Urban Planning and Management

Learn to understand dynamic urban processes and create interventions to help make cities competitive, compact, sustainable, inclusive and resilient.

How to make − and keep − the world’s modern cities healthy and attractive for the increasing multitudes living and working there? How to ensure that cities are sufficiently compact, sustainable, inclusive, competitive, and resilient? Realising these objectives requires a keen understanding of dynamic urban processes. In gaining such understanding geo-information science and technology constitute an indispensable source of information. Which is the very foundation for ITC’s specialization in Urban Planning and Management.

Mind you, this specialization is not only about acquiring geo-information knowledge and skills. On the contrary − you will be constantly challenged to apply what you have learned to current themes such as urban poverty, transport, climate change adaptation, disaster preparedness, and environmental planning. For your MSc research you’ll have the option of joining forces with dedicated ITC research group PLUS.

As a graduate you will be more than eligible for  positions in advisory, operational, technical and executive functions related to urban and regional planning.

Specialization Courses 

See the full programme structure for a complete overview of courses in the Master's Geo-information Science and Earth Observation. 

Planning Sustainable Cities (7 credits)

This course aims to develop a critical understanding of spatial planning based on academic discourses, the international development agenda and your own experiences. Throughout the module the role of spatial data and information systems in urban planning and management will be highlighted and illustrated.

You will develop a spatial understanding of specific urban issues in the students' home country by applying knowledge and skills in spatial information handling. The concept of Sustainability will be introduced and discussed in light of its rise as a global development paradigm since the early 90s. We will address the concept of sustainable urban development and make use of GIS-based and statistical methods to measure the dynamics of sustainable urban development. Available databases and data catalogues will be retrieved to map sustainability indicators. Different sustainable urban development frameworks will be studied, including bottom up planning processes and concepts contributing to sustainable development of cities and regions (such as Local Agenda 21, transition towns, cradle to cradle, peak oil, eco-urbanism).

Building Inclusive and Competitive Cities (7 credits)

Cities are unequal. Considerable parts of urban populations, especially in developing nations, are poor, whereas other urban residents are affluent or even rich. In part poverty is associated with the influx of generally poor rural immigrants in need of jobs, shelter and basic services such as water, electricity, education and health care. Levels of access to these basic services can differ a lot between socio-economic groups and will also vary across urban space. To address such inequalities, contemporary urban development strategies and policies are directed towards inclusion of socially and economically weaker groups. These population groups need to benefit most from sustainable planning interventions.

Cities are centres of economic growth. Successful cities offer competitive locations, attracting entrepreneurs, skilled workers and are centres of innovation, where liveability and inclusiveness are important factors of competitiveness. Classical economic models frequently disregard the role of geography when analysing the economic performance of an urban region, while urban competitiveness being a multi-dimensional concept requires an understanding of spatial relationships (e.g., variations of locational factors and clustering of economic activities). Furthermore, the role of land use (planning) and land markets is essential for understanding competitiveness in all its dimensions for building competitive and inclusive cities.

The Compact City (7 credits)

A course description will follow.

Risk‐Sensitive Urban Planning Studio (7 credits)

Course description will follow.

Key information

Top rated programme
Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
2 years
Full-time (no part-time programs possible)
100% English taught
Registration deadline
1 July 2019
Starting date
25 August 2019
End date
23 July 2021
Tuition fees
2019 / 2020
full-time, institutional
€ 26.775


ITC has entered into partnerships with reputable qualified educational institutes for the purpose of providing joint courses in several countries. Under this arrangement, (part of) the programme, leading to a diploma in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation from the University of Twente, can be conducted at the partner institute.