recent experience has taught this country that the willy-nilly model of development doesn’t work. As Obama himself proclaimed recently, sprawl is dead. The antidote to sprawl is creating well-designed, walkable communities that are connected to a rail network. (Chris Leinberger of the Brookings Institute explains the principle in this interview.) The most successful model to date is the DC area, but many other US cities from Charlotte to Dallas to LA are following suit and redeveloping miniature “city centers” throughout the metropolitan area. Urban designers are specialists behind these projects. With rail now a signature issue under Obama, there will be a lot of opportunity to create these dense, walkable neighborhoods around new and expanded rail networks in American towns and cities. What’s the best case scenario for urban designers? “The federal government could stipulate that where there’s significant federal investment, local governments need to create an urban environment that’s highly compatible with rail enhancement,” says Steve Fimanowicz, communications director at the Congress for a New Urbanism.

How to get the job: Unlike the others on this list, urban design has been always been a rather sexy gig, so it’s competitive and starting pay can be low. But if you do want to get in, a good route would be a joint architecture and urban planning degree. Berkeley, for one, has a great program.

I shall add, "how to get a job?" Pray. Oh, or just get in to Berkeley. That is probably easier at this point than landing a job with an architecture firm.

The roof. The roof. The roof is on fire.