Urban and Regional Planning

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The fame of the Urban and Regional Planning Institute, part of the Sorbonne, has crossed well beyond European borders. Directly connected to the industry, it has, over the last 25 years, created close links with the professional organisations involved in this field. Its degree is particularly sought after by various entities or firms operating in the discipline.

A training and a diploma recognised and accredited by the Association for the Promotion of Education and Research in Urban Planning (l’Association pour la Promotion de l’Enseignement et de la Recherche en Aménagement et Urbanisme)(APERAU) and at the European level by the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP), the Master in Urban and Regional Planning delivered by the Sorbonne AD is a completely French degree offered in collaboration between Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4) and the Urban and Regional Planning Institute in Paris.

Our faculty is composed of eminent professors from Paris-Sorbonne and the Urban and regional Planning Institute and external working professionals, practising in Europe, in the Middle East or else where in the world, the Master degree in Urban and Regional Planning will put you in contact with faculty or professionals who are internationally recognised in their respective fields.

This degree is aimed primarily at working professionals with high potential, drawn from all types and sizes of businesses and organisations.

The Sorbonne’s Master degree covers a different ground compared to similar degrees delivered elsewhere. While a significant amount of time is dedicated to Human and Social Sciences, it is, with the help of industry professionals, directly connected with the Gulf area economic context, thus preparing for a vibrant and expanding market.

The five legs of the programme begin with an introduction to the fundamentals that encompasses urbanism and land planning history, law, tools, constraints, and engineering, alongside more topical courses like Islamic Law and Urbanism law in the various emirates, a study of the various actors in planning, logics, and strategies, and the different tools used in planning decisions.

From there on, the programme is completed through thematic approaches, specialised approaches, workshops, and the final thesis. Themes fall into a diverse range of sectors, from the touristic to environmental, and transport to real estate, while the specialist topics discuss finance, risks, city politics, regeneration, heritage, and assembly operations

The professional Master degree in Urban and Regional Planning is spread over 3 semesters (18 months), and encompasses all areas involved in urban planning and local development. The topics are described here below, while the specific organisation of the each semester will be provided before the beginning of each semester. Courses are scheduled for 3 days every 2 weeks, covering Saturday full day, and Sunday and Monday evenings.


  • Introduction to urbanism and land planning
  • History of land planning and architecture
  • Urban Planning Law in the UAE
  • Islamic Law/Urbanism law and litigation in the various Emirates
  • Urban Planning Law in Europe
  • Legal tools of planning, operational urbanism
  • Factors and constraints of urban development
  • Tools of representation and assistance in planning decisions
  • Geographic information system (GIS): conception, implementation and application
  • Urban engineering
  • Building material and structures, Economy of construction
  • Public space and planning
  • Land law at the core of urban management
  • Land issues in the Emirates
  • Urbanisation in Gulf Countries


  • Real estate
  • Urban regeneration in Europe
  • Project development, Economy and real estate expertise
  • Housing and its financing
  • The real estate enterprise
  • Commerce and distribution
  • Tourism and touristic planning
  • Heritage in EAU & issues
  • Environment and sustainable development
  • Politic and urban planning
  • Transport, mobility and logistics


  • Public finances
  • Financing techniques and assembly operations
  • Audit and evaluation
  • Risk, Reliance and more sustainable Cities
  • Urban revival
  • Architecture, heritage and landscape
  • Strategic foresight for cities



The schedule is carefully designed to suit the existing lifestyle of working professionals by concentrating the classes over short periods and will guarantee a real return on your time and effort. It allows continuation of one’s full time employment. For those considering a career change, organising one or several internships during the courses is highly recommended.

Also, a study tour is usually held around the end of programme.

Created over 25 years ago, and part of the Sorbonne University, the Institute prepares for careers in Urban Planning at local, regional or national level. The job opportunities are with design consultancy firms, urban or rural developers, real estate agencies, and are to be found in both the public and the private sector.

Highly innovative since its inception, the Institute has very close links with the profession and the industry, in particular with the French Association of Town Planners, Association of French Mayors (AMIF), National Committee of Town Networks, and many territorial bodies, the Regional Council of Ile-de-France, Paris Urban Workshop (APUR), and collaboration with the city of Paris and many others in France and abroad in Bangalore, Colombo, and Istanbul.