The Classic Planning Institute is a traditional architecture and urban design consultancy, an academy of traditional architecture and classic urban planning, and a community of practice. The Institute also has a lab which studies the Science of Beauty and a library which curates classical knowledge. The Classic Planning Institute is led by Dr Nir Buras, the author of The Art of Classic Planning (Harvard University Press, 2019)
Purpose and mission
Our purpose is to make the world more beautiful, sustainable and healthy through improving the built environment.
We do this through stewarding the knowledge bases of the classical method of urban planning and traditional architecture. At the highest level of practice, education and scientific rigor, we curate existing knowledge, generate new knowledge, apply what we know, and train in it. Our motto is, ‘Doing While Learning and Learning by Doing’.
What is Classic Planning?
In our modern world, we are accustomed to the fragmentation of intellectual and technical disciplines and skilled work. Uniquely, the Classic Planning Institute embraces the holistic classical method, employing the best and most representative examples of urban things judged as outstanding among their kind, instructively typical, and less subject to fashion.
Practiced in conjunction with the other key knowledge bases of the classical method, Classic Planning focuses on designing the built environment for human use and a pleasing experience by means of traditional buildings—Greek, Roman, Chinese, Indian, Islamic, Japanese, etc.—that emerged worldwide from the same principles and for the same purposes. Classic plans and their parts are still used in planning and urbanism to explain and exemplify fundamental concepts such as the block, the street, the plaza, and the neighborhood.
Crucially, the Classic Planning Institute researches and applies the leading-edge Science of Beauty, including multiple fractal perception and neuroaesthetics — and their relationship to human wellbeing. We insist on scientific rigor in urban planning and architecture.
Traditional traffic planning
Farming and agriculture
Traditional building arts
Oceans, lakes and rivers stewardship
Climatic and seismic resilience
Mining and metallurgy
Classic Planning principles
Who can apply for the Classic Planning Certificate?The Classic Planning Academy course content is university level, but highly accessible. There are no formal limits on who can apply. For the Year One Certificate, no experience or background in architecture or planning is required. We encourage applications from those who identify with the Classic Planning Institute’s purpose and have an ambition to practice architecture or planning in the future. We also welcome applications from enthusiasts and those wishing to pursue learning for their own edification, as well as citizens who wish to positively influence their local community.
What are you looking for in potential students?The Classic Planning Academy accepts students on the basis of merit, potential and suitability. For the Year One Certificate, no formal experience or background in architecture or planning is required. Your education, professional experience and personal statement will be considered when assessing your application. Classic Planning certificates are hands-on, so the course suits those who enjoy creating, drawing and designing. We encourage those who identify with the Classic Planning Institute’s mission to apply, and we encourage applications from all walks of life and people of all ages.
What is the applications process?Applications for the next intake for the Classic Planning Year One and Year Two Certificates, commencing in 2023, are open. Apply online through this link. The applications process involves a short online questionnaire and an interview with Academy Director Dr. Nir Buras. To ensure a good student experience, each program only accepts a maximum of 20 students per intake. The Classic Planning Academy accepts students on the basis of merit, potential and suitability. It is free to apply.
Are there any prerequisites?For the Year One Certificate, no experience or background in architecture or planning is required. In most cases, students of the Year Two Certificate will be required to have completed the Introductory Certificate. For those with classic planning and/or traditional architecture experience, exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. You are not required to have a university degree to undertake our courses. For the Professional Accreditation, students are required to have studied both certificates. For those with classic planning and/or traditional architecture experience, exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Candidates for Accreditation are required to complete certain university-level prerequisites in the arts, sciences and technical domains. Contact us for more information about the Accreditation.
Do I have to be a planner or an architect?For the Year One Certificate, no experience or background in architecture or planning is required. In most cases, students of the Year Two Certificate will be required to have completed the Year One Certificate. For those with classic planning and/or traditional architecture experience, exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. You are not required to have a university degree to undertake our courses.
What certification will I get?Certification provides participants with a professional designation (Traditional Architecture Associate, Traditional Architecture Fellow, Building Arts Associate, Building Arts Fellow, Classic Planning Associate, Classic Planning Fellow), digital and hard copy certificates and a word mark to include in professional biographies and résumés. Certification signals to employers and clients that the recipient is proficient in the core curriculum of the Classic Planning Institute.
Can I do this while I work or study?The certificate courses are suitable for those who work or study full time. The general commitment is five hours per week with breaks in between semesters.
What are the fees?The Year One course is US$5950 and the Year Two course is US$6500. You may undertake the Year One certificate as a discrete, self-contained course (i.e., you are not required to sign up for the whole two years). Payment plans are available.
Are group or corporate discounts available?Yes. Please contact us to find out what discounts are available for groups of more than two students or businesses who wish to certify multiple staff members.
Will this qualify me to practice architecture or planning?No, the Classic Planning Certificates are not intended to replace a professional qualification in architecture or planning.
What is the assessment process?For the certificate courses, students complete a hands-on studio project in both traditional architecture and classic planning that gives them the chance to put into practice what they have learned. Students’ work is reviewed by our expert tutors and by Dr Nir Buras, and students apply feedback to their work in order to pass the certificate.
Can I just do one part of the Year One Certificate?To get the most out of the program, we recommend doing all three courses in the Year One Certificate (Architectural Literacy, Classic Planning and 100-Year-Planning Studio), although exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
When is the next student intake?The next student intake is in 2023, with semester starting in once a minimum quorum of 8 is met.
Trained as an architect and town planning professional, Dr Nir Buras is among a handful of professionals that have both classical knowledge and experience in large, complex projects. He is the author of The Art of Classic Planning (Harvard University Press, 2019) and he visited 100 cities to write the book.
Dr Buras has over 30 years of specialized experience in large, complex, and sensitive projects, strategic planning, and architecture and transportation design, as well as teaching and lecturing. His goal is to serve the cities of the world by helping residents to better understand their cities to make them more beautiful, healthy and resilient. Read more ...