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Spatial Planning for Sustainable Cities

This course aims to develop a critical understanding of spatial planning based on academic discourses, the international development agenda and the students' own experiences. Throughout the course 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 your 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 Sustainable City as one of the visions of desirable future cities. We make use of GIS-based and statistical methods to measure the dynamics of working towards sustainability in an urban context. Available databases and data catalogues will be retrieved to map sustainability indicators. Different sustainability frameworks will be studied and debated, including bottom up planning processes and concepts contributing to the sustainable development of cities and regions (such as Local Agenda 21, transition towns, cradle to cradle, peak oil, ecourbanism, and degrowth).


Are you a mid-career professional and national of -and living and working in one of the countries listed here? You might consider applying for a scholarship from the Orange Knowledge Programme (former NFP).

Deadline intake 2019 passed
The application deadline has now passed for intake 2019. We will publish the new call for intake 2020 here. Please have a regular look at our website or follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn for further announcements!

What is the course content?

Concepts/ theories and frameworks

  1. What is planning
  2. Planning instruments/ types of plans
  3. Planning traditions
  4. Contemporary planning issues in the global south
  5. Examples of theories in planning.
  6. Concepts of sustainability, urban sustainability; sectors of sustainability; sustainability frameworks
  7. Planning processes, Role of GI in planning

 Methods and tools

  1. Statistical data collection
  2. Urban data collection
  3. Descriptive statistics
  4. Indicators
  5. Sustainability assessment
  6. Statistical relationships
  7. Geographical patterns
  8. Data visualization and reporting

About your diploma

Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive a Certificate which will include the name of the course. 

Along with your Certificate you will receive a Course Record providing the name, and if applicable, all the subjects studied as part of the course. It states: the course code, subject, EC credits, exam date, location and the mark awarded.

This certificate course is part of the accredited Master’s  Geo-information Science and earth Observation at ITC. If you decide to take the full Master’s Geo-information Science and Earth Observation at ITC, the Examination Board will give you in principle exemption from the course you followed successfully as a certificate course.

Admission requirments

Academic level and background

Applicants for the Certificate programme should have a Bachelor degree or equivalent from a recognized university in a discipline related to the course, preferably combined with working experience in a relevant field.

Some courses in the Certificate programme or separate modules require knowledge of, and skills in, working with GIS and/or digital image processing of remotely sensed data.

Skills in taught or related subjects are a prerequisite for some courses in the Certificate programme or separate modules. Even if the applicant satisfies the overall admission requirements, acceptance is not automatic.


The faculty accepts transcripts, degrees and diplomas in the following languages: Dutch, English, German, French and Spanish. It is at the discretion of the faculty to require additional English translations of all documents in other languages as well.

English language

As all courses are given in English, proficiency in the English language is a prerequisite.

If you are a national of one of the countries in this list (PDF), you are exempted from an English language test.

Please note: the requirements when applying for fellowships may vary according to the regulations of the fellowship provider.

English language tests: minimum requirements

Only internationally recognised test results are accepted.

TOEFL Paper-based Test (PBT)


TOEFL Internet-based Test


British Council / IELTS



C2 Proficiency / C1 Advanced

Computer skills

Applicants lacking computer experience are strongly advised to follow basic courses in their home countries.

Key information

9 weeks
Full-time (no part-time programs possible)
100% English taught
Starting date
11 November 2019
End date
31 January 2020
Enschede, Netherlands
Tuition fees
2019 / 2020
full-time, institutional
€ 3.124