UNSW Built Environment Planning: Joel Ginges

30 03 2009

When I first set out selecting my UAC choices in 2006 while I was still completing the HSC, I was somewhat hesitant about selecting the Bachelor of Planning as my first choice for university the following year.  The notion of a “Town Planner” and what they do isn’t something well known in society.  Many people assume that a city grows by itself – buildings are erected in areas with no or little reasoning and transport links are formed due to need, not so much by the wants of society.

Within the first week of the course, all first year students read Professor Zehner’s paper, ‘What Planners Do?’ which outlined the various roles and activities planners carry out within the profession.  I found this to be an excellent foray into the world of planning as it detailed the various roles and relationships that planners have with the general community, tiers of government and the construction industry.

What I found interesting though was talking to my classmates over the first few weeks of the course, trying to get to know each other. One of the “hot topic” questions raised among us was “What made you do planning?” Many of us considered planning to be a rather “oddball” course, especially among my circle of friends – many of them elected to do other subjects such as Commerce or Engineering instead.  But many of us who shared a similar passion for geography throughout high school, and loved urban landscapes and their various physical and social attributes ended up choosing planning.

Over the past 2 years, I have enjoyed the course. Planning is a profession that can take you many places, and there is always a strong demand for our services within the community. You will make good friends in the course – people you socialise with in and out of uni on the weekends. If this describes what seems right for you – go for it, you won’t regret it!

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