MEET­ING THE DE­MANDS OF THE FU­TURE

Master of Ur­ban Plan­ning pro­gramme at Amer­i­can Univer­sity of Shar­jah ad­dresses ur­ban growth

Arabian Business English - - SPOTLIGHT -

This year, the United Na­tion’s projects that 68 per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion will be liv­ing in cities by 2050, a fig­ure that more than dou­bles the ur­ban pop­u­la­tion of 1950.

Due to this un­prece­dented growth, the ur­ban plan­ning pro­fes­sion has been hailed as one of the ‘top ten ca­reers for to­mor­row’. There are there­fore am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties for pro­fes­sion­als to cre­ate an im­pact by im­prov­ing the way hu­mans cre­ate and in­habit ur­ban spa­ces, and find­ing ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions to com­plex ur­ban de­vel­op­ment is­sues. Re­spond­ing to in­creased in­dus­try de­mand for ur­ban plan­ning pro­fes­sion­als, Amer­i­can Univer­sity of Shar­jah of­fers the Master of Ur­ban Plan­ning pro­gramme through the re­gion’s most rig­or­ous and pres­ti­gious venue for learn­ing about the built en­vi­ron­ment – the Col­lege of Ar­chi­tec­ture, Art and De­sign. As the first pro­fes­sional pro­gramme of its kind in the UAE, the pro­gramme is de­signed to equip this re­gion’s ur­ban plan­ners with the abil­ity to deal with plan­ning chal­lenges in a lo­cal con­text, without over­look­ing broader global di­men­sions and trends such as sus­tain­able ur­ban plan­ning. With sus­tain­abil­ity as a ba­sic guid­ing prin­ci­ple, the pro­gramme ac­tively ad­dresses the chal­lenges of rapid mod­ern ur­ban growth in a way that cre­ates pos­i­tive im­pact and change. Whether as­pir­ing to work in the pub­lic or the pri­vate sec­tor, or to start a plan­ning con­sult­ing firm, there are many op­por­tu­ni­ties for a suc­cess­ful ca­reer as an ur­ban plan­ner. Grad­u­ates from the pro­gramme now oc­cupy lead­er­ship po­si­tions in pub­lic plan­ning agen­cies, while oth­ers have be­come en­trepreneurs in re­lated busi­nesses. Some grad­u­ates have gone on to com­plete ad­vanced de­grees and are teach­ing at lo­cal uni­ver­si­ties. The Master of Ur­ban Plan­ning pro­gramme is a two-year com­mit­ment for full-time grad­u­ate stu­dents. Al­ter­na­tively, work­ing pro­fes­sion­als can take ad­van­tage of a part-time study op­tion, giv­ing them the flex­i­bil­ity of work­ing while pur­su­ing a grad­u­ate qual­i­fi­ca­tion in ur­ban plan­ning. Dr Varkki Pallathucheril, Dean of the Col­lege of Ar­chi­tec­ture, Art and De­sign, says: “Work­ing in part­ner­ship with gov­ern­men­tal and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions, our pro­grammes ad­dress the most rel­e­vant is­sues faced by to­day’s ur­ban plan­ners, com­bin­ing aca­demic rigor, skilled prac­tice and a sig­nif­i­cant pro­fes­sional net­work for our stu­dents. “As the pre­miere in­sti­tu­tion for grad­u­ate ed­u­ca­tion in ur­ban plan­ning in the UAE, we are im­mensely proud to play a cen­tral role in nur­tur­ing a plan­ning pro­fes­sion indige­nous to the re­gion.”

“We are im­mensely proud to play a cen­tral role in nur­tur­ing a plan­ning pro­fes­sion indige­nous to the re­gion” DR VARKKI PALLATHUCHERIL, Dean of the Col­lege of Ar­chi­tec­ture, Art and De­sign, AUS

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