MEETING THE DEMANDS OF THE FUTURE
Master of Urban Planning programme at American University of Sharjah addresses urban growth
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