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Master's Degree Programs in Sustainable Urban Planning

This article introduces the adoption of sustainable concepts and practices in urban design and planning. Learn more about master's programs in sustainable urban planning, including the common courses taught and admission requirements.

General Information about Masters in Sustainable Urban Planning

Universities offer different master's degrees in sustainable urban planning, such as Master of Professional Studies, Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Master of Design. These programs are also offered under titles like 'urban and environmental planning,' 'sustainable urban environments,' 'sustainable urban development,' and 'urban ecology and environmental planning.' These two-year programs provide courses on topics like sustainable urban food systems, climate change, history and theory of urban planning, geographic information systems, sustainable energy, and resilient cities.

Sustainable Food Systems

This course introduces the sustainable practices used in the food production and agriculture systems in urban areas. The course might also talk about concentrating on community-based food production through the process of regionalization. Nutrition interventions, accessibility of food, and community-building might be discussed. Issues like gentrification, climate change, racial discrimination, and exploitation of workers might also be addressed as a part of the course.

Climate Change

A course on climate change focuses on the policies related to climate change and the decision-making process that follows them. The course might address the issues that affect the climate like the greenhouse effect and energy consumption and propose solutions for them. It might also introduce ideas that help in reducing climate change effects, like reduction in the usage of water and increasing workforce demand for renewable energy, as well as clean technology occupations. Concepts related to mitigation, earth systems and impact assessment might also be discussed.

History and Theory of Urban Planning

As a part of this course, you will study a detailed historical background of urban planning, including the formulation and establishment of urban planning policies over the years and the political, cultural, technological, and environmental factors that influenced them. The course might also discuss how these factors shaped the attitude of society towards environmental conservation and sustainable planning. It might offer a discourse on the philosophies and critical theories regarding urban design. The course might analyze the effect of modern trends like globalization and industrialization on the process of urban environmental design.

Urban Housing

The course deals with the theories, practices, and policies related to designing housing in urban environments. It might give a specialized focus on the concept of community development through policies that encourage affordable housing plans. The course might introduce you to the practices of analyzing the needs of a community and identifying its assets to plan and establish an urban development program that aligns with the community interests. Topics of interest in the course might include public health, food systems, water supply, and resilience.

Geographic Information Systems

The course might familiarize you with the basic concepts of Geographic Information Systems and the science connected to them, along with different geospatial techniques. It might explain the importance of GIS in supervising and analyzing the efficiency of sustainable practices and methods in an urban scenario. It might also describe the use of GIS in areas like energy conservation, water resource management, and sustainable transportation. The course might incorporate case studies, workshops, and hands-on activities to give a practical understanding of the topic.

Sustainable Energy

A course on sustainable energy explores the connection between energy consumption and environmental issues like climate change and the impacts of different forms of energy on the environment. It might also introduce modern solutions to these problems like the use of renewable energy, energy reduction, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and resource management. The course might also focus on the laws and policies implemented to promote green energy technologies and sustainable methods of energy harvest. It might also talk about the supply methods of different forms of energy and the energy demands of various sectors.

Admittance Requirements for Master's Degree Programs in Sustainable Urban Planning

An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is the basic requirement for admission to the master's programs in sustainable urban planning. Although your past academic performance might be taken into account for the admission process, many of these schools do not require the submission of GRE scores. During the application process, you will be required to submit official academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and resume. You might also be required to submit a personal statement that narrates your academic history and achievements and describes your career and personal goals.

Master's degree programs in sustainable urban planning offer courses like sustainable food systems, sustainable energy, climate change, and urban housing. The minimum requirement for admission to these programs is an accredited bachelor's degree.