DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > Sustainable Urban Development > Student Resources > Career Paths

Career Paths

The following sample excerpts of job descriptions illustrates the high market demand for graduates of a sustainable urban development masters program in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The positions range from internship and entry-level to management/director-level and depict an array of possible career trajectories for graduates.   

Public Sector/Local Government

Deputy Director of Community Planning and Sustainability, City of Boulder, Colorado
The city of Boulder's Department of Community Planning and Sustainability provides leadership on a range of planning and policy issues, and serves as steward of Boulder‘s built and natural environment. Community sustainability is a strategic policy framework used by the City Council to help make decisions that maintain and enhance the livability and vitality of Boulder now and into the future. Sustainability exists at the intersection of environmental quality, economic vitality and social equity, and may be achieved by thoughtful attention to all three of these critical components in planning policies and practices.

Sustainability Planner, City of Cambridge, Massachusetts 
The Sustainability Planner focuses on developing and implementing outreach and other programs to engage residents and businesses in adopting more sustainable practices Specific responsibilities include (1) promotion of walking, biking, public transit, car sharing/carpooling and other green practices to city employees, businesses and the general public; (2) supporting sustainable transportation and other green programs being carried out by employers and grassroots organizations; (3) development of a climate change communication strategy; implementation of social marketing programs and follow-up surveys to determine adoption of sustainable behaviors by residents and employees; (4) planning and organization of outreach events; development of effective outreach strategies including creation of effective written materials; development and maintenance of web and social media content; best practice research; and (5) development and management of other policies, projects or programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Community Planner, City of Fresno California
The Community Planner requires experience in integrating smart growth and sustainability principles into city redevelopment plans. This position will provide technical assistance to the City of Fresno and leverage Federal, state, and local government efforts to support revitalization and improve the environmental quality of Fresno by encouraging growth through appropriate and innovative application of land use and conservation, building design/management, and transit-oriented development approaches and strategies.

Community Deputy Sustainability Officer, City of Chicago
The Community Deputy Sustainability Officer serves as the day to day lead on sustainability issues and the private sector helping to support policies and partnerships to deliver goals. Primary duties include identifying private sector partners for sustainability initiatives, supporting the Chicago Climate Action Plan, serving as point of contact ―sustainability innovation.

Municipal Deputy Sustainability Officer, City of Chicago
The Municipal Deputy Sustainability Officer serves as the day to day lead on sustainability issues for departments and sister agencies and assists them in achieving their sustainability goals. Primary duties include identifying and developing policy and program  solutions in collaboration with departments and sister agencies to deliver sustainability goals; creating agenda and needed materials for Sustainability Council; serving as program manager for Sustainability Council Initiatives; providing policy guidance and research on select sustainability areas for City; convening appropriate individuals and organizations to develop new policies and program.

Urban Designer, Planning & Zoning Division, City of Salt Lake City, Utah
The Urban Designer performs senior level professional urban design work by applying sustainable planning and design principles along with the knowledge of land use, transportation, public space architecture, construction related design skills and regulatory practices to define and implement urban design objectives in the planning and design of the city‘s public spaces, streets capes and buildings as well as in the review of private development.

Planning and Community Development Assistant Director, City of Bellingham, Washington
The Planning and Community Development Assistant Director is a skilled professional who is passionate about sustainable development, green buildings and smart growth.

City Planner, City of Columbus, Georgia
The City Planner helps organize and monitor planning activities that involve the proper determination of sustainable land use and development activities; maintaining and updating the comprehensive plan; participating in regional air quality programs, regional water resource planning, and efforts related to sustainable land use and green space conservation; monitoring and updating demographic information; and developing and instituting redevelopment plans and neighborhood plans Public Sector, Regional Planning.

Public Sector/Regional Planning

Director of Sustainable Programs, Wasatch Front Regional Council, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Director of Sustainable Programs manages WFRC‘s sustainable communities programs and any related consultant assistance required, as well as defines, initiates, manages and evaluate programs and activities to promote the goals of the Wasatch Choice  for 2040 Vision—the regional vision for transportation and land use and Promote linkages between regional transportation planning with housing, economic development, and land use.

Master of Sustainable Urban Development 29 Senior Planner, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency, Chattanooga, Tennessee
The Regional Planning Agency provides planning expertise to the public and elected officials across a wide variety of public policy areas that include land use, transportation, cultural/natural resource protection, neighborhood revitalization, urban redevelopment, sustainability, zoning/subdivision review, ordinance/policy development, urban design and site design.

Non-Profit Sector

Midwest Director, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability USA
Reporting to the Deputy Executive Director, The Midwest Director develops and implements a consistent, comprehensive and collaborative strategy to provide local governments within the Midwest Region access to locally-relevant technical resources, expertise, and leadership necessary to advance sustainability and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Project Manager, Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium
The Program Manager for the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium develops components of the draft and final NEO- 2050 Regional Sustainability Plan and manages one or more program work streams: Data/GIS Integration, Economic Base, Natural and Built Environments, Transportation and Infrastructure Connections, Communities and Place-Based Design. Private Sector Planning

Private Sector

Internship, RAIMI + Associates, Inc. 
The Summer Associate supports staff on a variety of planning and design projects related to public health, land use, sustainability, and/or climate change currently underway at the firm.

New Energy Cities Project Manager, Climate Solutions
New Energy Cities (NEC) is a Climate Solutions program that helps Northwest cities become national leaders and compelling models of success in pioneering a clean, renewable, super-efficient energy system that delivers powerful economic, health, and environmental benefits. NEC offers a comprehensive approach that integrates smart power grids, green intelligent buildings, plug-in electric vehicles, and renewable power sources. Understanding of community energy planning, climate planning, and/or sustainability planning processes is highly desirable.