UCL Development Planning Unit

The Bartlett Development Planning Unit
MSc Building and Urban Design in Development
BUDD students discussing their work in progress (BUDD Urban Interventions Studio 2013-14)
BUDD students group presentation (BUDD Urban Interventions Studio 2013-14)
BUDD students and local community during a participatory mapping workshop (International Field Trip to Cambodia 2013-14)
Actor diagram uncovering the relationships between key stakeholders involved in the Bangkok context (BUDD Urban Interventions Studio 2014-15)
Urban Analysis for the report ‘Housing and Dwelling, Royal Docks, London’ (‘Transforming Local Areas’ Design Response BUDD 2013-14)

The MSc Building and Urban Design in Development (BUDD) is an innovative course that promotes the understanding of urban design as a powerful political tool. At BUDD, we develop socio-spatial strategies, from the policy sphere to the community scale, as the way to promote a more equal and just society.

This course, unique in its goals and pedagogical aspirations, aims to provide students with the analytical and practical skills necessary to challenge existing paradigms of participation, the agency of design and the political potential of architecture. Along with a critical engagement with contemporary urban theories and debates, BUDD students work on the concrete formulation of experimental urban strategies in the practice-based studio and in action-learning projects.

Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Mumbai and Istanbul are among the most recent destinations of the international field trip part of the core programme (the tuition fees cover its cost). This is a real-life simulation, a physical and emotional immersion in community-based practice in contested urban settings requiring negotiation with real stakeholders among which our partner organisations, networks of communities, universities and governments alike. Students here gain first hand experience developing spatial strategies for existing urban issues in context.

Since 2011, BUDD staff members have been also offering an itinerant summer workshop, the DpuSummerLab, which so far took place in Rome, Zurich, Beirut, Medellin, Santiago, and London. In 2012, the MSc BUDD took a leading role in launching a DPU/ACHR Junior Professionals Programme with the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) and the Community Architects Network (CAN). This is an internship programme open to alumni and offering the unique opportunity to work with the DPU Asian partners network.

At BUDD you will find an intellectually stimulating and creative environment where to recalibrate the classical notions of urban design and the understanding of the role of the urban practitioner.

General Contact

The Bartlett Development Planning Unit
University College London
34 Tavistock Square
United Kingdom

Key Contact

Dr Camillo Boano
020 7679 1090
Course Duration
Full-Time 12 months


London and South East