The Rapid Planning Toolkit for Urban Expansion is a simple and practical tool which intends to assist city leaders, local governments and built environment professionals in creating robust and implementable walkable neighbourhood plans in rapidly growing cities or towns by following four simple steps.

This course is the first stage of the Rapid Planning Toolkit and provides an overview of the key concepts involved and how to use it.



The world’s urban population is set to increase dramatically in the next three decades with most of this rapid urbanisation occurring in towns and cities of less than one million inhabitants, referred to collectively in the Rapid Planning Toolkit as ‘secondary cities’. The speed and scale of growth means that managing urban areas, and planning for new sustainable urban extensions, will be one of the most important challenges facing cities and societies in the 21st century.

This introductory course will give an overview of the key concepts surrounding the Rapid Planning Toolkit and what each of the four steps involves. On completion of this course, you will receive a certificate endorsed by Commonwealth Association of Planners, the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, the Commonwealth Association of Architects and the Commonwealth Engineers Council.

Whilst the toolkit is predominantly aimed at secondary cities in the Global South, where built environment professional capacity is constrained, there are many elements of the toolkit that are applicable to countries across the world such as the issue of density and participatory planning. We encourage anyone interested in learning about managing sustainable cities, to undertake this course.



This course is for anyone who is interested in sustainable city planning/design, such as:

  • Built environment professionals
  • City leaders/councillors
  • Academics/students studying or researching in this field

Rapid Planning Toolkit for Urban Expansion from RapidPlanningToolkit on Vimeo.



In collaboration with UCEM, The Prince’s Foundation has created this online learning resource which will guide users through implementing the toolkit in their city.

‘The Prince’s Foundation is delighted to be partnering with UCEM on the creation of this online course. It has been fantastic to see the methodology created by The Prince’s Foundation and a range of partners be transformed into an online course that will help build capacity in the places that need it most. We look forward to continuing to work with UCEM on further courses for the Rapid Planning Toolkit and look forward to hearing from users that undertake the course in the coming months.’

Endorsed by:

Commonwealth Association of Planners, Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Commonwealth Association of Architects and the Commonwealth Engineers Council



By the end of this course, you will understand:

  • Key concepts of sustainable rapid planning, the importance of cities, the toolkit and walkable neighbourhoods
  • The importance of a city charter (step 1) and who should be involved
  • The importance of a rapid growth plan (step 2)
  • Ways you could implement the rapid growth plan (step 3)
  • The importance of using local designs and materials (step 4)



The total estimated study time for completing this course is 8 hours.

This estimate includes time for you to read or view a resource more than once, as well as time for you to take notes and undertake the online assessment.

As a fully online, self-managed course you can stop and restart the course as you progress. You can work at a time and place that suits you.

8 hours

to complete course

Illustration of RPT modules


This course is made up of five topics:

  1. Context and key concepts
  2. Writing a charter for your growing city
  3. Creating a rapid urban growth plan
  4. Implementing a rapid urban growth plan
  5. Building neighbourhoods


There is a short online quiz at the end of the module. This is to test that you have completed all aspects of the course and will have the knowledge to progress on to the next level should you choose. You will be able to attempt the quiz multiple times.

If you achieve 80% or above in the quiz, you will receive a personalised certificate of completion for 8 hours of CPD.

If you are member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, this information may help meet your personal development plan objectives and could count towards CPD.

Certificate upon completion