At the MIT School of Architecture + Planning (SA+P), we believe that humanity’s toughest problems occupy the same ground as their solutions: the space between people and their environment. This is our territory. From the day MIT opened its doors and introduced Course 4 as the nation’s first academic program in architecture, our faculty, students, and alumni have explored the human landscape to discover—and deliver—better futures.
Since its founding 80 years ago, the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT has consistently been rated the premier planning school in the world. We are home to the largest urban planning faculty in the United States and enjoy the advantage of operating within the context of MIT’s culture of innovation and interdisciplinary knowledge creation. We see as our mission to educate students while advancing theory and practice in areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century.
We are committed to generating and disseminating knowledge, and to working with communities, governments, and industry to bring this knowledge to bear on the world's most pressing challenges. We provide our students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with active engagement in the practice of place-making.
Our goal is to apply advanced analysis and design to understand and solve pressing urban and environmental problems. To this end, the department fosters a culture of learning by doing, while also supporting the development of influential theories in the areas of urban planning and design, economic development, and environmental policymaking. By complementing more traditional seminars with studios, workshops, and practica, our faculty, students, and researchers are able to translate path-breaking ideas into practical and enduring solutions.
SPURS program provides the opportunity for mid-career professionals who are or will be shaping policy in developing countries to further develop their planning and problem-solving capacities. Each academic year, 15 to 18 qualified individuals carry out a program of study and research focusing on the problems of urban and regional change within the broader context of development.
SPURS Fellows come from an extraordinary range of backgrounds and experiences. Over the past 50 years, more than 707 Fellows have come from over 120 countries. They are drawn from such varied fields as architecture, sociology, economics, government and business, or from any field in which there is a concern with problems of development. They are exposed to new theories and approaches from other Fellows, faculty, and other practitioners-ideas which they can later apply in their home countries.
SPECIAL BENEFECTOR: ABDULAZIZ ALKHEDHEIRI
Abdulaziz Alkhedheiri, former minister of Culture and Information of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, former deputy governor of the Makkah Region and former Governor of Makka City, Saudi Arabia, and SPURS alumnus. Dr. Alkhedheiri received his PhD in strategic planning at London University in 1996, Master in City Planning at MIT in 1990, and a SPURS Fellow in 1988.