Welcome to SPRING!
SPRING stands for Spatial Planning for Regions in Growing Economies and is a two-year Master´s degree programme that addresses current topics of spatial planning in developing and emerging countries. In lectures, for instance, SPRING participants discuss the challenges of rapid urban growth, reflect on the conflict between environmental protection and economic development, define strategies to cope with impacts of climate change or develop concepts to improve transport systems. The first year of the SPRING programme takes place at TU Dortmund University, followed by a second year at one of the five partnering universities in Ghana, Tanzania, The Philippines, Brazil or Chile (currently not available). Language of instruction is English. The SPRING programme awards a M.Sc. Degree in “Regional Development Planning and Management”. Both final documents (certificate and transcript) are jointly issued by TU Dortmund University and the respective partnering university of the second year.
Over the last decades, many governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America have initiated new regional development strategies based on national decentralisation policies in order to reduce regional disparities. The level of management of the new decentralised administrative units (districts, regions or municipalities), however, rarely corresponds with the new requirements. The quality of governance is still weak and experience in managing regional and urban development limited. Planners are increasingly challenged to bridge the boundaries between administrative sectors and the gap between formulating a plan and implementing a programme. New qualifications are required, ranging from planning competence to management skills, i.e. to make programmes operational with respect to financial requirements and restrictions or to moderate participatory processes. In order to fill the evident gap in adequate training for regional planning and management, five universities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe are co-operating in running the SPRING programme. Launched in 1984 and designed as a joint post-graduate course, SPRING has pioneered a new way of international academic co-operation.