School of Urban and Regional Planning

The School of Urban and Regional Planning was created to bring together all studies related to Planning under one umbrella at the University of Alberta. You can pursue an undergraduate degree (either BA or BSc), a course-based Master's degree, or a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning.

Photo credit: City of Edmonton

What, exactly, is Planning?

Formally, the definition is: the scientific, aesthetic, and orderly disposition of land, resources, facilities and services with a view to securing the physical, economic and social efficiency, health and well-being of urban and rural communities. Responsible planning has always been vital to the sustainability of safe, healthy and secure urban environments. As Canada's population grows, the planning profession must deal with pressures and impacts of urbanization: for instance, the conversion of land from natural habitats to urban built areas, the maintenance and use of natural resources and habitats, environmental protection and the development and renewal of major infrastructure. Currently, there are approximately 8500 planning professionals in Canada.

What do Planners do?

A planner's activities include designating land use, designing social and community services, managing cultural and heritage resources, creating economic capacity in local communities and addressing transportation and infrastructure. Planners may work for the public or the private sector-but ultimately their work always touches on public policy. They balance various private interests with the public interest and identify viable options. To meet increasingly complex urban challenges, planners need to know about land, air and water resources, employment trends, cultural diversity and associated issues, new technologies, and conflict resolution.

Our Vision

"A redefined planning practice that advances liveable futures."