This area of concentration is concerned with the interrelated problems of development; including industrialization, urbanization, patterns of regional economic growth and decline, rural and resource-based development, the nature and consequences of geographically uneven development, and the problems of marginalized populations including access to basic urban services and livelihoods. Global flows of goods, capital, labor, and information are increasing. Simultaneously, what regions do, how they do it, and their experiences of growth and decline continue to be quite different. We take regions as the major territorial scale of economic development and engage with policies designed specifically to encourage and shape development at the regional level. These policies range from resource based development policies to those concentrating on technology based industrialization, and from highly structured industrial planning and location policies to those focusing on more diffused institution building at the regional scale.

Many faculty teach courses relevant to the RID AOC, including Stephen Commins, Kian Goh, Susanna Hecht, Veronica Herrera, Paavo Monkkonen, Adam MiIlard-Ball, Vinit Mukhija, Ananya Roy, Michael Storper, Chris Tilly, and Goetz Wolff. Their research covers an immense range of topics; slum redevelopment and urban upgrading in Mumbai, the nature and social dynamics of forest change over time, the role of civil society organizations in development, the relationship between urban spatial structure and economic productivity, the drivers of urban growth and regional disparities, disaster management, public goods provision and public finance, urban sprawl and accessibility, and spatial justice.

Graduates from RID work in different positions in a wide variety of places including international development organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the Aga Khan Foundation, GOAL Global, and World Vision; public sector organization like the State of Illinois Redistricting, the LA County Department of Regional Planning, and the City of Toronto; and private sector companies such as the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Nike Italy, Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates, Jones Lange Lasalle, ICF GHK Consulting, and the California Community Reinvestment Corporation.

In addition to opportunities at the organizations listed above, RID students have recently completed internships with UN Habitat in Nairobi, the Housing Department of the City of Johannesburg, Action Aid in Bangladesh, the World Agroforestry Center in Indonesia, the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD) in Beijing, the Chengdu Institute of Planning and Design (CDIPD), the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University (CEPT) in Ahmedabad, India, the Yunus Center at AIT in Thailand, and the UN-ESCAP in Myanmar.

Students interested in international work benefit greatly from other Luskin initiatives such as Luskin Global Public Affairs and the International Practice Pathway program. Faculty and guest speakers hold periodic salons and workshops to discuss current issues in international development, to develop specific skills, and discuss careers in international development.

In order to guide their study, RID students select one of two streams of study; Regional Economic Development or International Development. These two areas are interrelated but differentiate the focus of study principally through the electives students take. These areas are unique strengths of UCLAs Urban Planning Department, and combined with opportunities in the broader UCLA environment like the Institute of the Environment, the International Institute, Center for the Study of Women, and the Fielding School of Public Health, create endless possible combinations of coursework.

In addition to the core Urban Planning courses, students in RID are required to take the RID urbanization requirement, two required courses, and three electives:

Urbanization RequirementUP 236A Theories of Regional Economic Development

Students must choose the Regional Economic Development Stream or the International Development Stream. Each stream has a required theory course and a required methods course. The three elective courses can be selected from the list below, but other courses – including from other departments on campus – can be substituted with approval of the AOC coordinator. 

RED Stream TheoryUP 236B Globalization
RED Stream MethodsUP 237A Sectoral Analysis


UP 239 Practice and Planning of Local Economic Development

ID Stream TheoryUP 233 Political Economy of Development
ID Stream MethodsUP 239 Methods and Practice of International Development
RID Electives      (choose three)UP 232 Disaster Management and Response

UP 235B Civil Society, NGOs, and Social Movements in Developing Countries

UP 237C The Southern California Regional Economy

UP 238 Global Labor Markets

UP 239 Special Topics in RID

UP 265A Urban Environment and Socioecologies

UP 269 Special Topics in Environmental Analysis and Policy

UP 271B Labor and Economic Development

UP 278 Urban Labor Markets and Public Policy

Sociology 236A: International Migration

PP 270 Economic Principles and Economic Development in Indigenous Communities

CHS 200 Global Health Problems

PP 290 International Poverty and Economic Development

CHS 451 Post-Disaster Community Health