Urban planners are professionals that keep cities functioning by managing how land and land resources are used in order to maximize its potential use while also taking into account any issues that may arise from its use.
The title of urban planner is bestowed upon members of the Ordre des Urbanistes du Québec [Order of Urban Planners of Quebec] (OUQ). This order is mandated by the Office des professions du Québec [Office of Quebec Professions] which means their members have the exclusive right to hold the the title and practise the profession. The order is headquartered in Montréal.
The OUQ, founded over fifty years ago, and is affiliated with six other urban design organizations such as the Canadian Insitute of Planners and the Société française des urbanistes (SFU). They also keep their members up to date through their very own magazine Urbanité and monthly events held every few months. They also have a variety of six committees designed to protect the public and improve the discipline provincially.
To become an urban planner, an applicant must complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree in urban planning. Applicants are also required to pass an admissions exam that takes place every November. The order also offers preparatory and internship programs for new members to better ease into the profession under the mentorship of an experienced member. Additionally, as with all professional orders located in Quebec, applicants must be able to speak French at a professional level of proficiency.
Being mandated by the Office des professions du Québec, the designation gives members the right to practise the discipline and is sure to give applicants entry to a rich and fulfilling career.