This short course is specifically structured to enhance the capacity, skills and experiences of planners, development professionals, communities and decision makers involved with rural planning and development.For many years the rural landscape in South Africa has been neglected in terms of planning and development and somewhat isolated and divorced from the larger regional and urban economies an aspect, which was largely enhanced by the former homelands. While the rural communities in many cases find themselves within a variety of economies and industries such as agriculture, mining, forestry and tourism, many rural communities are often characterised by extreme poverty, limited access to economic and job opportunities, and unsustainable environments.Fortunately the government, and specifically the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform have realised the unique problems and challenges in rural South Africa. This realisation led to numerous planning and development initiatives in many rural areas in the country. Unfortunately the scale of interventions needed to restructure and develop rural landscapes require a major effort from planners, development professionals, government officials and politicians at all levels as well as the communities. Apart from this, rural and regional design implies a different unique set of planning skills, unlike the skills usually applied in the planning of urban areas. In view of the above, the need was identified to develop and present a tailor made course dealing specifically with all the aspects related to the planning and design of rural areas, the development of rural economies as well as the development and nurturing of local rural communities.It is believed that the knowledge, skills and values obtained through this course can capacitate and entice rural planners and decision makers to create the energy and magic that is needed to turn around rural areas and to improve the lives of the rural communities.This short course is structured around - both theoretical principles and knowledge, case studies (locally and internationally) as well as practical studies, exercises and assignments. The three day course is facilitated by the Department of Town and Regional Planning of the University of Pretoria and draws on the knowledge and experience of a range of experts in the above fields.