The principal mission of École supérieure d’aménagement du territoire et de développement regional (ÉSAD) of Laval University is to train the land use planning and regional development professionals and researchers of tomorrow.  Over the course of their studies, graduates acquire a solid, practical and theoretical foundation in regional development, urban planning, environmental ecology, transportation and environment.  The Master’s programs are accredited by the Quebec Order of Urban Planners and the Canadian Institute of Planners, and are recognized in French-speaking countries by the Association pour la promotion de l’enseignement et de la recherche en aménagement urbanisme (APERAU).

One of North America’s oldest cities, Quebec City, offers students at ÉSAD a glimpse of European and North American planning principles, serving as a living laboratory for studies performed inside the classroom or in the field.  From the 18th century urban fabric of the old city and the sprawling suburban periphery to various environmental protection and sustainable design policies, Quebec City is both a point of reference and an object of study for teaching and research at ÉSAD.  As part of its effort to train future urban planners capable of balancing local and global issues, ÉSAD encourages its students to study abroad.  The school has agreements with several universities in Europe (Spain, France, Ireland, Switzerland), in the US or in Brazil, where students may complete a portion of their studies.

Graduates of ÉSAD acquire the necessary skills to participate in the territorial decision-making process and are active locally or internationally in government and para-government organisations, in private firms or in non-profit organizations that are particularly environmentally related.  Several graduates pursue doctoral studies either at the ÉSAD or abroad.