Part-time, in class Urban Design Certificate

Design places that improve the human experience

Urban Design Certificate grad Karim has become inspired to contribute more to his community. Read his story

Whether you're looking for urban design solutions for streets, buildings or entire regions, SFU’s part-time Urban Design Certificate program will deliver the fresh and practical ideas, methods and skills you need to move projects from planning and design to implementation.

Today, awareness is growing that buildings, spaces and projects should fit within a broader social, economic and physical context. Relationships matter. To achieve this new harmony, our certificate program draws from a variety of disciplines that influence urban design, including architecture, ecology, economics, engineering, real estate development, landscape architecture, planning and sociology.

Led by industry experts, our courses take a deep dive into current case studies, providing you with applied learning of theory and practice.

The SFU approach


Effective urban design is rooted in an accurate understanding of place, the development of comprehensive and inclusive processes to define plans, and the weaving of a multi-disciplinary design strategy.

Grounded in these three dimensions, our courses explore user-centric graphical design, land-use economics, ecological planning, public realm considerations, suburban retrofit and implementation methods (among others).

What the SFU Urban Design Certificate offers you

  • Current substance: Beyond the timeless fundamentals, the methods, approaches and ideas you’ll encounter will reflect current and future urban design directions.
  • Instruction by leading professionals: Courses are taught by industry-leading architects, planners, landscape architects, economists and others who bring passion and years of experience to the classroom. They’ll help you integrate theory and practice with immediate lessons and applications.
  • Relevant case studies: Cases from communities of all sizes are used as labs for class discussions. You’ll also have the chance to contribute your work projects to in-class problem-solving sessions.
  • Applied final projects: You’ll be able to apply your learning and insights to your projects at work.
  • Network-building: You’ll have the opportunity to create lifelong friendships and pathways to career development.

What students are saying

“I have noticed a real update and uplift in my designing skills at all levels: graphical, analytical, creative and problem-solving skills. All of them have led to me being much more confident in my work, staying at the best North American practices level, and broadening my range of ways to approach different internal and external stakeholders...”
—Daniel Leal, MArch, MUP, MBA, Urban Design Advisor, Wood Buffalo, AB
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Taught by industry leaders

Michael von Hausen (FCIP, RPP, CSLA, LEED AP, MLAUD) is the president of MVH Urban Planning and Design Inc., a firm that specializes in growth management, sustainable master planning, urban design, city planning and approvals, and community partnerships. Michael brings over 35 years of public and private land development, planning and design experience from working with clients such as the City of Edmonton, City of Fort Saskatchewan, City of Calgary, City of Red Deer, City of Leduc, City of St. Albert, Strathcona County and Sturgeon County.
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Start with the first course

If you're not ready for a program, we invite you to start with the first course, Urban Design Theory and Practice. It's useful on its own or as a foundation for the rest of the program. After completing the course, you'll have the option of applying to the program and finishing the certificate.


This program won a Program Excellence Award from The Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE)