Malaysia Sustainable Cities Practicum

Field-based Practicum in which 12 DUSP students selected by application will prepare for a two week stay in Malaysia during which they will work, under the close supervision of DUSP faculty and faculty at the Universiti of Teknologi of Malaysia(UTM) to assess the sustainable development efforts of regional development agencies in Penang, Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru.  The overall objective is for students to determine and document whether the sustainable development strategies in each of these three regions have been successful.  Prior to leaving Boston, students will, through guided self-study, learn about the culture, economy, physical environment, law and politics of Malaysia. They will also prepare an individual fieldwork plan, partly based partly on advice from the DUSP faculty involved with the MIT-Malaysia Sustainable Cities Partnership and partly with the help of UTM faculty (through on-line consultation). Their goal will be to formulate various hypotheses about why and how efforts to promote sustainable city development have or haven’t worked and to determine why.  Their findings will be presented to the development agencies, city leaders, professional planners and citizen activists in each of the three regions for review and comment.

Malaysia is a country committed to sustainable development.  Our focus is on whether this commitment has produced measurable results at the city scale over the past decade.  Based on what the students are able to document, and through face-to-face presentations of their findings to the three development agencies and our UTM colleagues, the students in the Practicum will outline possible follow-up field research that could be done by in-country professionals to extend what they have learned and contribute to the emerging theory and practice of sustainable development in the developing world.


  • Selection by application in the Fall semester