This seminar explores the practices of developing a comprehensive affordable housing strategy for a local jurisdiction. While the emphasis is on the economics of delivering housing to the complete range of incomes, the course explores how comprehensive housing strategies move beyond housing policy to include other urban planning challenges which impact affordability, social inclusion and community development. Lectures, guest speakers and analytical exercises explore policy themes and student research culminates in a final project which constructs a new housing strategy in a given jurisdiction.
This seminar explores the role of the large infrastructure project in the comprehensive transformation of the city. The course starts with a global survey of infrastructure megaprojects, including the introduction of new transportation and transit systems, new water and energy systems. The course will critically assess the goals and impacts of large projects and will critically assess the finance, governance, planning, procurement and project management strategies which are employed to deliver them. The course concludes with a final project which affords students to prepare an in-depth case study of a contemporary project.
This seminar focuses on “entitlements” — the legal rights secured through government approvals to develop property for a certain use, intensity, building type or building location. Topics covered include property value creation through entitlements, the legal, institutional, and planning framework for redevelopment, analytical frameworks for selecting sites and assessing development risk, the role of building design in adding value to redevelopment projects and the negotiation of development agreements. Coursework is advanced through lectures, class discussions and exercises, and case studies.
This core course explores the values and decisions related to the ethical practice of urban planning in democratic societies. Students investigate the process of developing ethical frameworks and advancing decision-making in professional planning practice. Students critically assess historical practices in the context of the multi-cultural city and contemporary goals for social and environmental justice.
This seminar is an introduction to Geographic Information Systems and their application within the fields of urban planning, asset management and public administration. Students develop proficiency in ESRI software and discover geo-coded data in support of performing spatial analysis in cities and regions. This course includes a combination of hands-on instruction as well as lectures introducing contemporary applications. Students will produce a final spatial analysis project as the dedicated means to researching communities and the built-environment.
This core course examines the history of the planning profession and the planner’s role in urban development. Themes include the physical design of cities, the social construct of community and the planner's response to new technologies. Course readings emphasize primary texts associated with urban planning practice and students complete an in-depth historical case study of urban planning outcomes.
Independent Study is a student-initiated and student-designed course of study. It can be structured either as a professional internship or as an advanced academic study project. Students must apply to take this course in the previous semester using the special application form. Once approved, students are assigned an academic advisor to help guide their work. Students are required to make an oral presentation at the conclusion of the semester.
This core course studies landmark land use law cases that form the legal foundation of contemporary urban planning practice. Students examine the law as a method by which to shape the quality of neighborhoods and communities. Students evaluate legal constraints that arise in the course of the planning practice which directly impact urban development and resource allocation. The powers and constraints of zoning law are introduced in addition to the environmental and housing frameworks that govern metropolitan form.
This advanced seminar explores a new generation of professional practice which explicitly serves a defined urban district in order to advance comprehensive community development. Place management practices typically challenge the conventional framework of local governance and open new opportunities for innovative partnerships between urban stakeholders. Students will gain exposure to the establishment of place management districts, alternative stakeholder frameworks and the new professional activities which have given rise to many successful place-based, place-making initiatives. Washington D.C. is one of the most innovative cities in these practices and coursework includes field study, guest lecturers, detailed examination of case studies and scenario-based simulations of place management practices.
This core course examines the facets of sustainability planning that affect the health and future of the 21st century city in the era of climate change. As urban populations increase and natural resources grow more scarce, the principles of sustainable communities become integral to shaping livable urban environments. Theories of sustainability, sustainability policy, as well as obstacles to sustainable development are reviewed and case studies of sustainable communities are used to establish global benchmarks of best practices.
This seminar explores how to intentionally plan the built environment to improve public health, while critically examining risk factors linked to health and safety outcomes. Students develop proficiency in key areas of public health, gain exposure to tools and methods to translate research into action, and gain exposure to emerging trends influencing professional practice in planning, design and real estate. A key objective is to introduce evidence-based, feasible, and health-driven decision making frameworks, which place an emphasis on translating concepts into urban planning, design and investment actions.
This core course introduces students to the underlying skills and research methods necessary to excel in the Urban & Regional Planning program. Students will become familiar with the sources of data, quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and spatial analysis, while concurrently developing knowledge in the concepts and terminology of urban planning practice. Through readings, lectures, field study and applied analysis, students gain proficiency in applying both foundational knowledge and skills. This course is required for all incoming students.
This studio course is an introduction into the practices of urban planning through direct engagement of external organizations. Students engage in urban analysis and the formulation and articulation of an urban planning strategy. Examples of successful urban analysis, planning initiatives and community design strategies will are introduced as case studies of professional practice. Coursework emphasizes the exploration of methods of documentation, interdisciplinary analysis and effective communication of planning concepts. A final project presentation is made to external stakeholders.
This seminar is a comprehensive introduction to the goals, strategies, and planning practices of urban transportation systems. Transportation planning is introduced across all modes, and in multiple locations in varying metro-regional contexts. Students explore how transportation planning sets goals, develops strategies, and assesses outcomes in meeting a community's transportation needs. Case studies are used to assess planning, regulatory and funding strategies in the context of local, regional, and national transportation policies. The course includes a critical assessment of how new technologies and transit-oriented development strategies are disrupting old assumptions with concepts of urban mobility services, walkability, and on-demand transit.
Capstone is the culminating course in the program curriculum and the final requirement to become eligible to graduate. Students propose a topic, conduct research and work with an adviser to develop an argument advancing the professional practice of urban planning. Projects may be place-based, practice-based or be completed as a professional engagement. All students must present their work to a visiting review committee and submit a written deliverable for final evaluation. Capstone may be paired with Independent Study in the previous semester to allow the completion of an academic thesis. Upon completion students are encouraged to publish their work through Digital Georgetown and by doing so make their work searchable by the public. Students must apply to take this course in the previous semester using the special application form.
Note: Minimum grade of "B" needed to pass, Core course for the MPUP major.