Introduction

 

 

  1. Brief History

 

Urban and Regional Planning (URP), in different contexts and conceptualisations, has been referred to as “town planning”, “urban planning”, “town and country planning” or “physical planning”.  It is concerned with the spatial ordering of land use both in the urban and rural settings for the purpose of creating functionally efficient and aesthetically pleasing physical environment for living, working, circulation and recreation. It aims at improving the welfare of people and their communities by creating more convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive places for present and future generations.  Urban and regional planning is a broad-based discipline, requiring a multi-disciplinary approach and knowledge. Therefore, it requires a comprehensive education and training in the planning, design and management of the total environment.

 

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning evolved from the Master of Planning Science (MPS) programme structured by the Department of Geography, Faculty of the Social Sciences, between 1974/75 and 1978/79 sessions. The MPS course had to fold up after the 1978/79 session for a number of reasons, chief among which was the non-recognition of the graduates of the programme by the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP). In the 1980/81 session, the Department of Geography made a determined effort to re-organize the programme in a way that it would qualify for professional recognition. A new syllabus was, therefore, designed with the knowledge of and input from the NITP through its Education Committee. The programme, which was renamed Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) on the advice of the NITP, took off in the 1981/82 academic session with 18 students.

The Centre for Urban and Regional Planning became a full-fledged Department in March 2004.  The long years of experience since 1983 has earned the Department an enviable position among planning schools in Nigeria. This has been achieved through several rigorous research works, studio demonstrations and in-depth academic work. Since its inception as a Centre in 1983 and its transformation into the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in 2004, only post-graduate programmes have been conducted in the Department. With the establishment of the Faculty of Environmental Design and Management in the University, the undergraduate programme will commence soonest more so that the B.Sc. URP (undergraduate) curriculum has been approved by the Senate of the University of Ibadan. The Department has had and passed all accreditation visits.

 

ii. Vision of the Department

To be the most outstanding School of Urban and Regional Planning in Nigeria in terms of the quality of training, relevance of research and public outreach.

iii. Mission Statement

The role of the Department is to provide leading University education in Urban and Regional Planning in Africa. The Department seeks to place Urban and Regional Planning in its proper social, political and economic context.

The goal of the Department is the pursuit of excellence in Urban and Regional Planning and this has challenged several postgraduate students of the Department and other planning institutions to desire to expand the horizon of their knowledge.  The Department subsequently decided to broaden the academic base of its professional programme to produce planners that can competently handle diverse planning issues and concepts with in-depth focus on some specialized areas. The Academic and the Professional M. Sc in Urban and Regional Planning were, therefore, approved by Senate of the University of Ibadan in September 2001. This has become very urgent in contemporary times because of the dearth of senior academics in the various planning schools across the country.  The University of Ibadan is being looked upon to produce these much-needed personnel for the increasing number of Town Planning Departments in the expanding number of the nation’s Universities and Polytechnics at higher academic levels up to the PhD level.

The PhD programme in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning was also approved by Senate of the University of Ibadan in September 2001. This was a product of several years of struggle to package and properly refine the programme to meet the needs and aspirations of the several postgraduate students that have been longing to share in the prestigious and high quality outputs of the Department, and also to be increasingly relevant in view of the dynamics of contemporary times.

The Department has also undertaken several structural and academic enhancements to ensure that the products of the Department are at breast with contemporary global challenges and dynamics, especially in the field of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Globalization, Human Dimension in Land Use/ Land Cover Change, Environmental Sustainability, Good Governance and many contemporary issues that have repercussions for planning.

The postgraduate programmes in the Department are designed to meet the needs of full-time students intending to become effectively involved in the physical development planning profession in an environment such as Nigeria.  Urban and Regional Planning is eclectic in scope and this is why this programme is made sufficiently broad-based to bestride these complementary planning fields.  This ensures that whilst meeting the general requirements of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) and the Town Planners Registration Council (TOPREC), the programme incorporates much of the social science-oriented urban and regional planning theory and methodology that normally lie beyond the scope of a town planning programme.  To ensure their relevance and acceptability, experienced and competent planning experts, particularly urban and regional planners, both on full-time and part-time employment, man the programmes.  These are being complemented by the existing expertise built-up over the years in other Departments such as Geography, Economics and Sociology.

The programme is designed with a view to giving due weight to each of theory and practice through lectures, seminars, computer applications, laboratory/studio demonstrations and field investigations.  It is recognized that while enough premium should be placed on the practical aspects of the learning process, a rigorous theoretical foundation is very desirable for both laboratory and fieldwork. The application of computer to planning design and problem solving has been included in the curriculum to enable students to be at breast with contemporary developments in ICT.

 

2          EXISITNG PROGRAMMES IN THE DEPARTMENT

 

There are six (6) existing programmes in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. These include;

a          Professional Master Degree in URP (MURP)

b          Academic and Professional Master degree in URP (M.Sc. URP)

c          Professional Master (M.Sc.) Degree in Housing Development and Management.

d          MPhil URP

e          MPhil/Ph.D URP

f         Ph.D URP