The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU History Booklet Now Online

12 September 2014

As part of our on going 60th Anniversary Celebrations we are delighted to publicly launch a booklet celebrating the our history.

Sixty Years of Urban Development: A Short History of the Development Planning Unit

Sixty Years of Urban Development: A Short History of the Development Planning Unit reviews the inception and growth of the department chronologically. From our beginnings as the Department of Tropical Studies at the Architectural Association in 1954, to the move to UCL and adoption of the DPU name, the document takes us through to the present day.

Along the way it relays the significant moments in the life of the DPU and those who worked (and continue to work!) here – including staff appointments and significant teaching and research innovations. But not limited to this, it also reflects on the international context of the times by charting the concepts and ideas prevalent in the field of development planning through different decades, and the watershed moments and international events that have taken place. In this way the booklet paints a picture of the changing role and position of the DPU, which has continued evolving over the previous 60 years.


Sixty Years of Urban Development: A Short History of the Development Planning Unit builds on the document produced by Emeritus Professor Patrick Wakely for DPU’s 50th Anniversary, this document has been updated and extended to celebrate our 60th year.

It is available to view on our website (see the issuu publication at the bottom of this page), and can be downloaded directly in pdf format.

The booklet was first launched in print at our 60th Anniversary conference – Thinking Across Boundaries: Reimagining Planning in the Urban Global South – in July 2014.

DPU60 Outputs

The booklet is the latest in a series of outputs from our anniversary celebrations. These also include a series of three short films entitled 'Thinking Across Boundaries: Planning Dilemmas in the Urban Global South'; a special DPU60 Reflections Working Paper series, featuring contributions from former members of the DPU staff; and a full collection of podcasts from the DPU60 Conference in July, as well as an accompanying picture gallery.

More materials will be released in the coming months. Read more about our DPU60 Anniversary celebration on our dedicated microsite.