Recent reports by the UN on projected population growth until the year 2300, as well as current population trends, have raised numerous issues, from access to healthcare to housing. Of particular importance is how these issues will affect the urban landscape, and how professionals can respond to these changing conditions, on both a local and global scale. Urban planners and designers must not only be concerned about issues such as congestion and mobility, urban renewal and densification, but must also “[take] into account…economic globalization, the consequences of the financial crisis, [and] climate change” as well.
Clearly, these are not matters that can simply be understood by scrolling through different websites over the course of a single afternoon. Luckily, just these issues are explored at Delft University of Technology’s Master of Science in Urbanism.
Housed under the MSc Programs of Architecture, Urbanism, and Building Sciences, Delft’s MS in Urbanism demonstrates that while architecture and urban planning are complementary, they require specialized training. Towards that end, the program has several specializations: Complex City Regions in Transformation, Delta Interventions, Urban Regeneration, Future Cities, and Design as Politics, to name a few.
While these are all intellectually and practically situated in Delft, the issues they examine are relevant throughout the globe, whether one is examining urban regions that are just developing or ones that are seeking renewal. For example, Future Cities focuses on visualizing and modeling future cities, while Design as Politics examines an oft-neglected area of how politics shapes urban planning through economics, interests of different groups, and policy planning.
In addition to these concentrations or majors, there are four research programs that further facilitate students’ understanding of urban planning. First is ULAB, which investigates delta urbanism, urbanism and the environment, and urban design. The Randstad group, using Randstad as but one case-study, examines issues of regional planning, international planning and development, as well as metropolitan planning and structure. Insight into history, theory, methodology and technology are the purview of The Urban Landscape program. Specifically, the goal is to advance better intellectual tools to “activate and renew actual landscape architecture as an open and inventive design discipline.” Finally, The Why Factory is a group that fosters collaboration of different building and planning professionals by promoting the interrogatory “why” to promote “the necessity to research, theorize and politicize the urban future as the actual territory of architecture” for future cities.
The Urbanism Master’s program also provides students with access to over 50 faculty members in different fields that span policy-making, urban planning, disaster intervention, modeling, and even philosophy. The program takes two full years and the application period begins in September and closes April 1. The application requires a B.A. or B.S., English proficiency (though nationals from the Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, USA, and U.K. are exempt), a personal essay, a CV, two letters of recommendation, and a portfolio. Tuition for international students is € 13,226 per year, and there are some scholarships available. The program also offers a Ph.D. as well.