The Program of Urban Planning Engineering at An-Najah National University was founded in the academic year 2011/2012 and is the first program in the Palestinian universities.
Urban planning is defined as a tool to achieve the public interest, for all sectors and categories of society, through the development of perceptions and visions of desirable and preferred future conditions, concerning the organization of physical development (urban and rural) and the distribution of various land uses and activities in the right place at the right time, in order to achieve sustainable development, and also the balance between strategic visions, aspirations and desires, and the determinants of real resources and capabilities, within a clear and binding legislative framework, and through specific processes and procedures, and to coordinate and ensure the active community participation.
Engineering in general is a human science, provides suitable environment for human being to live within a defined context(a room or building or villa or mansion or neighborhood or city, etc.) that meets his needs,which depends entirely on the human scaleand proportions as well as on his movement, direction, and requirements.That's what the architect does when designinga housing unit.
It is also the same as made by the plannerwhen planning/designing a physical environment (neighborhood, village, City, and others), but at a highest level and a greater scale includingvarious studies on the humanitarian, social, and economicaspects, where he is dealing with more people withtheir overlapping and varying requirements and needs.
The initiative of An-Najah National University to establish this new program comes after a comprehensive study of the Palestinian reality especially in light of the present situation and the stage of state and institutions building and witnessed the rapid urban development of Palestinian cities and communities, in addition to the changes and developments that have recently been introduced by the Palestinian Authority represented by the Ministry of Local Government and other relevant ministries through the adoption of strategic development and planning approach, joint urban planning and the revival of the historic centers of localities, as well as the orientation towards the promotion of decentralization in planning and strengthening the role of local authorities, in addition toenhancing the role of the private sector in urban planning.
The overall objective of this specialization in Urban Planning Engineering is to develop the students' knowledge and expertise in the field of urban planning in order to be able to improve the quality of the built environment (urban and rural), which will contribute to cover theurgent need for planners inside and outside Palestine.
The graduates of this Program can work in different areas inside and outside Palestine, including: localauthorities (municipalities, village councils) and the Joint Service Councils, relevant ministries (such as Local Government, Planning, Public Works and Housing, Tourism and Antiquities, Transportation, etc.), governmental institutions (such as the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction, Municipal Development and Lending Fund, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Land Authority, Environment Quality Authority, Industrial Zones Authority, …..), non-governmental institutions (such as the Palestinian Housing Council, research and study centers, AMMAR Real Estate Group, etc.), engineering offices and consulting companies, & international organizations and institutions (World Bank, UNDP, GIZ, USAID, UNRWA, UNHABITAT, and others).
In conclusion we can say that graduates of the Program of Urban Planning Engineering will have a major role in upgrading the Palestinian urban environment, and will contribute to the reduction of random and poor planning and improving the living conditions of the population and the development of Palestinian society to be within affluent societies.