Master of Regional Planning

Year of Commencement: 1966-1967 Academic Year



Regional Planning is a scientific field that was brought to agenda in 1950s for elimination of the regional inequalities. However, the rapid transitions in socio-economic structure in the world enforced new perspectives in spatial issues, new debates on spatial organization and new concepts related to space. Today the meanings of the concepts used for identification of spatial units such as urban, rural, metropolitan, metropolitan region, region, are evolving continuously. The second change took place is the concepts related to planning. The meaning of planning today, do not coincide with the term used in 1950s and 1960s. Regional planning, which is made of the two terms that experienced changes in their meanings, has obviously a content quite different than its definition in 1950s and 1960s.

Today the Program provides a comprehensive framework that includes economic, social and environmental issues with different specialization fields. In the Regional Planning Program the aims of the planning are defined as, to enable formation of a local/regional structure developed both in terms of social and economic conditions, with acceptable environmental quality and governed by democratic rules that lead development process. In order to achieve development of this structure, regulations should be defined consistent with four targets of planning. Viable economic structure with growth potential, learning capacity in order to adopt new circumstances and compete at international scale, liveable and sustainable environment and a governance system that enables the formation of links with external world and initiates development potential at local scale.

In order to reach these targets at local/regional scale there is need for planners. However, the planners should cope with different roles in the new regulation and governance system, in addition to their earlier functions. Planners should undertake the role of technician when they make research and give decisions on inter-relational aspects of development and space, and the role of mediator and negotiator during formulation of decisions on locality/ region by the different social groups. That is why the roles of planners change from decision making at spatial development, to provision of help to members of locality in order to integrate to the world system according to their choices and make sure that their living conditions are compatible with their priorities collectively defined. The regional Planning Programme is designed for educating manpower to take the responsibility of all these functions.



Research Fields

Regional Development Theories

Changing Economic Development Paradigms

New Theoretical Debates on Industrial Development

Consequences of Changing Economic and Political Structure

Service Industries

New Forms of Governance and Emergence of New Institutions

Regional Analysis Methods and Planning Techniques

Key Notions of Competitiveness (Knowledge, Learning, Innovation, Social Cohesion, etc.)

Policies of Competitiveness (Cluster Development Policies, Regional Innovation Strategies (RISs), etc.)

Regional Resilience and Planning for Resilience


Within the scope of the program, a 4-term-long process is offered: 

-       2 Semesters: Courses;

-       2 Semesters: Thesis Writing


Number of courses with credit (min.): 8

Total minimum credit: 29




First Semester 

RP 501 Regional Planning Studio (4-8)8
RP 511 Planning Theory (3-0)3
RP 532 Methods of Regional Analysis and Spatial Organization (3-0)3
Elective (3-0)3

Second Semester 

RP 534 Changing Economic and Political Structure (3-0)3
RP 546 Workshop on Regional Economic Restructuring
CP 570 Thesis Seminar NC
CP 524 Application of Advanced Statistical Techniques - Elective (3-0)3
CP 509 Introduction to Research Methods and Ethics in Planning and Design (2-2)3

Third Semester

RP 500 M.R.P. Thesis (Master of Regional Planning Thesis) NC

Fourth Semester

RP 500 M.R.P. Thesis (Master of Regional Planning Thesis) NC



Graduates’ Professions and Places of Work

Development Agencies

Ministry of Development

Ministry of Environment and Urbanization

Ministry of Culture and Tourism

Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs


United Nations (UN)

Planning Offices




Project Examples Developed in Regional Planning Graduate Program 

"Governing Urban Diversity: Creating Social Cohesion, Social Mobility and Economic Performance in Today's Hyper-diversified Cities", 7th Framework Project, 2013-1017

URBAN-NET Project, “Sustainable Land Use Policies for Resilient Cities”, 2009-2010

URBAN-NET Project, “Urban Tourism and Climate Change”, 2009-2010 

“The action plan for urban development for achieving sustainable urban development", 2009

“Istanbul Service Sector Study” supported by Istanbul Greater City Municipality, 2007-2008

“The spatial development strategies for Istanbul for action plan: Reseach and model development” financed by Istanbul Greater City Municipality, 2003-2005

“Regional Theories and Policies Connected to Industrial Clusters” TUBİTAK, 2002-2005

“Multi level governance and institutionalization models for city regions” financed by TUBITAK, 2006-2008