Plan­ning for to­mor­row today

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com­plex un­der­ly­ing is­sues that im­pact cities and re­gions, and who are holis­tic in the anal­y­sis and cri­tique of them.

Stu­dents will learn to be strate­gic in the phys­i­cal plan­ning and spa­tial de­sign; to con­sider both the over­all struc­ture and in­di­vid­ual el­e­ments of the ter­ri­tory; and to adopt an in­te­grated ap­proach in de­vel­op­ing mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary plan­ning so­lu­tions. Un­der­pin­ning all of this is the clear ethos of sus­tain­able ur­ban de­vel­op­ment.

In ad­di­tion, the pro­gramme will fo­cus on the Asian con­text, where the chal­lenges of sus­tained high rates of pop­u­la­tion growth, cou­pled with the ru­ral-to-ur­ban mi­gra­tion have led to the growth of high-den­sity cities and “megapoli­tan” re­gions.

Con­se­quently, Asia has be­come the melt­ing pot for the de­vel­op­ment of in­no­va­tive ur­ban so­lu­tions for high-den­sity en­vi­ron­ments.

“The need for good ur­ban plan­ning has never been greater or as crit­i­cal,” said NUS MUP pro­gramme di­rec­tor as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor Ng Wai Keen.

“The ur­ban chal­lenges that we face de­mand ur­ban plan­ners com­mit­ted to work­ing in and im­prov­ing our cities and re­gions.

“The MUP pro­gramme is de­signed to pro­duce well-rounded plan­ning pro­fes­sion­als who are also global cit­i­zens and re­spon­si­ble mem­bers of so­ci­ety who make eth­i­cal choices in mat­ters of the en­vi­ron­ment and so­ci­ety,” added Ng.

Master of Science (In­te­grated Sus­tain­able De­sign)

The Master of Science (In­te­grated Sus­tain­able De­sign) is a post-pro­fes­sional, multi-dis­ci­plinary pro­gramme for ar­chi­tects, en­gi­neers, plan­ners and pol­icy-mak­ers com­mit­ted to the cause of sus­tain­abil­ity and tack­ling chal­lenges posed by cli­mate change and ur­ban­i­sa­tion in Asia.

Build­ings con­trib­ute more than 40% of car­bon diox­ide emis­sions world­wide, use 40% of the world’s en­ergy re­quire­ments, 16% of avail­able wa­ter, 40% of raw ma­te­ri­als, and gen­er­ate waste amount­ing to 30% of land­fills.

The prob­lem of con­sump­tion and waste can be traced to decisions made at the draw­ing board.

The de­sign-con­struc­tion process, as we know it, is frag­mented.

“Ex­perts and pro­fes­sion­als work in iso­la­tion, short-term spend­ing over­rides long-term costs, project goals do not bal­ance all stake­holder needs and per­spec­tives,” said NUS Master of Science (In­te­grated Sus­tain­able De­sign) pro­gramme di­rec­tor Dr Nir­mal Kish­nani.

“The fail­ure to deal with these is­sues early be­comes a fail­ure of per­for­mance of build­ings in op­er­a­tion.”

Asia needs new mind­sets; project teams, ed­u­ca­tors and pol­icy mak­ers must ac­tively re­think how they frame the chal­lenges of a sus­tain­able fu­ture, how to in­te­grate over­lap­ping in­puts from stake­hold­ers, how to forge col­lab­o­ra­tions be­tween build­ing and city, de­sign and tech­nol­ogy, mar­ket­place and pol­icy.

The Master of Science (In­te­grated Sus­tain­able De­sign) pro­gramme equips can­di­dates with the in­sight, knowl­edge and skill sets for a holis­tic ap­proach to sus­tain­abil­ity with which they can as­sume a role of lead­er­ship in their re­spec­tive dis­ci­pline and or­gan­i­sa­tion.

It of­fers them an op­por­tu­nity to ac­quire the mind­set of in­te­gra­tive think­ing which, in the quest for sus­tain­able so­lu­tions, is “the con­ver­gence of plan­ning, de­sign, tech­nol­ogy and pol­icy to­wards strate­gic out­comes”.

“There are three things that dif­fer­en­ti­ate this pro­gramme from oth­ers that carry the la­bel sus­tain­abil­ity.

“It fo­cuses on up­stream think­ing, early decisions at the draw­ing board which fun­da­men­tally shapes build­ing per­for­mance.

“We teach this through project-based learn­ing in stu­dios that are multi-dis­ci­plinary and highly in­ten­sive.

“Se­condly, the pro­gramme is Asia-cen­tric; the world is our class­room.

“Sin­ga­pore is the city-lab through which we en­gage the is­sues and crit­i­cally un­der­stand ap­pli­ca­tion.

“Lastly, the pro­gramme gives at­ten­tion to both the build­ing and the ur­ban scale of the prob­lem.

“To ad­dress sus­tain­abil­ity, there is no op­tion but to see how things con­nect across dif­fer­ent scales,” added Dr Nir­mal.

For more in­for­ma­tion on this and other post­grad­u­ate pro­grammes of­fered by the NUS School of De­sign & En­vi­ron­ment, such as the Master of Land­scape Ar­chi­tec­ture (MLA) and M.Sc (En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment), visit

World-class fa­cil­i­ties for a world-class univer­sity.

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