• MIT and UTM faculty meet with the staff at the Iskandar Regional Development Authority in Johor Bahru, Malaysia to talk about strategies for sustainable economic development.

    Photo: Leslie Tuttle

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Teaching urban development in the global South

A five-year program to strengthen university teaching materials


The MIT School of Architecture + Planning has recently signed an agreement with Malaysia's leading engineering and science school — the Universiti of Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) — to develop new materials to strengthen the teaching of sustainable city development in the global South and around the world.

Under the direction of MIT planning professor Larry Susskind, the program will seek to shift the way urban development is taught from an emphasis on economic growth to a greater emphasis on sustainable development, using Malaysia as a model.

With a GDP that has grown about 6.5 percent for the past 50 years, Malaysia has transitioned in just a few decades from a predominantly agrarian and extractive economy to a high-tech, knowledge-oriented economy by reinvesting its oil and gas revenues in public education. The MIT/UTM program is posited on the belief that strategies based on Malaysia’s experience should prove more relevant to the problems facing cities in the global South than approaches developed in the North.

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Topics: Architecture, Development, Development economics, Sustainability, Urban studies and planning, Education, teaching, academics, Global, Malaysia

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