Department of Geography and Planning

Department of Geography and Planning
Department of Geography and Planning
What is Urban Planning?

Urban Planning is a profession and an academic discipline that is devoted to the organization of land use, resources and services in cities. Urban Planners require sound knowledge of land use policy as well as strong legal, behavioral and social skills in order to successfully work in the field. Cities have become key sites for understanding contemporary social life. They are sites of innovation and creativity in economic, cultural and political life but they are also sites of striking inequality, poverty and conflict that pose a challenging array of planning, governance and environmental issues. Planners play a vital role alongside governments and social groups to guide the design and operation of cities with a view to securing the efficiency, health and well-being of urban and rural communities.

Canadian Business ranked ‘urban planner’ as the 19th best job in Canada for 2017, based on salary, number of employees, and occupational growth There’s also been a hike in demand for urban planners from governments and developers in recent years, as land use issues have become increasingly complicated in both rural and urban regions. According to Canadian Business, the burgeoning demand for urban planning expertise has brought about a greater degree of specialization within the profession. Private planning consultancies and even law firms now routinely employ planners, whilst other firms have carved out niches in urban design, project management and public consultation- a sideline of planning that focuses on attracting, synthesizing and then interpreting community feedback.

For more information about Urban and Regional Planning at Queen’s see:

Certificate in Urban Planning Studies (URPS-C-UPS)

The Certificate in Urban Planning Studies introduces students to urban planning-related issues grounded in an appreciation of city life and city structures, and prepares students for advanced studies and careers related to urban planning, such as community development, real estate, municipal governance, international development, or education.The Certificate in Urban Planning Studies provides a balanced, multi-disciplinary approach to the study of cities by incorporating the main disciplinary foundations of the study of urban planning including social planning, municipal regulation, transportation, real estate law, resource management, land use planning, and community relations. This certificate provides students with an opportunity for focused, advanced study of city planning and city development, combined with skills regarding the practice of urban planning that will support them should they decide to complete a professional degree in this field.

What can you do with it?

The Certificate in Urban Planning Studies is a credential for students who are looking for an introduction to urban planning studies and who may be seeking to boost their chances of acceptance to a graduate program in Urban Planning. This certificate is not part of any accredited program associated with the planning profession in the provinces and territories of Canada. Students who take the Certificate will also gain a better understanding of planning-related issues in cognate areas like engineering, community development, municipal governance, or environmental studies.

Am I eligible for the Certificate in Urban Planning Studies?

Every student enrolled in a degree program at Queen’s University is eligible for the Certificate in Urban Planning Studies. Students will be expected to successfully complete complete 12.0 units of courses (i.e., 4 courses of 3.0 units each, for a total of 12.0 units) over a period of 2.5 to 3 years. The Urban Planning Certificate may be taken concurrently with any Queen’s Bachelor degree. Students who are registered in a degree program as well as a certificate program(s) may count up to 50% of the units required for the certificate towards the requirements of both the certificate and the degree program. The remaining units must be completed in addition to those required for the degree program.

You will be expected to take:
The following two courses:
  • GPHY 227/3.0 Cities: Geography, Planning and Urban Life
  • GPHY 228/3.0 Geographies of the Global Political Economy
Any two courses from the following list:
  • GPHY 243/3.0 Geographic Information Science
  • GPHY 330/3.0 Transportation Geography
  • GPHY 332/3.0 Cities and Planning for Sustainable Development
  • GPHY 336/3.0 Geography, the Environment and Human Health
  • GPHY 337/3.0 Regional Development Theory and Policy
  • GPHY 338/3.0 Urban Political Geography
  • GPHY 370/3.0 Special Topics in Human Geography*

* Topics need to be approved by the Associate Head of Undergraduate Studies

For more information about the Urban Planning Studies Certificate contact us at: The Department of Geography and Planning (613) 533 6030.