Master ``Design for Development. Architecture, Urban Planning and Heritage in the Global South``

The impacts of globalisation on cities and regions are creating huge socio-spatial imbalances, environmental emergencies and complex urban management problems, particularly in the regions of the Global South and in countries with emerging economies. Operating in these places requires innovative professional skills to be expressly developed to be able to face the challenges of inclusive, sustainable urban development and seize the opportunities offered by transformations to improve physical and social contexts (“make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” – United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Goal 11).

The Master’s in Design for Development has been devised to meet these demands in the firm belief that the design disciplines can play a leading role in these new urbanisation processes. Indeed, there is ever growing demand from all sides for design experts capable of navigating the challenging contexts of the Global South by bringing skills and expertise that focus on the governability and quality of urban and regional development.

With this in mind, the programme of this First and Second Level Specialising Master’s Course sets out to train professionals with an international outlook capable of tackling the most difficult challenges posed by contemporary urban development with skill and creativity, based on an approach that blends research, design and innovation. These new professionals will be offered a broad overview of design at a variety of scales, in which architecture, planning and heritage protection are all aspects of the same approach to design which aims to develop effective strategies for defending and developing the regions in which they operate in environmental and social terms.

The aim is to produce professionals/consultants in the area of development-related spatial issues who can seek employment at the supranational, national or local scale, whether in the public, private or third sector.

The course is held in English.

The partners of the master

Master promoted by:
Politecnico di Milano – Department of Architecture and Urban Studies

To know more

Breaking news
The Department of Architecture and Urban Studies of Politecnico di Milano and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) will develop a revitalization project of the historic center of San Salvador and San Miguel in El Salvador. MDFD Master Design for Development will be part of this project, through scholarships for our students, conferences, lessons, internships and on the ground workshop.
In order to facilitate this collaboration, the Master IV edition will be moved to November 2024.

To apply

To apply for admission, please fill the form and send it, along with the required documentation, to

The admission application must be presented by September 22nd, 2024.