The Department of Urban Planning Engineering at An-Najah National University was founded in the academic year 2011/2012 and is the first department 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 department 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 department 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 Department 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.‎