Town and Regional Planning is part of the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Dundee, and the programme leads to a degree from the University. We are housed in the Matthew Building which offers excellent studio accommodation and specialist workshops, lecture theatres, sophisticated high technology facilities and a well-resourced library.
Dundee is a bustling, friendly city, beautifully situated on the Tay estuary. Within relatively short distances, one may enjoy a dramatic range of scenery from mountains to shoreline. In little over an hour, one can be in Edinburgh to visit the International Festival, and Scotland's National Museums and Art Galleries. Aberdeen and Glasgow, with many cultural and social amenities, take less than an hour and a half to reach by car or rail.
Dundee has a large student population and there is a wide range of cultural, social and recreational facilities including galleries, museums, theatres, cinemas, night-clubs and a notable concert hall, and many sporting facilities.
The conservation of our urban heritage is crucial for our cultural wellbeing and for our expanding tourism industry which now has a very substantial turnover and constitutes one of Britain's fastest growing industries. It has been demonstrated that historic buildings and townscapes are major attractors of forign tourists, and the expanding UK tourist industry creates a large number of new jobs each year. It is not only famous medieval towns such as York and Chester which are committed to urban conservation. Thus, for instance, Halifax, Bradford and Dundee are actively marketing their nineteenth century heritage.
Nationally, however, there is a shortage of suitably trained conservation officers especially with an understanding of conservation's relationship with urban tourism. Central agencies have recently noticed that there is a disturbing lack of awareness amongst those in planning authorities who administer the procedures and the law related to listed buildings and conservation areas.
Finally, the European Community is committed to increased finance being directed towards Europe's finest townscapes. There is much to be learned from a study of how the various member states organise and implement policies related to urban conservation and tourism.