Land Use and Transportation Planning

This concentration is focused on developing an understanding of the terms, theories, ideas and analytical skills that surround land use and transportation planning. Land is the basic resource upon which our communities are built, and it is unique in that it is both scarce and fixed in location. Land uses affect the environment, interact with one another, and depend on transportation and infrastructure in order to function. Land use planning relates to the physical environment where we live and work. Transportation connects us to all of our activities, and it connects communities. Transportation and land use are mutually dependent and inseparable.

Land use and transportation planning are the traditional responsibilities of local and regional planning agencies, and sometimes state agencies that support them. They are also the responsibilities of consulting firms who support the work of these public agencies. UP 503, Physical Planning, is the core course that provides an introduction to this field. Recommended foundation courses provide added depth in techniques and theories of land use and transportation planning. Electives can be used to provide further depth, or to provide breadth in closely-related fields.


The primary DURP faculty teaching and conducting research relevant to land use and transportation planning include Arnab Chakraborty (land use, affordable housing, scenario analysis, and collaborative planning), Brian Deal (sustainable design and development, land use planning, land use models), Mary Edwards (local public finance), Lindsay Maurer Braun,  Bruce Knight (growth management, metropolitan and regional planning, public management), Rob Olshansky (environmental policy, natural hazards), Daniel Schnieder (ecology and environmental planning), Jesus Barajas, and Bumsoo Lee (sustainable urban form and transportation, economic impact analysis).

Career Paths

Employment opportunities for students with expertise in land use and transportation planning are found in municipal, regional and state planning agencies, state and regional transportation agencies, private consultancies (e.g., developers and design and engineering firms), and non-governmental organizations (e.g., development organizations).

Course Recommendations

Recommendation Number Course
Highly recommended courses forming the core of the concentration

UP 418
UP 430
UP 546
UP 594-AC
UP 448

GIS for Planners
Urban Transportation Planning
Land Use Policy and Planning
Regional Planning and Policy
Evironmental Planning Workshop
Electives: Recommended depending on specific interests

UP 405
UP 406
UP 407
UP 420
UP 445
UP 446
UP 473
UP 474
UP 595
LA 450
NRES 401
NRES 422
NRES 439
GEOG 466
GEOG 468
GEOG 469

Watershed Ecology and Planning
Urban Ecology
State and Local Public Finance
Planning for Historic Preservation
Economic Development Planning
Sustainable Planning Seminar
Housing and Urban Policy Planning
Neighborhood Planning
Advanced Sustainable Planning Workshop
Ecology for Land Restoration
Watershed Hydrology
Earth Systems Modeling
Environment & Sustainable Development
Environmental Policy
Biological Modeling
Spatial Ecosystem Modeling

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