Course Numbers and Descriptions
In this class, we will explore both historical and contemporary dimensions of how cities form and develop- and how human interventions shape these complex processes. We will then draw upon a diverse range of sources to examine the past, present, and future of cities by looking at four distinct yet interrelated the mesenvironment, equity, economy, and culture. We will also use these themes to explore cities you are familiar with as well as our context here in Champaign-Urbana. Using our own experiences and knowledge, we will spend our time together examining how our minds take form in the city, and how cities shape and condition our minds.
This is the introductory urban informatics course for undergraduate students. A set of fundamental mathematical and statistical techniques will be introduced. Topics will cover quantitative research techniques which are frequently used in planning and social sciences fields. Typical topics include: Descriptive and inferential statistics, probability, measures of central tendency and dispersion, sampling and estimation, hypothesis testing and analysis of variance (ANOVA).
This course explores ways we can begin to resolve global, regional and local issues of unsustainable development priorities by better understanding how and where we choose to live.
In this course, students will explore the contingent and contested social meanings attached to the idea of ‘race’ and how these ideas are mobilized into racist political projects to govern the inequalities shaped by centuries of genocide, land theft, racial slavery, decades of legalized segregation and neoliberal economic exclusions.
Introduction to the process of urbanization from a global perspective by exploring the social, political, cultural and economic forces that shape urban life. Students will learn to analyze urban development in a range of cities including those in the Middle East and South Asia, Latin America and Africa.
This is the entry-level data science course for undergraduate students in urban planning. You will learn a set of fundamental concepts, skills, and tools in R for effective data analysis. We will start with basic data import, data cleansing/transformation, and will introduce data visualization later for communication purposes especially for planners. This course builds a common foundation for
quantitative analysis among undergraduate and graduate students for a wide application in one or more domain-specific courses in their capstone/thesis/dissertation work in the future. No previous coding experiences are required.
International Approaches to Creative Placemaking. This course examines practices and processes of creative placemaking and community based-art planning taking place in the United States and internationally. The course critically analyze how different actors are using, both formally and informally, the arts and creative practices to engage and build communities, to shape the physical environment, and to address persistent societal problems, including issues of economic, social, and environmental injustice, as well as inequities in civil and human rights. It will also discuss the negative impacts of established methods of creative placemaking that frequently fuels gentrification, displacement, and spatial violence and reflect how can we fight against that outcomes.
Introduces students to different career paths open to urban studies and planning majors. Students interact with professionals and take part in hands-on activities related to different concentration areas: sustainability, policy & planning, social justice and global cities.
Provides a broad introduction to social science theories and analysis methods to examine how people, communities, and governments plan a city. Draws upon theories and methods of several social science disciplines including economics, geography, political science, anthropology and sociology. Includes hands-on application of fundamental analysis techniques. (Credit is not given for both UP 203 and UP 204)
This course provides a broad introduction to social science theories and analysis methods, and uses the City of Chicago as a semester-long case study to examine how people, communities, and governments plan a city. Draws upon theories and methods of several social science disciplines including economics, geography, political science, anthropology, and sociology. Balances themes and concepts from the assigned readings with discussion of Chicago-specific case studies and hands-on application of fundamental analysis techniques.
This course provides an introduction to the scientific study of ecosystems, focusing on how natural ecological systems operate, how human activities affect these systems, and how constraints on these systems affect society.
Economic issues surrounding environmental quality, including: costs and benefits of environmental protection; economics of environmental policies (such as those dealing with toxics, water, and air pollution, and municipal solid waste); and economics of international environmental problems (such as ozone depletion and climate change). (Same as ECON 210, ENVS 210, NRES 210 and ACE 210)
Provides students with a basic understanding of the governmental structure, legal aspects, and practice of local municipal planning, with special emphasis on case law, constitutional principles, zoning, subdivision regulations and comprehensive planning. Gives an introduction for students interested in pursuing more advanced studies in land use law and local government planning.
This course prepares students to think critically about the following types of questions: What does our transportation system look like today, and how did we get here? Who makes decisions about transportation infrastructure and how are projects funded? What are the impacts of transportation on congestion, the environment, safety, health, and equity? How can we design streets and places that are safe for users of all travel modes, ages, and abilities? Will autonomous vehicles simply encourage more driving, or can they be harnessed to support community goals?
This course examines the social dimensions of environmental change, with an emphasis on cities and regions in the global South. The course is designed for sophomore and junior undergraduate students with interests in areas such as environmental planning, sustainable development, environmental justice, and environmental policy and management.
Students explore inequalities as violations of the capabilities and opportunities of urban inhabitants to develop as health beings, reflective persons and social actors. Theoretically, we frame inequalities as unequal capabilities to explain how racial, gender and wealth inequalities intersect and shape life experiences in specific places, across multiple scales and generations. Practically, we use a storytelling project to evaluate the power of subversive storytelling and counter mapping to reveal silences of dominant stock stories of inequalities. More specifically, the story map proceeds as four project journals contrasting official and unofficial stories of a particular struggle in ways that make visible possible pathways toward equitable future cities.
A survey of planning and planning-related professionals found that good communication is the most valued skill, even more than technical and quantitative skills. Memos, reports, and
presentations are some of the most common ways planners communicate. Mastery in these comes from building strength in basic communication skills as well as from developing the knowledge of the field in which these skills are employed. This course will cover writing, verbal and graphic techniques.
Provides an introduction to formal methods for collecting and analyzing data required in various planning processes. Methods include survey research, regional demographic and economic analysis, forecasting techniques, benefit-cost analysis, and decision analysis. Prerequisite: UP 116 or an introductory statistics course.
Entry-level data science course which introduces basic scientific methods, processes, and algorithms to extract and further understand knowledge or insights from all kinds of data in the urban environment. Students will learn a set of fundamental concepts in data science during lectures. The weekly hands-on lab will cover methods and tools of effective data analysis and visualization. This course builds a common foundation for quantitative analysis among undergraduates for a wide application in their capstone/projects. Prerequisite: UP116 or equivalent statistical course such as: ACE261, STAT100, STAT107, or STAT200.
The Modern American City investigates the changing social and economic composition of cities, and the changing status of cities in U.S. society. The course focuses on the propulsive role race plays in three separate periods: The post-war period of African-American migration from the South and white flight, the post-1990 revival of cities and the amplification of their social inequalities, and the current period of pro-equity politics interracial coalitions of voters and organizers. Each course section explicitly considers the role that racial difference and other forms of difference play in first creating and second responding to the inequalities that characterize U.S. cities and society.
Explores the evolving role of health in urban planning. Historical and current theories on the relationship between public health and the built environment are highlighted, as are prescriptions for healthy urban design. Community health planning, health disparities, and the needs of special populations in the city are also examined, along with some of the major policy issues affecting urban health care today.
This is an upper-division course in urban economic development. The course is designed for urban planning, architecture, geography, business, economics and engineering students with an interest in economic development. The purpose of the course is to provide a broad understanding of the economic development process and the role urban planning and public policy play in facilitating economic development, concentrating on the local level. In addition to a broad knowledge of economic development planning, you should take away from this course a broader understanding of the institutional and practical elements of economic development. The course sessions will focus on public-private-partnerships and specific projects in urban economic development, including study of potentials and problems, financing urban economic
development through federal grant programs, tax increment financing, and other means.
The Junior Planning Workshop is designed for juniors in the Urban and Regional Planning degree program who are ready to start building their technical skills as it relates to an urban planning development scenario in the community. This is “non-client” based scenario but one that closely resembles what a practicing planner would work on if they were a practicing planning in Champaign. The class is intended to allow students to equip themselves with some of the technical tools that will be expected of them in their professional career.
The planning practice requires an understanding of the land development process. In this course students will learn about the decision process used for land development and the technical skills required for reading site plans. The course provides the essential skills necessary in the field of public-sector planning. Developers are required to make key determinations in the decision process for developing land. Planners are required to understand these decisions and they must possess the ability to interpret proposed site plans for development. This includes an understanding of existing conditions of land proposed for development and the impact of new development on the site and surrounding areas. This course contains three primary components in teaching an understanding of the land development process. They are: Understanding Market Decision for Developing Land; Reading Site Plans; and Assembling a Development Plan.
Seminar for peer discussion about the capstone experience and required capstone experience presentation. Students will attend lectures and workshops about career opportunities, resume writing, interviewing, and networking. Meets on a monthly basis.
Over half the global population now lives in cities, and urban land use is expected to triple in area by 2030. As a result of the increasing dominance of cities, ecologists have increasingly focused their attention on urban environments in order to understand the important processes affecting urban ecosystems. Perhaps more than any other ecosystem, however, an understanding of urban habitats requires an analysis of the social as well as ecological factors affecting ecosystems. In this course, we will examine the new urban ecology, and combine ecological analyses with historical, anthropological, and sociological studies of urban nature.
The intent of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental concepts of fiscal planning at the state and local levels of government. State and local governments are continuously debating and implementing new policy surrounding finance and the complex emerging financial issues are critical for planners to understand. The course addresses both the theory and methods of state and local finance, but most importantly, it is a course focused on state and local fiscal policy (with some discussion of federal policy). Beyond general concepts including taxation, spending, intergovernmental cooperation, debt financing, development fees and privatization, we will address the following types of policy questions
GIS consists of the technology and systems that create, manage, analyze, and visualize geographic information. This course is designed to be an introduction to the principles, techniques, and applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) primarily for planners. The online synchronous lectures will guide students through a comprehensive overview of the concepts and principles used in GIS. The online lab explores geographic information systems software ArcGIS Pro and basic principles of mapping and analysis of geographic information.
Introduces students to the main theoretical frameworks and conceptual building blocks of urban and community development in the global South. It helps students to develop a critical grassroots focused understanding of the approaches to development planning, the notion of community participation and empowerment, and the role of various actors including the non-government organizations and the community-based groups. This course caters to upper level undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in working in the field of international development as volunteers or as development practitioners and professionals through non-profit groups, international development organizations, or other public or private development agencies.
UP 430/CEE 417 provides a broad overview of urban transportation planning in the United States, including historic and emerging issues faced in the field and the tools that are available to address these challenges. The course is designed for students who intend to specialize in transportation planning or engineering, as well as for those who would like an introduction to the field.
This course provides the basic skills needed to understand how planners and decision makers can use information about travel behavior to plan transportation investments. Travel demand models often support these decisions and have an air of authority because they produce precise estimates of trip-making patterns. But how the models translate inputs to outputs is often opaque and relies on assumptions that may or may not mirror reality. While you will learn practical skills in travel demand modeling applications in this course, you will also learn to understand and critique these models using knowledge of travel behavior theory, methods, and problem-solving skills.
This course introduces the fundamentals of planning for pedestrian and bicycle transportation. Students will learn about the benefits and challenges of planning for walking and cycling; the roles of plans, policies, and infrastructure in supporting active travel; key elements of infrastructure design; methods to assess safety and access; and processes to create, implement, and evaluate plans and programs. Activities will include interactive discussions, hands-on exercises such as safety audits and site analyses, and a client-based project addressing real-world community needs.
Public transportation is one of the key modes of transportation in the United States. It is an important component of livable and sustainable cities, providing access to jobs, education, healthcare, and other services for those who cannot or prefer not to drive. Despite critical benefits for mobility, the environment, the economy, social equity, and safety, public transportation modes in the U.S. currently serve only 5% of trips to work and 2.8% of trips for all purposes (Source: US Census, 2019). Public transportation is not just a travel mode for urban areas. It is also beneficial mode for rural areas too. Public transportation has been experiencing a ridership decline since 2014, and COVID 19 had the biggest impact in transit ridership in 2020-21. As cities and regions strive to tackle the complex urban challenges that we face today, increasing the mode share of public transportation through improved planning, operations, and design will become an increasingly important objective. UP437 is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in this transformation.
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the roles of planners in preparing for and rebuilding after disasters. The course emphasizes planning for climate change-related disasters. Planners are concerned with the long-term aspects of disaster: the processes of hazard mitigation, climate adaptation and post-disaster recovery.
This course teaches theories and tools of scenario analysis, a set of techniques useful for making plans and creating more sustainable future cities. Scenario analysis can be used to think about multiple facets of a problem simultaneously and for addressing the uncertain future in light of the limited cognitive and computational capacity of individuals and organizations. Urban planners and policymakers are adopting and extending scenario approaches to envision the future, analyze decisions, and identify robust strategies in situations as varied as comparing projected outcomes of alternative routes for highway investment, to making decisions in situations when formal regulatory mechanisms may be lacking. The need for knowledge and skills in this area is reflected in (1) the growing use of scenario analysis as a required method in many government-funded planning initiative in the United States and around the world, (2) new courses and workshops offered by urban planning programs and professional trainers, such as the American Planning Association and Planetizen, and (3) the sprouting of scenario planning support tools, such as Envision Tomorrow and Index PlanBuilder.
Small group field work applying principles and techniques to specific land use problems in selected jurisdictions. Prerequisite: UP211, senior or graduate standing, or consent of instructor.
Focuses on applying sustainable planning principles in a real world setting. Readings and research into indices of sustainable development, sustainable urbanism, and related literature help establish parameters for resolving a local planning project. Course is a hybrid workshop with portions of the semester spent on reading, research, and application working with a local planning agency. Prerequisite: UP136 and UP205, senior or graduate standing, or consent of instructor.
This course is designed to discuss integrated approaches to sustainable urban transportation and land use planning and policy. It emphasizes the need to understand how the built environment and transportation system interact. How new investments on transportation infrastructure – highway or transit – influence subsequent development patterns? How do physical urban form and land use patterns influence travel patterns? To address these questions, students will learn land use/transportation theories and models, review empirical studies, compare different transportation/land use policies and planning techniques, and conduct their own research.
Housing represents a fundamental human need and a critical element of human settlements. Within the context of urban planning, housing represents one of the ways in which planning intervention has sought to ensure the health and safety of residents, while also bearing influence on the spatial, social, and economic relationships that differentiate housing and other land uses. Within this class, we will explore the policies and practices that constitute housing policy in the United States and abroad, in order to understand where and how planning strategies have been effective (and ineffective) at shaping physical, economic, social, and political dimensions of housing.
This course will provide students an introduction to the fundamental concepts and techniques applied in the real estate development process, examining both the broader economic and social context in which real estate development is situated as well as how various professions interact within this context.
Application of community development principles and techniques to the solution of environmental, economic and social problems facing low income urban communities. Involves small group projects and off-campus field work in collaboration with community leaders.
This seminar explores in theory, policy, and practice community engagement through a case study and by observing actual planning and decision-making processes at different scales and contexts. Students will learn about different tools and strategies that bring people together, particularly in low-income neighborhoods and culturally diverse metropolitan regions. Collectively, we will design a participatory process. Throughout the semester we will grapple with the myriad challenges and dilemmas faced by nonprofit advocates, community activists and equity-oriented public planners.
According to some observers, the disruptions wrought by COVID-19 provide a glimpse into a possible future if the mounting challenges of climate change remain unaddressed. Much like COVID-19, the climate crisis is global in scope and unprecedented in scale, yet with highly localized and geographically uneven causes and impacts. Like COVID-19, climate impacts often fall on the most vulnerable of communities exacerbating existing patterns of socio-economic and racial inequality. Just as solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic entail more than merely reducing infections, addressing the climate crisis requires attention to processes of political and socio-economic transformation that go well beyond the technical challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This junior/senior/graduate-level course provides an introduction to the role of planning in addressing the climate crisis through the lens of social and environmental justice.
Hear from experienced planning professionals on various planning topics. Fridays during the spring 2023 semester at 1:00 pm in Plym Auditorium.
Planners have recognized for decades that the tools, policies, and practices of land-use planning perpetuate and reinforce inequities between white, wealthy, and native-born people, on the one hand, and Black, Latino, Asian, Native, low-income, and foreign-born people on the other. Across the U.S., by far the dominant tool of land-use planning is zoning, which was invented and adopted in the 1910s and 1920s, when white supremacist and native ideologies infused the thinking and action of professionals, scholars, and elected and appointed officials at all levels of the U.S., up to and including President Woodrow Wilson. This class takes an approach in which you’ll learn the general story at the national level and then studies how zoning works in the Champaign-Urbana area, diving into the zoning ordinance(s) of one or two cities in the area. We’ll be doing this exploration in part by contributing to the Illinois Zoning Atlas, part of the National Zoning Atlas project.
Focusing on the creation of situated, experimental and embodied research methods, the course
explores how we understand, represent and challenge urban conditions of oppression and inequality through the body. Using an international, interdisciplinary, and intersectional approach, this collaborative graduate course uses theoretical and practical strategies from choreography and planning to tackle historical inequities in the urban context. The tools of improvisation, sensory and embodied approaches to reframing perception and experimental composition and choreography will be interwoven with ethnographic and community engagement tools including storytelling, and other modes of narrating histories and futures. Our goal is to provoke and support students to think about new questions and
methods in their work with a social justice outcome.
One of the primary requirements of planning education is to prepare students to understand and address multiple dimensions of social inequalities based on class, race, gender, age, religion etc. as they relate to urban realities. Toward that end, storytelling can play a central role in planning education and practice by democratizing knowledge, sharpening critical judgement, and expanding our practical tools. This course, by exploring other mediums of communication, seeks to move beyond the hegemony of textual communication and introduce means that might further democratize both production and dissemination of knowledge. In this course we offer a range of digital communication tools that are critical to inclusive planning and education
A critical examination of the relationship between food systems, social movements, and sustainability. Readings on food justice, agroecology, environmental governance, and a selection of case studies from around the world. Students collaborate with local community-based organization to evaluate and design food system interventions within the Champaign-Urbana area.
Planners are agents of change in neighborhoods, cities, regions, and nations. UP 501 introduces views about how that change process has worked in the past, still works today, and needs to evolve so that the field can respond to the climate emergency while also making communities more democratic, equitable, and inclusive. The course’s key objective is to provide a firmer foundation as you define yourself as a change agent and enter the field of planning.
Provides grounding in the issues and principles underlying physical planning; lecture and discussion sessions are complemented by project work that applies principles and methods.
Historical and international comparison of the origins and evolution of cities, the process of urbanization, and the human endeavor to effect urban growth and change. Includes history of urban physical form and of planning efforts, emphasizing planning origins in the nineteenth century and transnational influences. Includes equity issues of urban spatial arrangement, including racial segregation and housing market differentiation. Covers elements of urban physical form, including grid and organic structure, commercial city forms, the urban skyline, and urban sprawl.
This course grounds students in common methods of urban planning analysis, using both primary and secondary data. The course gives you the knowledge and skills to define a region, and to describe and analyze a region’s demographic, social, and economic conditions. In the first half of the course, we will focus on the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other common sources of “secondary,” quantitative data. Half way through the semester, the course switches focus to primary data collection: to the surveys, interviews and searches any good planner needs to do in order to create data for issues on which good data do not come pre-packaged.
Exploration of how economics can contribute to understanding and solving urban problems. Application of economic analysis and reasoning to the important issues that planners confront, including zoning, land use, housing investment, and transportation. Focuses also on skills to use economic methods effectively.
Provides skills to develop a wide range of plans and an understanding of the processes to implement them. Topics covered include planning analysis, political constraints of planning and planning ethics, techniques of negotiation, facilitation, mediation, and presentation to the public. Uses a general framework for plan making that includes plan review, problem framing, information gathering, alternative modeling, scenarios development, impact assessment, and alternatives evaluation. Students will work on applied tasks individually and in groups.
Provides skills to develop a wide range of plans and an understanding of the processes to implement them. Topics covered include planning analysis, political constraints of planning and planning ethics, techniques of negotiation, facilitation, mediation, and presentation to the public. Uses a general framework for plan making that includes plan review, problem framing, information gathering, alternative modeling, scenarios development, impact assessment, and alternatives evaluation. Students will work on applied tasks individually and in groups. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
This course examines the legal framework within which planning takes place in the United States. It will focus on the important role legal principals play in striking a proper balance between the interests of government in promoting the general welfare through the regulation of the use of land and the interests of private property owners in optimizing the private enjoyment and value of their property. The objectives of the course include preparing professional planners to recognize when planning decisions have legal implications and to promote effective communication with legal counsel to insure that planning actions can withstand legal challenges.
What is the role of big data in decision making process for planners? Do you want to gather more insights for your current project? How can we build our city in a smarter way? This advanced data science can help here. This course is designed for upper level undergrads and graduate students, where we will start with a set of basic concepts, skills, and tools in R for effective data processing. Then more advanced and project oriented topics will be covered e.g. spatial analysis, census data analysis and text analytics.
This is the advanced GIS course for higher-level undergraduate students and graduate students. This course will introduce advanced applications of many sophisticated functions of geographic information systems with some key spatial analysis concepts. Students should complete UP 418 Introduction to GIS for Planners as a prerequisite. A set of fundamental GIS principles and techniques will be introduced with hands-on lab exercises using real-world data. Topics will cover quantitative GIS techniques that are frequently used in planning and social sciences fields: spatial statistical models, image processing, spatial interpolations, etc.
Classic U. S. community studies are paired with current journal articles to examine how people in rural, suburban, and urban places go about making, maintaining or losing “community” in the context of societal change. The community studies provide a window on change at the local level including: urbanization, suburbanization, ethnic group interactions, inner-city poverty concentration, household structure variation, economic restructuring, and environmental impacts. Community studies are also critically evaluated both theoretically and as a research strategy. (Same as HDFS 533 and SOC 572)
Explores and evaluates urban and regional economic development policy in the U.S. Taking the twin lenses of cities and urbanized regions, it asks why the public sector engages in economic development; how the goals of economic development are defined; and how different policies attempt to steer economic activity and jobs to particular places. The course pays special attention to the question of equity, asking who will benefit from different policies.
The purpose of this course is to explore ideas underlying land use policy and planning, primarily in the United States, both from theoretical and applied perspectives. While techniques for practice of land use planning will be covered, the main focus will be examining why and when land use interventions are appropriate. The course is intended primarily for graduate students in Urban and Regional Planning, but is also open to graduate students with appropriate background and interests from Geography, Information Science, RST, Law, Landscape Architecture, and relevant social sciences. The course assumes that all students have some basic knowledge of local land use planning processes and tools.
This course teaches techniques for analyzing the demographic, economic, physical, and social conditions that exist at the neighborhood and local government scale. While our focus will be on analyzing current conditions, we will also learn how to tell stories about neighborhood change, and will learn how to project and forecast future trends. We will learn how to describe community characteristics with small area census data, work with local administrative data, and will learn how to design primary data collection strategies to fill in gaps in knowledge gained through exploration and analysis of existing data. Prerequisite: UP 517.
Fundamental concepts of sustainability and resilience in urban systems, including the complex interactions among human, engineered, and natural systems. Project-based format, focusing on real-world problems solicited from government agencies, industry, and non-governmental organizations in one or more partnering cities. Same as NRES 592 and CEE 592. Prerequisites required.
Students use individual research to practice qualitative methods of studying social interaction. Includes field research and historical/archival research methods; project areas include community development, environment, and landscape. Discussion is divided between 1) readings on issues such as techniques and research design, social theory, ethnocentrism, and combining qualitative with quantitative research and 2) student research reports. Same as GGIS587. No professional credit.
Prepares students to embark on thesis research and independent grant proposals. Introduces the phases of research design process, including literature review, identification of the research problem, statement of research objectives and questions, establishment of the conceptual framework, and selection of methods, sampling strategies, measurements, and analyses that are most suitable to address the research questions. Provides an overview of the commonly used quantitative and qualitative research methods, e.g., survey, quasi-experiment, and case study. Guides students through the process of writing and reviewing a research proposal and providing feedback to others. Prerequisite: Enrollment in a PhD program or consent of instructor.
Provides general capstone advising to MUP students. Seminar is used for peer discussion and feedback about work in progress, as well as to organize for the capstone poster session held each spring semester. Meets on a monthly basis.
The Doctoral Students in Urban Planning (DSUP) seminar is an invaluable platform of intellectual development for PhD students in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning (DURP) and an effective medium in building a community of scholars. The seminars facilitate exchange of ideas and perspectives among DSUP members as well as the faculty. It serves as a support system for all members of DSUP, who are at different stages in their research and doctoral studies, and provides a shared space for students to present their research and to solicit critical, yet constructive, peer reviews and advice.