Cities worldwide are growing at  challenging and unprecedented speeds with Asia leading the rapid urbanization process that will take the region to transform its urban environments, populations and landscapes into the highest dense cities in our planet. This scenario requests the urgent need for urban design professionals, specially architects, planners, engineers and landscape architects, to tackle the challenges affecting cities such as changes in the living and working patterns, aging populations, new mobility trends, changes in the forms of industrial production and consumption, urban informality, population growth and migration, or the effects of climate change. These and other critical issues are affecting our urban and physical spaces, and in the coming years professionals trained in urban design will have a key role in shaping the future of our cities through innovative ideas and approaches.

NUS and the Department of Architecture have been leading the Urban Design education in Asia since 1998, when the MaUD was established as the first Master of Urban Design programme in Asia and the region. In more than 20 years of history, the MaUD has drawn on the contemporary successful urban experience of Singapore as a living laboratory, as well as on its role in helping to transform the region, to prepare the most innovative and creative thinking urban designers to envision strategic futures and design sustainable and resilient great urban places.

The Master of Urban Design programme is a one-year full-time international and interdisciplinary course (two-year part-time), oriented to those who seek an intense educational setting where to study the city in more complex and inclusive terms. Through a combination of real-setting urban design studios and focused modules you will work in addressing the challenges facing urban designers, architects and urbanists in the 21stcentury. You will be prepared to design successful urban spaces that take into careful consideration current and future users based on an understanding of a wide range of issues including those impinging on sustainability, resilience, economics, ecology, sociology, environmental psychology, technology, urban geography, cultural theory or real estate.

Asia-Pacific region constitutes our primary working territory, however the programme also offers international workshops and global perspectives in the teaching contents.

Master of Art in Urban Design HIGHTLIGHTS
Students Karan Arora, Aarzoo Samani, Himanshu Sonawat, Xiong Manchen at the 5th SIP Awards 2017

MLA students taking the class LA5303 (Urban Greening: Technologies and Techniques) visited Tokyo as part of a short-term exchange programme with Chiba University during the recess week. This year, NUS MLA students worked with Chiba University’s Landscape Architecture Department in the Graduate School of Horticulture, and landscape architecture students from Tsinghua University. Over the 10-day visit, students from the three universities worked on a small design project for landscape in Kashiwanoha Smart City. The overall context is that while technologies have made Kashiwanoha Smart City more sustainable and prepared for natural disasters, the landscapes seem to be under-emphasized in the overall strategic development of the city. The workshop requires students to analyse and demonstrate through landscape planning and design, ways in which landscapes can be aligned to the overall developmental objectives of the smart city, covering themes such as health and well-being, ecological enhancement, urban biodiversity, culture and identity, etc. The workshop culminated in a presentation with guest visitors from Kajima Corporation and Politechnico di Torino. In addition to the design project, students also attended a guided site visit by the landscape architect involved in the greenery planning and design of the city. There were also lectures from our industry guest visitor, and professors from Tsinghua and NUS. The trip also included site visits to notable greening projects in Tokyo, experimental and commercial plant factories in Chiba University, urban parks, and traditional Japanese Gardens.