Urban Development Program - Overview

The Urban Development Program has two purposes:

  1. To provide an intensive yet balanced education on the nature of urbanism, the processes affecting urban growth, and the methods and techniques used to analyze urban markets land use and urbanization.

  2. To prepare students for careers in businesses and agencies concerned with urban development.

The Urban Development Program started in 1980 and produced its first graduating class in 1983. It immediately met considerable interest and success, and grew continuously to have between 30 and 60 students enrolled. At the time of its inception, the program was unique in Canada. Befitting the old real estate adage of “location, location, location” the program has been hosted by Geography, but it is an interdisciplinary program because it draws heavily from disciplines such as economics, business, management and organizational studies, political science, and demography.

The objective of the UDP is to ensure that graduates understand the processes of urban growth and change matched with the analytical skills required to create opportunities and solve problems. It emphasizes the relative importance of the enterprises influencing the urban landscape. Since the program is oriented towards the behaviour of businesses and individuals, the UDP should not be confused with a “planning program”. If students wish to combine knowledge of urban processes with well-developed analytic skills and business acumen, Western’s UDP has and continues to fill this void with considerable success!

Western’s Urban Development Program provides an excellent background for careers in businesses such as real estate management and research firms, planning consultants, land developers, appraisal firms, financial institutions, retail organizations, industrial location consultants, and federal and provincial ministries concerned with revenue, housing, and urban and regional development. Graduates of the program are now pursing careers in all of these areas in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia, and many are now in the middle and upper echelons of both corporations and governments.

Urban Development Program - NEWS

Congrats to the UDP Class of 2014!

Congratulations to all those students who graduated June 10 with an Honours Specialization in Urban Development degree and other Geography degrees at Western's Convocation 2014! A special congratulations to the following exceptional Urban Development students who made the Dean's Honor List and received Certificates of Merit: Alexandra Fieder, Madeleine Hicks, Sijia (Cornelia) Le (Gold Medal Winner), Nathaniel Pace (SIOR Urban Development top student award), Christina Robinson, and Julianne Wood. Well done!

Congratulations to our 2013-2014 SIOR Award Winners

We wish to recognize the following students who have received merit awards from the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) Canada

Nathaniel Pace was awarded $1500 for the SIOR Award for Highest Overall Graduating Average in the Honours Urban Development Program 2014
Robert Richards and Kailey Brisbin were each awarded $750 for the SIOR Award for Best Research Paper in Geog 3461 Land Use and Development Issues

Congratulations Nathaniel, Robert and Kailey, and thanks to SIOR for the generous support of Urban Development students! The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) is the leading professional commercial and industrial real estate association, with more than 3,000 members in more than 630 cities in 29 countries. Real estate professionals who have earned the SIOR designation are recognized by corporate real estate executives, commercial real estate brokers, agents, lenders, and other real estate professionals as the most knowledgeable, experienced, and successful commercial real estate brokerage specialists in any market.

Urban Development Students Awarded Scholarships from Toronto CREW!

Congratulations to Alexandra Fieder, Madeleine Hicks, Julianne Wood and Cornelia Le from the Urban Development Program class of 2014. All of these recent graduates were 2014 recipients of Toronto CREW Scholarships! Toronto CREW is a business development network for women who represent a broad cross section of disciplines in the commercial real estate industry. Toronto CREW is dedicated to providing knowledge, connections and support to women throughout their commercial real estate career. See: www.torontocrew.org

Urban Development Program Recognized by ‘CREW’ Networks

Many graduates of Western’s Urban Development Program (UDP) hold key positions in some of the most influential corporations involved in commercial real estate in Canada, and beyond. Recognizing that the UDP effectively prepares students for successful careers in the commercial real estate industry, our students are now eligible for scholarships offered by the US-based CREW Network and the Toronto CREW. The CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Network is the industry's premier business networking organization dedicated to advancing the achievements of women in commercial real estate. The CREW Network has over 8,000 members representing nearly every discipline within the industry. Toronto CREW was the first Canadian chapter of the US-based CREW Network, which has independent organizations in 74 major markets across North America.

Toronto CREW Scholarships

Toronto CREW is a business development network for women who represent a broad cross section of disciplines in the commercial real estate industry. Toronto CREW is dedicated to providing knowledge, connections and support to women throughout their commercial real estate career. The Toronto CREW Scholarship Program awards scholarships ranging between $1,000 and $3,000 to young women who are in undergraduate and graduate level programs with a curriculum focused on professions found in the commercial real estate industry.

Application Deadline is TBA
For more information, see: www.torontocrew.org

CREW Network Foundation Scholarship

The CREW Network Foundation Scholarship Endowment program is designed to encourage women to pursue an education which will lead to a career in the commercial real estate industry. The CREW Network Foundation Scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic excellence and is intended to help finance the educational endeavors of female undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in accredited real estate programs, or enrolled in other fields of study with the intent to pursue a career in commercial real estate. The number of awards will be determined based upon the availability of interest income from the Endowment, contributions, and matching corporate funds; the specific dollar amount of each award will not be less than $5,000.

Application Deadline TBA
For more information, click here: CREWNETWORK.org

Urban Development Program Career Event

The Urban Development Program organizes an annual event that will feature a number of UDP alumni who currently hold senior leadership and executive positions in private and public sector organizations. Topics will include: how the Urban Development Program can secure you a career from undergrad; issues facing the Development and Real Estate Industries; why the Urban Development Program at Western is industry leading; the current job market. There will be pizza and refreshments served before the event. Date and Location: TBA

Urban Development Program Alumni group on LinkedIn

The UWO Urban Development Program (UDP), in conjunction with the Alumni and Development Officer for the Faculty of Social Science would like you introduce a new networking group for UDP Alumni on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has become the leading professional networking tool on the internet. We encourage you to consider joining this free group. We believe this is a great vehicle for UDP Alumni to get and stay connected. To join the "UWO Alumni - Urban Development Program" group, please register at LinkedIn


Please contact the Urban Program Director, Dr. Jason Gilliland, with any questions regarding the Urban Development Program.

Phone: 519-661-2111, Ext. 81239

Email: jgillila@uwo.ca