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MA Programme on Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace
The year 2008 marked a dramatic change in the nature of human settlements worldwide. Since then, and for the first time in history, more than half of the world's people are living in cities. Importantly, the demographic trend towards urbanization is expected to continue steadily and rapidly, especially in the South. The rapid growth of existing urban areas and the emergence of new ones represent new challenges and opportunities that are crucial for human security and peace at local, national, regional, and global levels. In collaboration with UN-HABITAT, the University for Peace has designed an ambitious MA programme on Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace (SUGP), building on the creative pedagogic methods and field activities that have become characteristic of its graduate level programmes.
Major cities around the world face a number of risks posed by overcrowding, pollution, disease, poverty, food insecurity, rising sea level, increased storm intensity, heat waves, urban decay, sprawl, disconnect with nature, urbicide, gang warfare, and human trafficking, among others. In addition to internal rural-urban migration, many cities of the world are also experiencing the impact of mass transnational migration. While this may contribute to the flourishing cultural diversity of cities, it can also generate confrontations and pose serious challenges to urban authorities. All of this is compounded by the rapid rate at which urbanization continues to occur. Cities all over the world have responded to these challenges through enhancing their ingenuity and building alliances, coalitions, and networks in order to generate and implement creative new ideas.
In response to increasing threats associated with climate change and environmentally as well as socially induced stress to communities, and cities, this new MA programme on Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace, seeks to encourage creative thinking and the need for going beyond current approaches to urban governance and management of risk and development of urban resilience to threats. The programme will provide in depth analysis of concepts, methods and review lessons learned from practice and explore policies to address these negative impacts on cities through innovative means, including practices of Social Risk Management in Public, Private, People Partnership (PPPP) frameworks. Hence, over the course of one year, students will learn about the various theoretical approaches to urban governance and peace as well as meet practitioners who have gained insightful and practicable solutions from their experiences dealing with urban issues on the ground.
The MA programme on Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace will provide a multidisciplinary forum for municipal authorities, academicians, national and international NGOs, neighbourhood communities, and urban liveability-advocates to share experiences, promote positive impacts of urbanization, and explore synergies that could enhance sustainable urban governance and peace. The MA programme, in this way, is designed to prepare policy- and decision-makers at all levels (community, municipal, national, regional, global) for twenty-first century urban challenges, and to provide communities and urban liveability advocates with the tools and perspectives that may help them efficiently address their goals and aspirations.
The duration of the MA programme on Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace is 12 months, including a Graduate Project (Independent Study or an Internship). However, students will have the option of extending their Internship for an additional 3 months, so as to fully benefit from the experience of field work. The internship duration is, therefore, 3 to 6 months.
Students have to accomplish 42 credits in order to earn the MA degree in Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace. Of these credits, 28 are to be earned through accomplishing mandatory (foundation and core) courses, 8 credits are to be earned through accomplishing a graduation project, and 6 credits are to be earned from elective courses. The various courses offered as part of this
MA programme include the following:
Pre-course work (2 credits) (August)
Module 1: Foundation (8 credits) -September/October 2011
Module 2: Cities and Climate Change (6 credits)
Module 3: Disaster Risk and Reconstruction (6 credits)
Module 4: Human Security and Urban Safety (6 credits)
Module 5: Livelihood for Resilience (6 credits)
Module 1 and the pre-course are mandatory for all SUGP students. Students also must, at least, take any 3 of the remaining 4 modules. A module is a stand-alone package; therefore, the SUGP students have to take the whole to validate the full 6 credits towards this MA. To be able to graduate with an MA in Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace, students must accomplish 42 credits of which, at least, 28 credits should be from the above list of courses.
Graduation Project (8 credits) - June/December 2012
Elective Courses (second and third semesters (6 credits) may include:
ESP-6120 - Human Vulnerability and Climate Change (3 credits).
Students will select from among the courses listed above (programme courses and elective courses that are currently taught at UPEACE) in order to meet the 42 credits requirement and earn an MA degree in Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace. These 42 credits may, therefore, include the pre-course (2 credits), the 5 modules (34 credits) and the graduation project (8 credits); or, otherwise, the mandatory courses (10 credits), any three of the remaining four modules (18 credits), a graduation project (8 credits), and elective courses (6 credits).
Participants who complete the MA programme in Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace will have the knowledge and perspective to articulate and critique key theoretical and conceptual dimensions related to urbanization and urban social, political, cultural, and environmental governance. They will also be able to apply quantitative and qualitative methodologies to analyse the scientific, ecological, political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of key issues relevant to urban governance. Eventually, they will be able to identify and evaluate management options, supportive institutional, legal and policy regimes, governance reforms, and other appropriate measures to strengthen urban governance and peace at various scales. They are also likely to become well informed activists who will contribute to making cities more liveable, who are in favour of more vulnerable groups, and keen promoters of change in their own societies. In addition, most of the graduates will have acquired a working command of Spanish through their field work with local partners.
Graduates of the SUGP programme are likely to be employed by neighbourhood communities, municipalities, organizations in the private sector that are making cities more productive and liveable, and national and international agencies and NGO's that are working on urban issues in close contact with local organizations and policy making institutions. Others are likely to pursue a higher education degree.
The University for Peace also offers certificate modules within this MA programme for professionals who cannot take the full MA or training possibilities abroad.