Architecture, Geomatics & Planning


Bachelor of City Planning Honours degree and Masters of City and Regional Planning degree (linked).

City and Regional Planning is a profession which contributes to the management of change in the built and natural environment. Planning as an activity is a collective societal effort to imagine or re-imagine an urban or regional environment and to translate this into priorities for investment, conservation, new and upgraded settlement, strategic infrastructure investments and principles of land use regulation. At the core of urban planning is a concern with space and the making of ‘place’. Planning is also fundamentally a political activity rather than a neutral, technical activity. It is shaped by values, and planners are constantly called upon to make ethical judgments in relation to different possible futures (from UN Habitat: Planning Sustainable Cities, 2009).

The Honours and Masters programmes at UCT recognize the particular demands of cities and regions in Africa and in the global South, in the 21st century. This requires us to engage with issues of poverty, inequality, informality, rapid urbanization and environmental change. Our partnership with affiliates of Slum Dwellers International in Cape Town allows students to engage first-hand with the issue of informal settlements and their improvement. The close link to the African Centre for Cities and the Association of African Planning Schools exposes students to the diversities of urban life on the continent and the exciting potentials which these offer.

Graduates from the masters programme find work in government at all levels, in private practice, in NGOs, in related fields of environmental, transport or housing development, or in the property finance sector. Planners generally work in an inter-disciplinary environment with other professionals engaged in the built environment. The planner’s work can range from local scale design to metropolitan planning to policy work. It is a diverse field. While the programme content is shaped by the context of South Africa and Africa more widely, graduates are able to put their skills to good use in almost any part of the world.

The Honours programme (which is shared in part with the Landscape Architecture Programme) is concerned with planning in local and metropolitan settings. Studio projects are supported by lecture-based courses in planning theory, environmental issues, urban infrastructure, urban design, planning law, and the institutional and economic context of planning and urban development. The Masters programme covers regional planning through both project and theory work, with a focus on the generation of economic, landscape and settlement frameworks in regional space. The second part of this year involves individual dissertation work. Contact Ms Naomi Gihwala for applications: Visit our Facebook page