Urban Planning Department
Introduction

Urban Planning Department The Urban Planning department of Binaloud Institution of Higher Education was established in 2012 with Urban Construction (BS) being its first major. In 2014, this department managed to add MSc courses in Urban Planning and BS courses in Urban Construction engineering to its curriculum, training a wider range of experts for the future of Iran. In 2015, this department succeeded in offering MSc courses in Urban Management which allowed this Institute to be among the top four universities to offer Urban Management at MSc level for the first time in the east of Iran.

With three permanent faculty members and more than forty temporary teachers holding PhD or being PhD candidates, this department is training students who will be serving their country in the future. Currently, about 250 students are doing their BS and MSc in this department. The faculty head of this department is Dr. Masoud Davarinejad.

It is important to note that the department of Urban Planning is an icon at Binaloud Institute of Higher Education. With expert instructors and intelligent students who combine sympathy and commitment, this department has been able to make great accomplishments in terms of research and investigation among Iranian universities and institutes of higher education.

Department
Majors
Level
Duration (Years)
Urban construction engineering
BS
2
Urban construction engineering
BS
4
Urban planning
MSc
2
Urban management
MSc
2
Introducing Urban Planning

Urban Planning is one of the most attractive majors within the collection of majors which students can opt for through the university entrance exam. It has been recognized as an independent field at Iranian universities since 1999; students who obtain their high school diploma in the field of Mathematics can take it up. Previously, this field used to be offered at MSc level and had been available to undergraduates with a BS in Civil Engineering and architecture.

Urban Planning is a new discipline in Iran and other countries which intends to know cities and urban life. The main feature of Urban Planning is its interdisciplinary nature which encompasses various social, economic, cultural and political dimensions.While civil engineering operations, calculations of constructs, architecture etc. which focus on a single building are deemed necessary, there exists a dire need for Urban Planning as a field which aims at integrating economy, psychology, statistics, natural disasters, management, traffic, transportation etc. into construction and obtain better results.

Urban Planning is in fact a joint among various sciences ranging from liberal arts to technical sciences and engineering. It bridges the policy making gap between technicalities and humanitarians in urban projects.

In the past fifty years, much attention has been paid to Urban Construction field, and many reputable colleges and universities have been offering it. This field has tackled problems and issues in cities and allocated a special stance to itself.

Our country, Iran, feels the need to have such experts, hence, many universities and colleges have started offering Urban Planning programs. Moreover, high ranking managers in Iran have found out the importance of such expertise and many more have taken measures to develop themselves academically. As an example, there was a limited number of top mayors and city managers with technical knowledge in the field of Urban Planning; however, this has changed in a way a growing number of managers with high degrees in Urban Planning and Construction have appeared and more are becoming interested accordingly.

Capabilities and requirements

Graduates of this field will be able to design dwellings, prepare and evaluate plans and urban programs in the forms of urban comprehensive plans, substantial plans, urban detailed plans, land preparation plans and to sum up all plans related to human dwellings. Additionally, preparing and evaluating regional and national macro plans such as land surveying plan, national and regional plans and rural dwellings are among a few skills which graduates especially MSc graduates are capable of doing. Urban Planning students should have good general knowledge which should keep growing at university. Urban Planning requires extensive studying, unlimited physical activities, and large field experiments; therefore, a student ought to allocate much time to it. He/She should also have high analytical power and be great at designing. MSc students are in particular required to have high designing skills.

Students of this field must be familiar with designing and artistic concepts like the psychology of colors and be interested in the technicalities of the field such as map drawing, technical drawing, perspective, spatial geometry, model making, mathematics and human issues. At BS level, students of Urban Planning are expected to have geometrical view and spatial understanding and be able to visualize objects bi- and tri-dimensionally. They should also have profound knowledge in statistics since data gathering and analysis in this field requires knowledge of statistics and statistical analysis. Eventually, students’ knowledge of the English language and computer sciences play important roles in today’s world.

Job Market

The job market for this field is very good. Since this field is newly born and the work capacities are variant, its job market is not yet saturated. As an example, Canada grants the highest immigration score to people who hold a degree in this field. It is important to note that this discipline was only offered at MSc and PhD levels, these days however it is being offered at BS level too. Hence, we shall not face a saturated job market.

As the graduates of this field are academically and theoretically more knowledgeable, they are more efficient and can put their knowledge into practice in design, precise calculations and research. Such graduates not only can be employed where undergraduates are, also they can accept more serious positions where deeper knowledge of science, research and operation is required. After obtaining a PhD, there is a good chance of employment as a faculty member at universities.

The employment context is extensive and variant in Iran. Within the governmental sector, graduates can join the organization of planning and budgeting, the ministry of internal affairs, province halls and other related organs, the ministry of roads and urbanization, the national organization of fields and housing, regional and urban municipalities and related offices, renovation organization, the organization of urban beauty, the organization of crisis management, Enqelab-e-eslami housing institute, new towns development company, housing and urbanization research centers, construction engineering institution etc. As for the private sector, architecture and urbanization consultation offices have made the job market even richer. Since urban planning is a fairly recent discipline in our country, it has a rich job market compared with other university fields.

Needless to say, Urban Planning along with civil engineering, architecture, electricity, mechanic, traffic and map drawing is defined as one of the seven major disciplines in the law book of the engineering system and construction control. The graduates of this field, like the six mentioned disciplines, can obtain a job permit from the organization of engineering system after evaluation procedures.

Below are some of the job related contexts for Urban Planning graduates:
1. Preparing regional and urban plans (pervasive, substantial, structural, town, conductive)
2. Offering consultation regarding regional and urban affairs to managers and high ranking executives
3. Working in province halls, municipalities and other related organizations
4. Working in related ministries
5. Obtaining work permit from the organization of construction engineering system
6. Doing projects such as area construction, land division, neighborhood design etc.
7. Planning and designing different townships (residential, industrial, commercial)
8. Planning and designing new towns
9. Positioning urban elements
10. Operationalizing GIS system
11. Cooperating with other experts from other disciplines
12. Working as consultants in private and semi-private offices
13. University teaching (the rising number of universities and students entails more teachers)