Urban Planning Education and Climate Change: A Brief Survey of Curriculum Adaptation in Malaysian Universities
Climate change is real but arguments on the validity of the issue are not the focused of this paper. Climate change has been going on since the earth first existed but had been accelerated by human activities starting from the industrial revolution until now (Donaghy, 2007). The industrial revolution started a phenomenon that we now know as urbanisation which constantly needs minding from city planners or urban managers to overcome it ever changing issues. One of the most critical issues of urbanisation challenging urban planners now is how to mitigate the impact of urban activities and development on the climate. Recognising the importance of the issue and realising the potentials of the profession, many urban planning schools worldwide have reviewed their curricula to introduce climate-change-related subjects and have also been focusing their research activities on climate change. According to the Global Report on Human Settlements 2009 by UN-Habitat, one third of planning schools worldwide has taught climate change in their curricula. It is however rather unfortunate that most of these planning schools are from developed countries while their counterparts less developed countries are still lagging behind. For those planning schools that are treating planning as strictly design or policy practice, the report recommends them to broaden their approach to include climate change issues. In light of this recommendation in the UN-Habitat report, it is rather timely that Malaysian planning schools take a good look at their curricula to see if they are doing enough to educate future Malaysian urban planners to keep track with the complex current urbanisation issues, especially the climate change issue.