Urban Development Program


The Urban Development Program has two purposes:

  1. To provide an intensive yet balanced education on the nature of urbanism, the processes affecting urban growth, and the methods and techniques used to analyze urban markets land use and urbanization.

  2. To prepare students for careers in businesses and agencies concerned with urban development.

The Urban Development Program started in 1980 and produced its first graduating class in 1983. It immediately met considerable interest and success, and grew continuously to have between 30 and 60 students enrolled. At the time of its inception, the program was unique in Canada. Befitting the old real estate adage of “location, location, location” the program has been hosted by Geography, but it is an interdisciplinary program because it draws heavily from disciplines such as economics, business, management and organizational studies, political science, and demography.

The objective of the UDP is to ensure that graduates understand the processes of urban growth and change matched with the analytical skills required to create opportunities and solve problems. It emphasizes the relative importance of the enterprises influencing the urban landscape. Since the program is oriented towards the behaviour of businesses and individuals, the UDP should not be confused with a “planning program”. If students wish to combine knowledge of urban processes with well-developed analytic skills and business acumen, Western’s UDP has and continues to fill this void with considerable success!

Western’s Urban Development Program provides an excellent background for careers in businesses such as real estate management and research firms, planning consultants, land developers, appraisal firms, financial institutions, retail organizations, industrial location consultants, and federal and provincial ministries concerned with revenue, housing, and urban and regional development. Graduates of the program are now pursing careers in all of these areas in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia, and many are now in the middle and upper echelons of both corporations and governments.


Please contact the Urban Program Director, Dr. Jason Gilliland, with any questions regarding the Urban Development Program.
Phone: 519-661-2111, Ext. 81239
Email: jgillila@uwo.ca