MSc Urban Management and Development

Why study Master Urban Management and Development


Cities are in a constant state of unprecedented change. Nowadays, the majority of the population lives in cities, and by 2030 urban areas are said to triple in surface. That is as if we built a city the size of Rotterdam every day for the next ten years. As cities continue to grow and evolve, they face complex challenges on multiple levels. For cities to stay sustainable and competitive in this ever-changing urban environment, they need to balance economic, environmental and physical, and social challenges with forward-looking urban management policies. 

But what is urban management? 

In a nutshell, urban management is a very complex process that encompasses multi-level strategies, activities and instruments designed to create safe, inclusive, resilient, accessible and sustainable cities. Successful urban management means, for one,  to ensure sound policies on infrastructure as well as tools to secure finances for implementing these policies. It can be that the resources and services, which citizens need, are available and divided equitably among the population; or that interests of the different stakeholders, especially of the inhabitants, are well represented and factored in the decision-making process of the local authorities. For a city to work, one needs sound policies that generate and regulate investments and partnerships to ensure the financial health of cities. This way, a city can improve its social, environmental and economic climate, offer more livelihood options and support small & medium scale entrepreneurship and other local economic development actions. Improving living conditions means having affordable and accessible housing options and considering environmental sustainability, waste management, green area conservation and last but not least, climate change mitigation and adaptation. All these aspects need to be planned and managed at a local administration level, but with a broader context in mind.

We think that contemporary cities need trained and innovative urban managers with skills in action and strategic planning, policy analysis, research methods and negotiation, and communication to be able to manage the complex urban multidisciplinary environment. 

Top 8 reasons to study this programme 

  1. Get your MSc from a top 100 university.
  2. Learn from active urban policy advisers.
  3. Enjoy guest lecturers from key stakeholder players (e.g. UN-Habitat)
  4. Study in the hub of modern urban development - the city of Rotterdam.
  5. Expand your professional network with participants from over 45 countries.
  6. Tailor your study to your interests by choosing from 6 different specializations.
  7. Enjoy a practical training methodology of role-playing games, real case study analysis, class debates.
  8. Be inspired by the unique focus on urban development in the Global South.

Did we mention your lecturers are active on-site urban policy advisers? Also, some of your classmates will be mid-career professionals with interesting experience to share. This means that next to the readings, theories and assignments, you will be discussing current real-life cases.

What do our alumni have to say about it?

IHS student from Peru talks about his experience in the MSc in Urban Management and Development. 

Cesar Escudero, Peru

IHS student from India talks about her experience during the MSc in Urban Management and Development.

Rozita Singh, India

IHS student from United Kingdom talks about his experience during the MSc in Urban Management and Development.

Max Russell, United Kingdom

IHS student from Kenya talks about her experience during the MSc in Urban Management and Development.

Lindah Njani, Kenya

Join the class of city changers!

Apply today


worldwide Times Higher Education (500)

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worldwide for Public Administration Shanghai Ranking

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worldwide for Development Studies Top Universities

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for Planning & Development Center University Rankings (1000)

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