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University of Westminster students set to create sustainable cities for the future

Architecture and Interiors 21 December 2015

Responding to the growing challenges posed by a rapidly urbanising global population, the University of Westminster has launched the new Designing Cities: Planning and Architecture BA Honours course to equip the next generation of urban planners with interdisciplinary skills to cross fertilise the fields of urban planning and architectural design.

The COP21 climate summit has demonstrated the importance of cities in the global movement to reduce the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere. Climate change, cultural diversity, globalisation and technological innovation are only some of the issues that will need to be increasingly addressed in an international context when creating towns and cities in the future. This new integrated degree course aims to educate a new breed of planning professionals who will have a broad vision for future cities, and who will have analytical, problem solving and design skills, which enable them to effectively contribute to sustainable development.

The course has been given enthusiastic support from the development industry. London based property developer Goldcrest Land plc committed to giving one student on the course the Designing Cities Scholarship of £1,000 per year for the next three years. “We are passionate about the places and spaces in which we live and work and their ability to shape our experience and quality of life. Never has it been more important to encourage and inspire talented young people to participate in how our towns and cities are planned. We are delighted to lend our support through the Designing Cities Scholarship to this very exciting and important new course.”

As part of one of the largest university scholarship schemes in the UK at the University of Westminster, ten first year students taking the course will also receive Designing Cities Bursaries of £2000 each.

Dr Suzy Nelson, Acting Course Leader of Designing Cities: Planning and Architecture BA Honours in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, said: “This course offers the opportunity to learn in a creative and intellectually stimulating environment. Graduates of the course will be equipped with the skills needed to create vibrant, socially inclusive and resilient cities and will have excellent employment prospects.”

Based at the University’s Marylebone Campus in the heart of London, the new practice-focussed Designing Cities: Planning and Architecture BA Honours course is the only interdisciplinary undergraduate planning and architecture course that uses the global city of London with its variety of challenges as a learning environment. Students will also undertake a work placement as part of the course and will work with local community organisations in different national contexts to identify local issues and develop possible solutions.

Waheed Nazir, Director of Planning and Regeneration for Birmingham City Council, who was awarded a Town Planning BA degree by the University of Westminster in 1996, said: “I am delighted to lend my support to this course, which offers students the opportunity to develop into highly employable, well-rounded, multi skilled professionals who will be well equipped to take forward the future of our cities and support the delivery of growth.”

Katy Neaves, Executive Chair of the Urban Design Group and Head of Visual Impact Assessment at Turley, said: “This course provides the base for students to work within the built environment and develop a wider appreciation of urban planning and architectural design in an international context. I am particularly supportive of the work placement the course offers, which will provide real-life experience and reflection that the student can apply within their future built environment careers.”

Applications for the Designing Cities: Planning and Architecture BA Honours course are available through UCAS.

Applications for the Designing Cities Scholarship and the Designing Cities Bursaries open on 11 January 2016.


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.


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