Towards Updating Urban Planning Education in Syria: The Case of the Faculty of Architecture at Damascus University

By Rema Haddad.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 19, 2015 $US5.00

This paper aims first to describe the urban planning education program in the Faculty of Architecture at Damascus University in Syria; the content, environment, and tools. Second, it aims to discuss the challenges faced within the program when it comes to be updated. Academic meetings (to supervise, give feedback, mentor, and discuss the teaching process) between professionals, lecturers, and students should be spaces for practicing innovative planning ideas. They could also be first steps towards updating urban planning education, through effective discourse and real communication. Through teaching in the Planning and Environment Department of the Faculty of Architecture at Damascus University, and based on an analysis of grey literature, observation of several academic meetings, informal discussions with students, and informal interviews with department's colleges, we find that these meetings are spaces for conflicts. They face several challenges related to cultural context, the technical concept of planning, generational relationships, and a very limited public realm. In order for these meetings to be effective, they should be public, organized, transparent, and comprehensive. New strategies and tools for teaching urban planning, a broad change in mentality and governance, and structural change in the system are needed to update urban planning education.

Keywords: Civic and Political Studies,, Governance,, Educational Studies

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.13-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 19, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 614.562KB)).

Dr. Rema Haddad

Lecturer, Planning and Environment Department, Faculty of Architecture, Damascus University, Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic