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What is Environmental Planning?


In recent times more and more environmental concerns have reached the public attention: from the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, a competition in land-use demands, and the decrease of biodiversity, to the growth of urban areas which consume open spaces with consequences for humans and nature.
These trends present challenges to our society which appear locally as well as globally, in rural as well as in urban areas and in every country. Environmental Planning provides means and procedures to deal with these pressing challenges. It aims at organizing our needs and demands in the environment in an efficient and environmentally conscious way to ensure sustainable development.

Environmental planning is embedded in a network of international, national and local policies and regulations and operates at the interface of natural and social sciences, ecology, politics, and economics. Practitioners in this suspenseful field contribute in various ways to the protection and deliberate use of our environment.

The role of environmental planners has increased with mandates for environmental impact assessment on various levels in which planners have a pivotal role in bridging between specialists and decision makers. Equally environmental planners are called upon to develop environmental plans which are used to inspire more ecologically informed land use plans and help mitigate the unintended effects of developments.

In this way environmental planners work in a variety of professional settings, including private planning firms operating nationally and internationally; ministries and high-level administrations; non-governmental organizations; international development agencies, and academic institutions such as universities, research facilities or scholarly consulting firms.


The demand for well-trained practitioners in environmental assessment at both the project and the strategic level and in environmental planning and management continues to grow. In order to help meeting this demand the Master of Environmental Planning aims at providing students with the necessary knowledge and skills to become successful professionals in this arena.


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