The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Overseas practice engagements

Each year as part of our practice module, Urban Development Planning MSc students complete a practice engagement project to gain experience of processes of urban change in a fast-changing city context

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An output from the MSc Urban Development Planning (UDP) Overseas Practice Engagement 2023 in Cebu, Philippines

Developed in partnership with community groups, NGOs, universities and/or local authorities, our practice engagement projects tackle real-life urban challenges, offering students first-hand experience of developing strategies towards transformative, community-centred urban development planning. 
As well as producing meaningful outputs for local project partners and communities, the practice engagement project aims to build the capacity of students as reflexive urban development practitioners. 
In recent years, our overseas practice engagements have engaged with cities including Accra, Dar es Salaam, Bangkok, Mumbai, Colombo, Yogyakarta, Istanbul and Liverpool. 

Our previous overseas practice engagements

Discover where we've worked and the organisations we've partnered with in previous years:

2023: Cebu, Philippines

After three years disrupted by COVID-19 related restrictions, 2023 saw the Urban Development Planning MSc initiate a new partnership with an alliance of community, civil society and public actors in Metro Cebu. Designed in collaboration with the Fellowship for Organizing Endeavors, Inc. (FORGE), this learning alliance saw students work with a number of people’s organisations and public officials across three municipalities to collectively unpack possible pathways beyond settlement insecurity for the urban poor. 

Check out the photos from our project on Flickr:

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Watch the videos produced by our groups of students working in each municipality in Metro Cebu:
Group 1 - Cebu
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Group 2 - Talisay

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Group 3 - Mandaue

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2022: Liverpool, England

Unable to travel internationally due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, 2022 saw the Urban Development Planning MSc develop a one-year partnership with a collection of community-led housing actors in the Liverpool City Region. Designed in partnership with Breaking Ground, students worked with three established community-led initiatives to develop city-level strategies designed to unlock the potential of community-led housing and regeneration in the city.

Student presenting the case of Safe Regeneration
Check out the photos from our project on Flickr

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Watch the videos produced by our groups of students working in each area of study in Liverpool
The case of Granby Four Streets CLT
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The case of Homebaked CLT
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The case of SAFE Regeneration
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2019 to 2021: Yogyakarta, Solo and Surabaya, Indonesia

Between 2019 and 2021, Urban Development Planning MSc students worked in partnership with an alliance of community groups and civil society actors in Yogyakarta, Solo and Surabaya to explore questions related to neighbourhood precarity in secondary Indonesian cities. Designed in collaboration with ArkomJogja, the first year of this partnership began with an exploration of tenure security as an intensely dynamic, variegated and multi-dimensional concept in Yogyakarta.

The second year, reshaped by the advent of COVID-19, saw a pivot in focus towards developing an understanding of the role of community-centred processes in reacting to the inequalities revealed and amplified by the pandemic.

The third year then expanded the focus of the collaboration to two additional Indonesian cities (Solo and Surabaya) with students working remotely to investigate the challenges and opportunities confronting efforts to pilot community-led settlement upgrading at scale. 

Watch the videos produced by our groups of students working on each area of study in Yogyakarta:


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From Pringgokusuman to Pringgomukti

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Watch the virtual settlement tours that contextualise our project

Kampung Metal Solo

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Kampung Notoyudan Yogyakarta

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Kampung Pingir Rel Surabaya

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2018: Colombo, Sri Lanka

In 2018, Urban Development Planning MSc students travelled to Colombo to work on issues relating to settlement upgrading and relocation in the city. 

Read the student blog

Between Upgrading and Resettlement: Fieldwork reflections from locations in Colombo
By Rouchan Liu, Rachel Cobbinah, Di Hu, Celine Sola Gracia, Bayu Laksono Jati
With editorial support from Tim Wickson and Barbara Lipietz

Watch the students' videos

Nawagampura - Diversity in a world Class city (DPU Short Film Competition 2018 winner)

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Mayura Place (DPU Short Film Competition 2018 second place)

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Read the students' reports

2014 to 2017: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Between 2014 and 2017, Urban Development Planning MSc students worked with Tanzanian NGO Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI) and members of the Tanzanian Urban Poor Federation in Dar es Salaam. During this time, students focused on issues including land, housing, solid waste management and environmental hazards (e.g. flooding). 

Watch the students' videos

Flooding (DPU Short Film Competition 2017 winner)

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Solid waste management (DPU Short Film Competition 2017 second place)

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Read the students' reports

2011 to 2013: Bangkok, Thailand

Between 2011 and 2013 UDP students worked with the Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI), the communities with whom they work and the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR). Over the three years, students focused on the challenges of settlement upgrading and city-scale transformation, using the innovative Baan Mankong Housing Programme as an entry point. 

Discover the outputs from our 2012 overseas practice engagement
Discover the outputs from our 2011 overseas practice engagement

2010: Istanbul, Turkey

In 2010, our Urban Development Planning MSc students travelled to Istanbul to work with local communities to develop strategies capable of promoting the right to the city.

Read the reports from our 2010 overseas practice engagement

2006 to 2009: Mumbai, India 

Between 2006 and 2009 Urban Development Planning MSc students worked with the National Slum Dwellers Federation, Mahila Milan and SPARC (collectively known as The Alliance) in Mumbai, India. During this three year engagement, our students focused on issues ranging from housing upgrading and relocation, to water and sanitation provision.

Discover the outputs from our 2009 overseas practice engagement on community-driven housing policy and planning
Discover the outputs from our 2008 overseas practice engagement on community-driven housing policy and planning
Discover the outputs from our 2006 overseas practice engagement on community-driven housing, water and sanitation policy and planning

2004 to 2005: Accra, Ghana 

Between 2004 and 2005 Urban Development Planning MSc students worked with a variety of urban development actors in Accra to explore the potential role of pro-poor public private partnerships as a mechanism to improve housing and infrastructure provision for residents of underserved informal settlements. 

Discover the outputs from our 2005 overseas practice engagement on development of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA)
Discover the outputs from our 2004 overseas practice engagement on development of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA)

PDF icon A reflection by Urban Development Planning MSc student Etienne Von Bertrab (PDF)