Introduction to Urban Design & Planning Department

Over the last three decades Afghanistan have witnessed some comprehensive development in many sectors. During this period, especially after fall of Taliban Regime, most of urban areas of the country has developed informally. About 76% of population in the country live in rural areas while just 26% live in urban areas, from which, around 65% of these urban areas are developed informally. One of the main reason beyond this disaster is lack of educational institutions which could provide urban planning and design programs. To overcome these challenges, Professors from Architecture Department of faculty of engineering, with their tireless efforts were able to get the approval of establishing the Department of Urban Design & Planning from the Ministry of Higher Education in the mid-2017.

Through so many years, the academic members of the Architecture department had designed and proposed the establishment of this department to the Faculty of engineering and included this program in the strategic plan of Faculty of Engineering. The main vision for establishing this department and developing curriculum for it was to find and establish the very first Architecture and Urban Planning Faculty inside the Kabul University campus.

Parallel to the planning and designing of this department, professors from Architecture Department held various meetings with urban sectors (Kabul Municipality, Ministry of Urban Development & Land, Independent Directorate of Local Governance and Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development) in addition to public, to develop curriculum for this department based on the existing urban challenges in the country and aforementioned people and sectors’ need, challenges and advices. By considering country’s urban challenges, the curriculum for this department designed and developed in eight semesters. The curriculum of Urban Design & Planning Department includes, studios and some preliminary and introductory subjects for engineering and urban field, i.e. calculus, technical drawings and some general subjects in first two semesters, fundamental subject’s in third and fourth semesters and exclusive and professional subjects in the remaining semesters.

Professional subjects like sociology, urban survey, Urban economics and some computer skills regard to Urban planning and design are also going to be taught in this department. Socio-Cultural topics are taught in the subjects like History of Urban planning, Environmental Design and Urban Sociology. General topics are considered as elective subjects to support in enriching urban design and planning programs. Currently the academic members of this department are in Doctorate, masters and bachelors level.

Academic Goals of Urban Design and Planning Department

Educational and academic goals of this major is to develop and enhance professional and technical knowledge of Urban Design and Planning graduates, where after the graduation they will have below knowledge and skills:

  1. Having adequate information and knowledge of urban design and planning principles
  2. The ability of drawing and illustrating Urban maps by means of freehand, drawing and computer aided soft wares
  3. Familiarization with urban design elements and illustrating them in maps
  4. Familiarization with urban design and planning principles and basics and using them efficiently in urban projects
  5. Gaining knowledge and skills regard to data collection and analysis about urban projects from field and reference books
  6. Attaining knowledge on different types and approaches of Urban Planning and Design
  7. The ability to manage and implement different types of urban development projects
  8. The ability to identify and propose solutions for urban challenges
  9. The ability to negotiate with clients and users of urban projects
  10.  Familiarizing with sustainable development theories and principles
  11.  Familiarizing with color and its uses in urban spaces
  12.  Familiarizing with different types of presentation skills
  13.  Familiarizing with different computer soft wares uses within urban planning and design projects
  14.  Familiarizing on how to collect and analyze urban statistics
  15.  Identifying environment pollutants and sustainable ways of decreasing them
  16.  And at last but not least, revival of Afghan Urban Identity which unfortunately has been forgotten

There are also two different types of subjects included in the curriculum of this department, technical elective and non-technical elective subjects.

  • Technical elective subjects are those which are taught by the Faculty of Engineering
  • Non-technical elective subjects are those which are taught by other faculties of Kabul University

During eight academic semesters students of this department are going to take 149 credits including lectures, studios and some practical activities which divided as below:

  • 65% Professional Subjects
  • 24% Fundamental Subjects
  • 11% General Subjects