Cubukcu, Ebru and Eksioglu, Gozde. "Planning Education and Sustainable Development: Students' Perception and Knowledge - A Case from Turkey," in ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 3, issue 1 (2009).
Sustainable development is one of the great challenges of 21st century for various disciplines including city and regional planning. Studies showed that city plans fail to promote sustainable development, design professionals have limited understanding of sustainability issues, and curriculums in design education schools do not put the necessary emphasis on sustainability concepts. However, no study has tested whether planning students’ have a different perception and understanding of sustainable development than other students. Thus, this study aims to understand attitudes of planning students towards sustainable development and compare planning students’ and other students’ knowledge about sustainable development. Data were collected by means of questionnaires, which asked questions about perception and attitudes towards sustainable development, source of information to improve sustainability knowledge, and level of knowledge for general, legal and architectural aspects of sustainability. One hundred ten volunteers (79 planning students, 31 general students) participated in the study. Results showed that students thought that very little sustainable practice appears to be undertaken. Although, planning students thought that the sensitivity to sustainability determines an important percentage of their final grades in a studio project, they reported not using many of the sustainability principles in studios. In addition, planning students reported that they improve their understanding of sustainable development via classes, scientific articles and books. On the other hand, other students reported that they rely on visual and written media to improve their understanding of sustainable development. Despite those differences in sources of information, results showed that,planning students’ level of knowledge (for general, legal and architectural aspects of sustainability) was not different than that of other students. In conclusion, although this study has some methodological drawbacks it is important in highlighting the necessity for a better look to planning education.