Planning for Developing Areas

“DURP is one of just a few programs whose graduates consistently… practice good discernment and understand the relationships and politics that infuse every day of a planner’s work.” – Sara Dechter, Class of 2004


John Felkner


The Planning for Developing Areas specialization prepares students for the challenges of guiding economic and social development in the context of increasing globalization, commonly defined as the increasing interconnectedness of people, places, and institutions worldwide. Development planners work in urban and rural developing areas around the world. Courses address cross-cutting issues such as globalization, democratization, gender and development, and sustainable development. Courses provide students with an understanding of the legal and institutional context within which planners operate and of sector-specific issues and strategies. Students also develop skills in the preparation of development plans, in the design, management and implementation of development projects, and in participatory planning and research.

Required Courses

Students Specializing in Planning for Developing Areas Must Take the Following Required Courses:

  • URP 5610 Introduction to Development Planning
  • URP 5616 Project Planning in Developing Countries

Choose at least 1 of the following:

  • URP 5544 Gender and Development
  • URP 5611 Strategies for Urban and Regional Development in Developing Countries
  • URP 5939 Gender and the City
  • URP 5355 International Transportation Planning
  • URP 5939 Multicultural Urbanism

Prospective students should contact the department’s Academic Program Specialist for more information about the planning for developing areas specialization. Current students should consult the graduate student handbook for more details about specialization and degree requirements.

Employment Placements

Recent Job Placements

  • American Red Cross – coastal Virginia Section
  • ABA ROLI Consulting group, Washington, DC
  • MEDAIR Disaster Relief, Haiti
  • Florida Dept Emergency Mgmt
  • SODADE, Haiti
  • Best Buddies International – Area Director for Asia and Oceania
  • Housing Bureau, Portland, OR
  • ANERA, Beirut, Lebanon
  • CRS, Brazil

Specialization Research at FSU

Ongoing Research Projects by Faculty and Students

  • New towns and new capital cities in Africa
  • Women’s employment in Columbia
  • Resiliency and squatter settlements
  • How participatory, multistakeholder urban programs affect health, safety, and well-being in Kerala, India