General Questions

WHAT IS TOWN AND REGIONAL PLANNING?

Though you may not realise it, you experience the product of (or need for) town and regional planning every day. For example, an urban planner designed the layout of your neighbourhood, or planned for the integration of the transport and other land-uses around the Gautrain stations (e.g. Hatfield, Midrand), or in the vicinity of the 2010 soccer stadiums (e.g. Loftus, Soccer City); a planner proposed specific areas to become accessible, mixed land-use, higher density nodes in the city (e.g. Brooklyn, Sandton); a group of planners and other professionals thought about what the future may hold, how the city should develop over the next 20-30 years and what interventions are necessary to accomplish this vision (e.g. the Joburg 2030 Strategy); planners developed a strategy for the physical and economic growth of the region to become internationally competitive (e.g. Gauteng Global City Region); a planner analysed what is necessary for a rural community to survive and grow.

Yet there is still so much to be done in South Africa: many people live in informal settlements with no water or sanitation, cities are threatening the environment and are threatened by climate change-related disasters in turn, public transport needs to be improved, big developments and big events need planning for, the look and feel of the city needs to be improved through urban design, townships need to be integrated with the rest of the city, city centre and rural areas need to be revitalised, and all of these actions must be managed, assessed, adapted and implemented. To summarise: it is all about bringing change and transformation to cities and regions for people to thrive in, given the social, political, economic, environmental, cultural and institutional context of South Africa.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH A DEGREE IN PLANNING?

A degree in town and regional planning is in high demand, and has been identified as one of the top-five scarce skills in South Africa. More than any other profession, a town and regional planner has many options to choose from in terms of the sector and line of work. You may choose to work for a private firm, start your own business or become a business partner in a multi-disciplinary project; you may decide to work in the public sector for a parastatal (e.g. Eskom, Transet), local, provincial or national government; you may prefer to work in the non-governmental sector with other professions for the good of a community or a specific cause (e.g. the United Nations, Isandla Institute); or you may want to do research, training and development at a university or research institution (e.g. Tuks, CSIR, CDE, HSRC). You may choose to work in one or a combination of the following domains: land-use management, urban design, development economics, transportation planning, spatial planning, inner city regeneration, environmental management, planning law, rural development, tourism, property development, sustainable human settlement planning, strategic development, housing, regional planning, infrastructure development, GIS, long-term planning, integrated development planning, local economic development, etc. 

WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER STUDYING TOWN AND REGIONAL PLANNING AT UP?

The University of Pretoria (TUKS) is one of the most prestigious universities in South Africa. It offers all the opportunities of a social and academic student life, first class technology, and a tranquil study environment on our beautiful campus. The Department of Town and Regional Planning at the University of Pretoria is one of the best, if not the finest, in the country. Its programmes have been accredited by the South African Planning Council (SACPLAN), which means that you can register as a professional planner once you have completed your training. The Department offers internationally recognised bachelor, masters and PhD degrees in a multi-cultural setting, in the economic hub of South Africa. Our modules are up to date, relevant and practical, equipping students with skills and knowledge essential to the planning profession. Thus, if you like problem solving, are creative but pragmatic, have a social and political consciousness, communicate well in writing/design/verbally, are inquisitive and can handle a challenging environment, then town and regional planning will not disappoint you.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDYING TOWN AND REGIONAL PLANNING AT UP?

Please consult our website for selection criteria. The closing date for applications is 30 June, and we only take 50 new students each year. To apply, contact the Client Services Centre at +27(0)12 420 3111 or apply online at www.up.ac.za.

For more information, contact us at +27 (0)12 420 3531 or browse our website at www.up.ac.za/townplanning

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