5 architecture schools inspiring sustainable development and design 
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The world is entering a pivotal moment in time. With the pandemic, our race to deal with rising temperatures and diminishing natural resources only got more intense.

Architecture and urban planning will be crucial towards tackling these big questions. They will be necessary to ensure that our cities do not reduce the opportunities of future generations to enjoy similar levels of wealth, utility, or welfare.

Speaking to Architectural Digest, the Director of Planning for global design and architecture firm HOK Brian Jencek outlined his vision for cities in the next two decades:

“We are looking to combine people-focused design with cutting-edge technology to enhance livability with a greener, more connected public realm and new levels of sustainability,” he said.

Urban areas are projected to house nearly two-third of humanity in a decade’s time, according to United Nations data.

Future-focused architecture schools are responding to the needs of people and the environment. Changes to curriculum are being made. More sustainable design and development modules will go a long way in teaching the next generation how to design, plan and build responsibly.

Here are five architecture schools going green and leading the way towards better cities in the future.


The College of Architecture and the Built Environment at Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) is on a mission to create a socially equitable and sustainable future.

school of architecture

Source: Thomas Jefferson University

In its portfolio of offerings are well-designed and specialised programmes with extensive input from today’s top sustainability experts and practitioners.

The NAAB accredited Master of Architecture prioritises social equity, sustainable design, design excellence, tech and computational know-how, project management skills and collaborative experiences. Located close to Center City Philadelphia, expect to be inspired by this urban living laboratory rich with a collection of major historical and contemporary buildings.

In the award-winning, trans-disciplinary Master of Sustainable Design, learn how to use problem-solving skills to develop market-driven solutions and leadership qualities in solving the climate crisis.

This year, TJU College of Architecture and Built Environment will be launching a new Master of Urban Design focused on Future Cities.

Unlike programmes elsewhere, this Master’s addresses contemporary issues such as the need for carbon-neutral communities, smart technologies and environmental wellness on multiple scales in response to rapid urbanisation and climate change.

To find out more about this new programme, or the other postgraduate offerings, click here to start designing a better tomorrow with TJU.


Northeastern University’s School of Architecture provides students with focused and intensive training in the disciplines of architecture and landscape architecture.

school of architecture

Source: Northeastern University

Their Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board and leverages the school’s outstanding faculty and location in central Boston.

In fact, many Northeastern Master’s students use their metropolitan backdrop as inspiration to their design and development projects.

Whereas Northeastern urban planning postgraduate students use their location in Boston, Massachusetts for daily insights into how urban sustainability plays a pivotal role in a city landscape.

Opportunities to engage in pressing topics such as urban density, social and economic diversity and cultural preservation are plenty at this architecture school. Click here to find out more.


Strathclyde’s School of Architecture helps students tackle the world’s most pressing challenges through a range of postgraduate programmes.

One of these is the MSc Urban Design degree which teaches students how to make future cityscapes safe and sustainable.

school of architecture

Source: University of Strathclyde

Another is the MSc/PgDip Sustainable Engineering: Architecture and Ecology, which combines theoretical and practical approaches to architecture, ecology and sustainability through a mix of instructional modules and hands-on work placements and projects.

Theoretical study will be done by instructional modules taken at Strathclyde in Glasgow during the first three months of study. Then get ready to experience the scorching desert climate of Arizona during a three-month work placement at the experimental micro-city Arcoasanti.

Graduates of this cross-disciplinary programme — offered full-time and part-time — will be eligible to attain Chartered Engineer status.


The IE School of Architecture and Design in Segovia expands the boundaries of architecture and design.

With almost one hundred nationalities studying on campus, this academic and creative hub features borderless learning spaces and a commitment to preparing graduates to change the world through entrepreneurial thinking.

If you opt for the Master in Strategic Design of Spaces, you’ll learn how to implement innovative design changes that impact and align with an organisation’s goals.

And if you choose the Global Master in Real Estate Development, you’ll learn about financial concepts such as investment and real estate management, with a focus on sustainability.

Source: IE School of Architecture

Student projects are not exclusive to any programme at IE School of Architecture and Design either. Everyone has the chance to participate in meaningful, career-boosting projects regardless of their degree-level.


Georgia Tech has been a leader in urban design education since 1969.

Knowing this, many international students choose to study the Master of Science in Urban Design (MSUD) programme there.

This programme offers an interdisciplinary experience, with required courses in urban design, architecture and city planning, and additional opportunities in civil and environmental engineering, real estate development, heritage preservation and more.

Whereas the STEM-designated Master of Science in Architecture (MSA) programme advances your knowledge and skills related to the contemporary technologies that are rapidly expanding the frontiers of architectural design, theory, and practice.

For instance, if you choose to major in High Performance Buildings, you’ll get to work alongside in-house building technology experts that help you judge the impact of architectural design and boost your practical skills.

Graduates of this MSA track will also be able to co-engineer and integrate novel building technologies into buildings.

Want to find out more about these programmes? Click here.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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