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The research focus of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning is two-pronged, focusing on (1) global environmental change and (2) smart cities research themes. Under the global environmental change, research has focused on ecosystem services, landscape change, climate change, natural resource management and sustainable rural livelihoods. For the smart cities theme, research has focused on smart mobility, intelligent transport systems and integrated transport planning.
The research component is well incorporated in the curricula of the programmes offered by the Department. Students get exposed to research engagements in areas of primary and secondary research through module-specific assignments, through research projects at exit level and through participation in the Urban Conversation Series where experts and/or guest lecturers are invited by the Department to speak and showcase research-oriented projects on several planning themes.
All the coursework programmes offered by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning have research module components. The Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning has Research Techniques in Planning (RESTRA3), offered in the first semester, third-year level. The Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (Honours) has Research Methodology and Research Report (UPR8X00) offered as a year module. The Master’s in Sustainable Urban Planning and Development (MSUPD) has a minor dissertation that runs over two semesters. Besides these coursework modules, the Department also offers a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning (Research Dissertation), and PhD (Urban and Regional Planning).