MASTER Territorial Management and Urban Planning

This degree, which may be accessed as an apprenticeship, initial training and vocational training, aims to provide students with dual skills, in law and in geography, after refresher sessions in each discipline where they will become proficient in territorial planning practices and challenges, and in indispensable local public action tools. Each teaching module is run by teacher-researchers and by external professionals in positions of responsibility.
  • Aims
The course was created in 2001 following the adoption of the Act on Urban Solidarity and Renewal (SRU - loi Solidarité et Renouvellement Urbains) of 13 December 2000, which put planning documents high on the agenda. These documents were adapted to globalization and to sustainable development and reinforced by the Grenelle Acts in 2009/2010. The course trains students to become specialists of these documents, which are, today, indispensable when implementing urban development projects.

It aims to make students highly familiar with regulatory and operational urban development procedures, the rules applicable to public procurement, the participatory methods and systems implemented so that inhabitants have access to understanding, designing, monitoring and assessing territorial planning and development documents.

Classes comprise overall planning documents (territorial coherence plans and local urban planning and development plans), which, today, include sections on transport, housing and commercial urban planning as well as sectorial planning documents, in particular as regards technological and natural risks and public heritage policies. Particular attention is given to the documents introduced by the Grenelle Environment Agreements on climate, biodiversity and, more generally, environmental protection (regional ecological coherence plan, territorial energy plan) and to the environmental obligations imposed in the overall planning documents. The course also trains students in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), in techniques for presenting projects, in assessing public policies and in analysing the development of urban planning approvals in relation to urban planning principles.

Students may take this course as an apprenticeship or as initial training, and in the latter case, choose between the research branch, which includes writing a dissertation, leading to an application to enrol for a doctorate; or the professional branch, which includes a three to five month traineeship, in France or abroad.
  • Contents or list of themes and subjects taught
The first teaching module provides students with the tools required for designing and assessing planning documents and focuses on legal and geographic knowledge related to planning legislation, on presenting environmental principles, on communication techniques and on employability. Strong emphasis is given to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and to developing skills in the chosen foreign language.

The second teaching module deals with local and regional authority management, where students study how these authorities are organized, how they operate and how they are grouped together and also focuses on local companies (semi-public companies (SEM), local public companies (SPL), Programmed Housing Improvement Operation (OPAH), etc.), which are the key stakeholders of territorial planning documents. The skills thus acquired enable students to coordinate, manage and monitor urban development projects by building on project engineering methods.

A final teaching module provides students with knowledge on the challenges, objectives and implementation of general urban planning tools by emphasizing territorial planning conditions focusing on sustainable development, the tools for protecting the natural heritage and the heritage built at both French and European levels, planning documents on mobility and transport, paying particular attention to intermodality and to accessibility to environmental risks and, finally, housing policies by studying, in particular, the legally enforceable right to housing, the legal regime of social housing (HLM) and urban policy.

Students enrolled on this course as their initial course are put in professional situations through group work, which corresponds to “pubic procurement”, managed by professional and academics and which comprises seminars on the subject of procurement, field studies and a public presentation.

Finally, students write a dissertation of their traineeship or their apprenticeship on a subject related to the assignments they were entrusted with in their host structures (regional or local authorities, urban planning firms, design and development offices, etc.) or a research dissertation for those who are planning to apply for a doctorate.
  • Prerequisites
Students must have completed a first year of a master or a diploma that is equivalent to BAC+4 (60 ECTS) in law, geography, social and economic administration, urban planning or development. The university’s rules of equivalence may be applied. Applicant for this course must pursue a project that focuses on territorial management, which offers them the opportunity to acquire dual skills, in law and in geography, so that they may deal with the complexity of territories.