urban planning and management

Understanding urban processes and contributing to sustainable urban developments

The magnitude and dynamics of urbanization place an enormous burden on organizations responsible for the planning and management of urban regions. The core objectives of urban planning and management are seen as understanding dynamic urban processes and developing effective interventions that contribute to the development of competitive, compact, sustainable, inclusive and resilient cities. geo-information and geo-information technology play a vital role in supporting these objectives.

The MSc degree course in urban planning and management integrates knowledge of, and skills in, geo-information technology with current themes in the field of urban planning and management. Themes include urban poverty, urban transport, infrastructure and public services, disaster preparedness and mitigation, urban environmental planning, land use and land tenure, participatory GIS, and spatial planning and decision support systems.

For whom is the course relevant?

Any academically oriented professional who is active in urban planning and management and who uses spatial data in planning and management tasks belongs to the target group, for example town and district planners, land (policy) officers, infrastructure and transport engineers and environmental planners. The course is also highly relevant for staff at universities and non-governmental organizations in the field of urban planning and management who are interested in the use of geo-information technology. The 18-month MSc course includes a strong research component and leads to an MSc degree.

What is the course content?

The master's programme in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation is divided into four blocks. The blocks vary in length and are divided into three week modules. The number of modules for the programme is 23.

Block 1 (modules 1-3)

Geo-information science and earth observation: focuses on the theory, tools and techniques of GIS and remote sensing and their application in urban planning and management.

Block 2 (modules 4-10)

Urban planning and management: addresses contemporary themes in urban planning and management, with a dual focus on understanding the nature and dynamics of urban regions and on developing and evaluating interventions using geo-information technology in multi-stakeholder settings. Subjects dealt with in this block include:

  • urbanization processes
  • urban indicators and monitoring
  • spatial analytical techniques
  • statistics and visualization
  • conceptual modelling of urban processes
  • data gathering and information supply
  • governance of urban regions
  • planning and management approaches
  • policy processes and policy instruments
  • methods and tools in contemporary planning and management
  • planning and decision support
  • scenario development, modelling and scenario analysis.

Block 3 (modules 11-15)

Research methods and advanced choice subjects.

Block 4 (modules 16-23)

MSc thesis research (linked to one of the ITC’s research themes).

In Blocks 3 and 4, participants specialize further in their field of interest and deepen knowledge and skills in preparation for the MSc research phase. The individual MSc research takes place in a multidisciplinary research project that is related to one of ITC’s main research themes. The research typically includes fieldwork in a city in a developing country to collect primary and secondary data and information.

What will be achieved?

The MSc course in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation for Urban Planning and Management aims to improve the knowledge and skills of the course participants in the use of geo-information science for effective task execution and problem solving in urban planning and management.

In addition, the MSc course will enable participants to specialize further in current research themes and will give them the opportunity to undertake an independent research project, making effective use of geo-information technology.

About your diploma

Upon successful completion of this programme you are entitled to the degree Master of Science. You will receive an (Academic Education) Diploma in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation from the University of Twente.

Along with your diploma you will receive a Diploma Supplement, providing the name of the specialization, the description of the nature, level, context, and status of the study completed.

Why choose this course?

In a recent survey, graduates gave the following reasons for following a course in urban planning and management at ITC:

  • advanced expertise in geo-information science and remote sensing
  • relevant contents and tools, reflecting contemporary urban planning practice
  • opportunity to undertake empirical research in developing countries
  • international environment, with access to Dutch and European experiences.

All in all, ITC offers a unique international academic environment for applying geo-information technology within the context of urban planning and management.

Career perspective

Graduates of the Urban Planning and Management MSc degree course will be able to work in advisory, operational, technical and executive functions related to urban and regional planning. This includes functions such as town planner, transport planner, consultant for metropolitan development, policy advisor, public service administrator, local government officer, community development worker, environmental manager or government social research officer.

For excellent students with research ambitions this master course is a good starting point for PhD research with an academic research group in Europe or worldwide.

how to apply?

Select a course in the Course Finder and click the register link. This will take you to the ITC online course application system. More information about studying at the faculty ITC can be found on the ITC Study webpages.

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