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Course Streams

Community Planning

Many pressing challenges facing contemporary cities are felt most acutely at the community level: poverty, inequality, homelessness, environmental injustices, and police violence, to name a few. Planning at the community scale seeks to address the immediate needs of local people while also empowering citizens to participate in governance and effect change at larger scales. The community planning focus area is designed to help students understand the larger political and economic forces that create structural inequalities, and appreciate the importance of local action for removing them. Community planners serve as mediators, translators, and strategists who work with multiple stakeholder groups… [Read More]

Environmental Planning and Sustainability

Environmental Planning and Sustainability

Global environmental problems like human-induced climate change know no national border. Meanwhile, more than fifty percent of the world’s population now lives in urban areas and consumes a majority of the planet’s natural resources. Environmental planners adopt solutions-oriented approaches to address environmental problems arising from, for example, climate change and globalization such as finding ways to support local food production, deploy clean sources of energy, conserve biodiversity and natural habitats, manage urban waste, and preserve freshwater resources…[Read More]

International Development Planning

International Development Planning

We now live in a world where, more than ever, the local is affected by forces and characterized by dimensions—economic, political, environmental, social, and cultural—that are global. This presents planners with opportunities and challenges alike for making cities—in the global North as well as South— inclusive, equitable, and sustainable. By 2050 the population of our already urban world is expected to reach close to 10 billion. Three-quarters of this projected population increase will be urban, with over half of it in Asia, which will be home to the world’s largest megacities… [Read More]

Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Planning

Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Planning

Land use, transportation and infrastructure planners prepare plans and policies that affect the growth and appearance of neighborhoods, cities, and urban regions. Their work affects the siting and sizing of new development at the urban scale as well as the physical design of specific sites. The site planning process itself involves site selection, program development, site analysis and design, and plan implementation…[Read More]

Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance

Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance

Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (DMHA) is an interdisciplinary field that is becoming increasingly important. The president of the World Bank reported that in the past 30 years, more than 2.5 million people have been lost because of natural disasters. While more recently, fewer lives are being lost because of advances in risk reduction, the economic cost associated with disasters continues to grow…[Read More]

Housing

Housing

In both the US and abroad, the housing “crisis” has grown from a poor person problem to an everybody problem, thus attracting the attention of policymakers at the local, state, and national levels. Planners are in a special position to help craft innovative policy solutions, implement them with equity and justice in mind, and evaluate their effectiveness. Because planners embrace theory and methodology from across the social sciences, their housing policy toolkit is not limited by disciplinary blindspots… [Read More]

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