The professions of urban planning and architecture are going through ideological changes and are gradually transforming from technocratic, top-down master planning and design to more participatory methods and negotiated, small-scale interventions within the complexity of existing urban fabrics. The Urban Ecological Planning program is at the forefront of these new approaches and offers students a unique opportunity to gain relevant skills and knowledge to implement them in the most challenging urban contexts. The program was originally established to respond to the increasing demand for professionals with this kind of profile and continues to grow today.
Our past international students have been successfully employed in various other places across the globe. Many are university teachers, researchers or development professionals in both NGOs and government service. Others are active as experts in the private industry related to urban development. Some UEP alumni have also been employed as interns or consultants at different United Nations and European Union agencies and other multilateral institutions. In Norway, students get motivated to work for the local governments and community organizations to find integrated, cross-sector solutions to urban problems.
Stories from our former students
After finishing the UEP, I did an internship within the Slum Upgrading Unit of UN-Habitat, where I had the chance to work on the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme where we supported slum upgrading teams in 35 countries. Then, I did a research project on participation within refugee camps in Northern-France, where I also participated in the construction of shelter and in camp management. Recently, I started a new position as an Urban Resilience Officer with Concern Worldwide within the EU Aid Volunteer programme. Here I work on empowering households and communities in the slum of Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti to build up resilience.
Hanne Vrebos – Belgium
Being part of MUEP has prepared me to confront today's urban development and cross cultural contextual challenges especially in Global South, which could not have been possible with my earlier experience and training. I am able to relate with different disciplines and sectors because of the multidisciplinary approach, diversity and depth of issues the program covers. Meanwhile on a personal note, I learnt that good networking skills are fundamental in life and career expeditions, which this program emphasizes.
Ronald Murungi – Uganda
UEP programme changed my perception and perspective towards built environment. Before, my perspective was very much material-oriented, after joining UEP I gradually observed a progressive shift in my perception and approach towards planning. I also learned to apply my knowledge to other fields such as cultural heritage and its conservation!
Aida Ayoubi – Iran
The UEP program was a really valuable experience for me through hands-on learning with international and interdisciplinary classmates. It changed and challenged my role and perspective as a development professional and has strongly influenced my decision to continue working on issues of sanitation that I started to explore during the UEP program. It also motivated me towards my current job at a small, interdisciplinary company that is creative, self-analytic and working to replace the developed country status quo of water-borne toilets with composting toilets.
Megan Prier - USA
After completing his Master’s degree, I worked at the Planning section at the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction in Kathmandu. Shortly after, I was transferred to the Division office in Dolakha, where he was involved in reconstruction works after the catastrophic earthquakes of 2015. After 8 months, I was promoted to the post of Senior Divisional Engineer through written and oral examination and then I worked at the Division office Kailali as division Chief where he was responsible for coordinating building construction and urban development works. I also worked as a Project Manager the Regional Urban Development Project (RUDP), funded by the Asian Development Bank. Recently, I returned to the Kathmandu office of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction and currently work in the Housing Section, which plans to construct 20,000 houses for the poor section of Dalit – a marginalized and vulnerable community.
Raju Neupane – Nepal
As someone who joined the academia, I would say this program helps to extensively work on the inclusion of social dimensions in design courses. It also enables to transform the regimented and technocratic Architecture studios.
Gizaw Fikre – Ethiopia