The Development Planning Unit from University College London has been working on urban development and planning in developing countries since its establishment in 1954. It is part of The Bartlett, UCL’s global faculty of the built environment.
Research at DPU focuses currently on ‘urban transition’, notably institutional paths in service and infrastructure production with understanding of the spatiality of urban poverty. Particular attention is given to the peri-urban context, characterised by rapidly expanding unmet needs. The DPU looks notably at the social complexity in policy planning linked to rapid urbanization. It also has a growing interest on how urban planning can improve city resilience to shocks notably linked to climate change.
DPU is not just involved in research but also in capacity building and action-oriented work in developing countries. It has accumulated a considerable body of research over the last decades. An international conference to celebrate the 60 years of DPU entitled “Thinking Across Boundaries: Re-Imagining Planning in the Urban Global South” will be held from 2-4 July 2014.