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Thread: Studying Abroad & Urban Plan

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Batmanda's avatar
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    Studying Abroad & Urban Plan

    I am going into my second year at UCSD, majoring in Urban Studies and Planning. In general, I'm more interested in the design as well as community development parts, rather than political side. I was wondering if anyone else has studied abroad in the subject, and what universities outside of the USA would be best. Also, if anyone knows of a city in general that would be good to study my subject in that would be great, too. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    I suggest you have a look at programs at the University of Melbourne. By reputation only (I've not attended there), they are probably leading Australia in Urban Planning and have a close affiliation with the design school. Melbourne City is also walking the talk with some brilliant public domain improvements over the last, say 5 years.

    Here is a link to the University home page and here is a link to the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning.

    There may be some movement on a new Planning School at the University of Newcastle in a couple of years, if that fits your timeframe. Newcastle (and the town next door especially) offer some superior lifestyle choices.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    I'm there right now.
    They do have some good stuff. Interestingly, though Melbourne may be doing well in some regards, it's public transit system -as a whole-, to be blunt, sucks. Refer to the work of Paul Mees, who teaches transport planning here, though it might be hard to get hold of his book on the subject since they haven't gotten around to reprinting it.. very good book though on the necessity of network effect and intermodal coordination, which Melbourne lacks. They do lead in understanding exactly why the transportation is bad, and how they could make it far better if political conditions were a bit different.
    RMIT has a much larger program, apparently, but I can't speak as to the quality of it, and their international outreach seems virtually nonexistant. The focus may be different, too.
    I'm doing transportation planning, not design, I know I see lots of architects wandering the architecture and old commerce buildings all the time working on CAD or carrying models of various buildings, but I can't speak to their program as i'm not in it.

  4. #4
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    I studied at the University of Sheffield, England during the fall semester of 2005. Academically, pretty good experience although I was not able to take classes that I really wanted during that term, like the intro to British planning. If you're looking for more urban design, I heard New Castle is better. I visited New Castle for only day...gorgeous! Sheffield itself is an interesting study of bringing an old industrial center into the 21st century. The movie the "Full Monty" takes place there, but unless you purposely go out of your way into the "seedy" sections of Sheffield, you won't see a struggling city.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I believe that BU's study abroad office offers an "honors" study abroad program that focuses specifically on the development of cities and spans the globe. If I remember correctly, you visit major cities in India, Brazil and Paris over the course of like 4 months.
    Edit: BU=Boston Univ.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Oh, I will comment that one of the things U Melbourne does well (though my ability to compare is, of course, limited) is in it's ability thus far to get a broad international perspective. There are a LOT of international students from all over (mainly various parts of Asia, and i've worked with people who had gotten their experience in various parts of the Middle East) who put together projects relating to those places; this is, in fact, a major reason I chose to come here. Not much good to travel abroad if you land in a school with a narrow local focus.

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