50 years of Town and Regional Planning at the University of Dundee

The 50th anniversary of Town and Regional Planning education in Dundee is being marked this month.

Planning education began in Dundee in 1964 when the School of Architecture, at the then Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, decided to introduce a new course in Town and Regional Planning. In 1967, following a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Visiting Board, the course was professionally accredited and as a result the qualifications of the first graduates in 1968 were recognised as exempt from the RTPI's own examination processes.

A separate School of Town and Regional Planning was created as part of this accreditation process. Today, Town and Regional Planning forms part of the School of the Environment within the University.

Responding to changing contexts and circumstances over the years, Town and Regional Planning’s research and teaching has expanded, providing an increasing range of environmentally related programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Events to mark the 50th anniversary – as well as the centenary of the Royal Town Planning Institute – are taking place around World Planning Day, which falls on Saturday November 8th.

“Our own 50th anniversary and the centenary of the RTPI come at a time of significant interest and excitement in what is happening with planning in Dundee, particularly with regard to the waterfront,” said Deborah Peel, Professor of Architecture and Planning at the University of Dundee.

“There is a long and proud history of town and regional planning in Dundee. Sir Patrick Geddes, a founding father of the ideas behind planning in the public interest, was based at the University for part of his career.

“Many of our alumni have gone on to hold leading roles in shaping and transforming our built and natural environments for the better.  Our current students in Town and Regional Planning and Environmental Sustainability will have to confront the new challenges of climate change, ageing populations and new pressures on the land resources.  This new generation of students is using social media and applications such as Minecraft to engage communities positively in shaping their futures.”

One of the final events taking place to mark this anniversary year and the RTPI centenary will offer perspectives on the changes taking place across Dundee’s waterfront.

`Perspectives on Culture-led Regeneration in Dundee’ is a public event being held at 6pm on Tuesday November 11th in the Tower Building at the University. Co-organised with the Scottish Young Planners Network, it will see speakers discussing the context for Dundee’s regeneration – where it emerged from and how it has been realised through the planning system.

Speakers include Deborah Peel, Chair of Architecture and Planning, University of Dundee; Sean Panton, Young Planner and final year student, University of Dundee; and Gordon Reid, Team Leader, Development Plans and Regeneration, Dundee City Council.

Professor Peel said, “Dundee bears witness to positive planning in managing change in the city. The waterfront developments are heralded at an international level as a way of transforming the legacy of an important industrial past. The City Council’s approach to planning and regeneration has demonstrated a powerful sensitivity to continuity in this strategic part of the city by ensuring an appropriate balance of aesthetic, social, economic and environmental characteristics.”

Roddy Isles
Head of Press
TEL: 01382 384910
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E-MAIL: r.isles@dundee.ac.uk