Professional planners direct the development of cities, towns and regions. They are frontline workers on many of society’s most engaging issues. Planners work with community members, developers and elected officials to create great places that optimize the use or preservation of society’s environmental, economic, social, cultural and aesthetic assets.
Planners direct the allocation of land, resources, infrastructure, facilities and services in order to create distinctive and resilient places. This work includes community land-use planning that maximizes travel mode choices, access to homes, work, retail, social and community services, and contributes to climate change solutions, energy conservation, protecting water supplies, and caring for natural areas. Planners bring life to cultural and heritage features, work with diverse communities of citizens and especially with First Nations and Métis peoples to create great places and distinctive communities. They revitalize neighbourhoods and commercial areas and undertake economic development planning and place-marketing for rural and urban communities.
Professional planners use their skills in design, community engagement, policy analysis and government processes, economics, planning and development law, geomatics, conflict resolution, public speaking and applied research to link knowledge with action. Planning is an exciting vocation and a rewarding profession. Many planners have rewarding careers in the public sector, such as at urban or rural municipalities, provincial or federal government departments and conservation authorities. Many also pursue careers in the private sector, working for planning consulting firms or real estate development companies. Others start their own development or planning consulting companies and thrive on the challenges of entrepreneurship.
To prepare great planners for meeting these challenges the Regional and Urban Planning (RUP) Program has distinguished itself as a strong interdisciplinary professional program. Our students are a creative, talented and versatile group. They have to be in order to take a leadership role in tackling society’s most important challenges that stretch beyond single disciplinary boundaries. Many RUP students also take advantage of our international study and exchange programs to Europe, USA and Mexico to learn about planning in other places.
The RUP Program is accredited by the Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planners and is one of only two professionally accredited undergraduate planning programs in western Canada. It is also one of the longest established planning degrees in Canada. It was started in 1968 by J. Howard Richards and John G. McConnell and has contributed ever since to building the planning profession in Saskatchewan, across Canada and around the world.
The first goal of the RUP Program is to prepare graduates to step into the current state of planning practice with the disciplinary knowledge needed to meet the demand of public and private sector employers for competent and creative community planners. By achieving our first goal, we maintain the standard of professional planning practice in Saskatchewan, Canada and internationally.
Our second goal is to educate students who are prepared to challenge the current state of planning practice and bring their interdisciplinary education and critical thinking skills to bear on a profession that needs to continuously improve the quality of public and private development decisions affecting our environment and society. By achieving our second goal, we ensure that the planning profession in Saskatchewan and across Canada does not stagnate and miss out on the considerable innovations occurring internationally in community planning.
The RUP Program embraces the promise of an engaged university with its interdisciplinary curriculum, commitment to active learning through project-based assessment, guest lectures and field trips led by alumni and community stakeholders, and applied course work focused on solving real problems in Saskatchewan communities of all sizes.