5 Future City Shaper Jobs

Imagine a world where skyscrapers power themselves, walkable access to amenities is a priority and there is an infrastructure, health and educational balance across all community demographics… that’s the vision of a future city shaper.

Future cities are trending right now. Big time. They’re what scientists and people in urban development, humanities, town planners, engineers and environmental groups all want to see come together in the years ahead. And these visionaries need people with the right skills to make it happen. Designing new decentralised areas, creating a sense of community connection and inventing alternative transport are what ‘mini cities’ are all about – they’re the future of urban development. 

A future cities shaper is the one armed with the job of bringing all of it together. They’re like old-school town planners, peeps tasked with writing a new ‘social contract’ for neighbourhoods. And it’s an exciting time to be amongst it. 

Shaping a city of the future isn’t just about traditional bricks and mortar. It’s about making cities better, being involved in the creation and management of cities, towns and communities from the ground up and driving to balance issues around society, housing, health and environment, so the inhabitants of tomorrow can live their best life. 

For instance, solar panel scientists from the University of Michigan have discovered that their panels can be transparent and efficient and have a carbon-based design that will stand the test of time for 27,000 years – meaning you pop those babies on big buildings for big natural power. That’s huge news!

If sustainability, social welfare and heritage conservation are some of your passion projects, then this could be a career path to follow. The best bit? The job description just keeps growing…

Apply here: 5 Future City Shaper Jobs

1. Materials scientist

What they do: As a materials scientist you’re blowing minds on the daily. Playing around with new ideas and inventing game-changers like fire-resistant building material coatings; impenetrable medical gloves and blast-proof concrete.

Employers:

  • CSIRO
  • GE (General Electric)
  • ANSTO

Earning potential: AU$60K-AU$101K

2. Policy officer

What they do: For all the amazing things scientists uncover, research and invent, a policy officer uses technical knowhow to ask the tough questions around the social, environmental and political implications of these findings. 

Employers:

  • GOVERNMENT! All of them.
  • Local councils; shires; state and federal level.

Earning potential: AU$56K-AU$100K

3. Town planner

What they do: The shape of a future city starts here. Town planners are the problem solvers who balance environmental and developmental issues as they pop up. For instance, they’ll figure out work arounds and talk to the right people, if a massive wetland is smack bang where an airport landing strip is planned for development. 

Employers:

  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning   
  • Shire Councils
  • Urbis

Earning potential: AU$51-AU$102

4. Engineer

What they do:  There are plenty of engineering specialists involved in the development of a new city or giving a current urban area a facelift. From hydraulics – anything water; civil – infrastructure focus; mechanical – developing smart machines; and geotechnical – building into and using the earth IE, the ground beneath us.

 Employers:

  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Lend Lease
  • Meriton

Earning potential: Depends on your specialty! 

Hydraulics: AU$54-AU$113

Civil: AU$54-AU$112

Mechanical: AU$52-AU$115

Geotechnical: AU$59-AU$130

5. Urban designer 

What they do: An urban designer is tasked with creating environmentally sustainable, economically successful and socially equitable areas. Digital twins help deliver the vision, literally. Urban designers can work with digital twin engineers to build replicas of the physical areas in a digital space first using AI, VR and 3D tech to see the end result in real-time. The modelling helps make the right decisions – that tick all the boxes – when developing innovative communities. 

Employers:

  • Shire councils
  • Urbis
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Earning potential: AU$53-AU$100

Want more career insights and inspiration? Browse our free Job Kits here

Pippa Duffy

Author: Pippa Duffy

Refraction Media’s Deputy Editor, Pippa has a passion for sharing cool, interesting information and spreading the STEM message.

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