The Difference Between an Urban Planner and a Town Planner

There is no difference between a town planner and an urban planner, both terms refer to someone from within the same industry. You may hear or use different terms depending on where you are in the world or the consultant team you are working with. 

What is a Town Planner, or Urban Planner?

A town planner could also be known as an ‘urban planner’ or ‘city planner’ depending on where you come from. Planners are all about shaping communities through managing property development, infrastructure and services. This is done through strategic plans, urban design and legislation.

What are the different types of town planner?

Town planners can fall into a number of specific industries and niches. 

  • Strategic town planner
  • Urban designer 
  • Statutory town planner
  • Government planner
  • Private town planner 


If you have a property project requiring a planning permit from your local Council, you will need the services of a private town planner. 

Why do private town planners exist?

A private town planner, or private urban planner works for the public and business entities who require Council planning permits but do not have the time, resources or expertise to go through the development assessment process on their own. 

The Federal, State and Local Government town planners, politicians and policy makers create strategic plans for growth and development, then enact legislation to ensure the plan is followed and upheld. 

A private town planner or planning service (like JREY) can assist you to navigate this legislation and smooth your path to development approval. 

What can a private town planner do for me?

Town planners are planning scheme experts and make great property development generalists.

See also  Town Planner Fees

A town planner will be able to assist you to:

  • determine if your project will be approved by Council.
  • provide a list of development opportunities or constraints for a proposed development.
  • help you understand your obligations under the local planning legislation for a property project.
  • obtain development approval/s and permits from Council and relevant State authorities. 

Did you know JREY town planning services used to be known as Urban Planners Queensland?

We personally prefer the term ‘urban planner’ to ‘town planner’ as we provide private town planning services to all types of urban areas, not just towns. The use of the word town, is historical more than it is accurate. JREY now utilises the term town planner more often as this is the most commonly known term for the profession in Australia and is therefore easier to communicate with clients about what we do online. If you would like to know more about the history and rebrand of Urban Planners Queensland to JREY town planning services, you can follow this link.