International Urban Development Planning (PLAN9049)


This unit is designed to fill a significant gap in the evolution of the urban and regional planning syllabus. Development project assistance is a multi billion dollar industry with Australia alone contributing significantly through projects and technical assistance in Africa, Asia (east, south and north) and the Pacific. Additionally there are multilateral agency programs from the World and Asian Development Banks and from the largest donor countries of Japan, the United States and European nations. There are many parallels between urban and regional plan making and the design of development projects. Indeed, some planning consultancies are primarily engaged in international development assistance work. Differences in context, approach, content and implementation place particular demands on development project designers that are not addressed in standard land use planning texts. Additionally, expenditure of large sums of public money has brought with it demands for quality assurance (QA) assessment at each stage of the development project activity cycle. An introduction to QA methodology and practice is a necessary component of development project design. International development assistance is a huge business employing large numbers of Australian consultants, contractors and supplying companies together with those of partner governments. Planners contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of urban development projects in most of the neighbouring countries of Asia and the Pacific. Development project design is conditioned by several key elements including: components of the project activity cycle, thematic policy goals and essential quality assurance requirements. This unit is designed for planners who may work in the field of international development and who have an interest in better understanding urbanisation, especially in the Pacific Region. By the end of this unit of study you should have an understanding of the role and scope of urban development assistance project planning; an ability to undertake the studies required at each stage of the development project activity cycle; familiarity with the fundamentals of development project design; ability to comply with design conditions imposed by the key policy themes of: poverty, gender equity, environmental and sustainability focused development objectives; familiarity with the scope and character of urban and regional planning project design and implementation in the Asia-Pacific region; and an understanding of quality assurance assessment methodology in development project assessment. The unit reflects the increasing internationalisation of Australian planning practice in better managing urbanisation, especially within the Pacific Region. It caters to the needs of local and international students intending to work on urban and regional planning projects within a development assistance context.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Overseas Intensive Mode ¿ lectures, seminars and group work discussions, International Field Trip.


Two major assignments: (1) development concepts and current issues (50%); (2) draft project design document and analysis (40%); attendance and participation (international field trip) (10%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Additional Information

In 2017 this unit will be run as an overseas intensive.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.