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 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 advanced seminar explores metropolitan planning in an international
context. The course is taught through case-studies which reflect a diversity
of issues, including rapid urbanization, second- and third-tier cities,
planning practices in a context of deficient data, regional governance, and
sectoral economic development strategies in a globalized market context.
Prior completion of MPUP 530 and MPUP 715 is required for students with
no prior exposure to market economics and global urban development.
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.
Note: Students in this core course study landmark land use law cases that built the legal foundations of the urban planning profession. Students examine land use law, and the law as a method by which the form and quality of neighborhoods and communities is changed. They also evaluate the various legal issues that arise in the course of the planning, policy making, and regulation process impacting development and resource utilization. The powers and constraints of zoning law are examined, as well as environmental and housing policies and regulations that govern architecture and neighborhood form. This is a required core course of the program.
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 seminar explores the world's fastest growing industry: global travel and tourism. Utilizing global case studies, students gain exposure to the planning and management practices employed to balance global economics with local development outcomes. A critical question centers on the development of sustainable place-based tourism, which leverages distinct cultural, social, and historical attributes of a place, but which also is deliberate in assessing the collateral local impacts of the global tourism industry. The course surveys policies, markets, infrastructure, labor, training, product design and marketing in the cumulative effort to position unique places in the global marketplace. Performance based outcomes are evaluated with respect to economic, environmental and cultural sustainability, in support of the creation of a place-based hospitality framework.
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 explores how are concepts of urban resiliency inform urban planning decisions with an emphasis on urban infrastructure and systems. Students develop proficiency in systems thinking in order to critically explore how urban infrastructure systems are defined, conceived, delivered and maintained. A review of best practice case studies introduces concepts of urban resiliency which directly inform the contemporary debate on urban infrastructure. Topics include new urban challenges associated with climate change, such as sea-level rise, storm events, flooding and coastal inundation, among many others.
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.