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The rise of the mega-cities: planning for change

By 2035, fourteen of the world’s mega-cities will have populations of more than 20 million people. Delhi will be the largest city in the world with more than 43 million; Tokyo will be next in line with 36 million.

In another generation, 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. That’s 6.7 billion city-slickers – 2.5 billion more than now.

They don’t call this the ‘urban century’ for nothing. And it’s little wonder that the world’s biggest challenges – over population, urbanisation, climate change, housing affordability – all have an urban dimension.

Creating a better world for the next generation will come down to planning cities – large and small – that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable; where planning decisions are based on ensuring that urban dwellers have access to public transport, homes, schools, jobs, food sources, social connections and whatever else they need to live a good life.

It will also mean doing things differently – developing new policies, new approaches to design, new ways of thinking about the importance of providing essential frameworks that foster a sense of community in even the largest of cities.

Already we’ve seen this process expand beyond the purview of government and into the private sector, with business (and career) opportunities for consultants, specialist planning agencies and developers of large estates that incorporate residential, commercial and corporate precincts.

That trend is set to become even more pronounced as new technologies, renewable energy and electronic transport options are retrofitted into existing urban environments.

As a result, the way planning disciplines are taught in higher education institutions is also changing.

‘City planning’ has emerged as a degree in its own right; recognising that cities will be – and already are – the dominant settlement form in this urban century.

Globally, Masters degrees in City Planning are offered by a select few benchmark built environment institutions and, in Australia, Bond University is only the second university to emphasise the city-shaping potential of urban planning through offering a Master of City Planning degree. The urban design approach to the planning of city regions is brought alive through our location on the Gold Coast in south-east Queensland – one of Australia’s key urban growth corridors – offering a living laboratory for experiential learning.

As a new program for Bond’s Faculty of Society & Design, the Master of City Planning incorporates the very latest technologies, innovation and design thinking to address the global challenges of rapid urbanisation, climate change, resource constraints and technological disruption.

The program is also delivered in intensive mode, with each subject delivered over three-day sessions, allowing students to complete the Masters degree in 16 months with minimal disruption to work and personal commitments.

Master of City Planning

Our Master of City Planning produces practice-oriented city planners and urban designers with the capacity to play a leading role in shaping sustainable cities and regions.

Learn more

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