Course Numbers and Descriptions

UP101: Introduction to City Planning

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.

UP116: Urban Informatics

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).

UP136: Urban Sustainability

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.

UP160: Race, Social Justice and Cities

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.

UP185: Cities in a Global Perspective

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.

UP199 FF: Data Science for Planners

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.

UP199 LB: Transportation Planning: Fundamentals & Innovations

Transportation planning is undergoing a major revolution. This course will prepare students to think critically about the following types of questions: What does our transportation systems 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 uses of all travel modes, ages, and abilities? Will autonomous vehicles simply encourage more driving or can they be harnessed to support community goals?

UP 199 MN: International Placemaking

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.

UP201: Planning in Action

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.

UP203: Cities: Planning & Urban Life

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)

UP204: Chicago: Planning & Urban Life

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.

UP205: Ecology & Environmental Sustainability

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.

UP210: Environmental Economics

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)

UP211: Local Planning, Govt' & Law

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.

UP246: International Environmental Planning and Governance

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.

UP260: Social Inequality & Planning

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.

UP301: Capstone Preparation
UP312: Communication for Planners

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.

UP316: Urban Informatics II

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.

UP330: The Modern American City
UP335: Cities and Immigrants
UP340: Planning for Healthy Cities
UP345: Economic Development Planning
UP357: The Land Development Process

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.

UP390: Planning Internship
UP397: Undergraduate Project
UP401: Undergraduate Capstone Seminar

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.

UP405: Watershed Ecology & Planning
UP406: Urban Ecology

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.

UP407: State & Local Public Finance

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

UP418: GIS for Planners

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.

UP420: Planning for Historic Preservation
UP423: Community Development in the Global South

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.

UP426: Urban Design & Planning
UP428: International Planning Studio
UP430: Urban Transportation Planning

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.

UP431: Urban Transportation Modeling

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.

UP432: Transportation Equity
UP434: Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning

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.

UP438: Disasters and Urban Planning

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.

UP443: Scenarios, Plans & Future Cities
UP446: Sustainable Planning Seminar
UP447: Land Use Planning Workshop

This year’s Land Use Planning workshop is about Zoning for Equity. Its goal is to develop strategies Illinois cities and states can adopt and use to overcome exclusionary zoning. Taught in coordination with seven other campuses across the U.S., the course will allow students at the University of Illinois to understand what Illinois does and doesn’t share with other parts of the U.S. The course will meet in person once a week, with asynchronous material required for the equivalent of a second class session. Graduate and advanced undergraduate students are all welcome. Restriction(s): Not intended for students with Freshman or Sophomore class standing.

UP456: Sustainable Planning Workshop

In this class we will be cooperating with University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to help develop a watershed plan for Cedar Creek, a tributary of Henderson Creek and the Mississippi River, near Galesburg, IL. We will be focusing on strategies for reducing both point and non-point sources of pollution. Illinois EPA has identified the Henderson Creek as a priority watershed to reduce nutrient loss from Illinois Rivers. They are working with Extension to work with local stakeholders to begin the watershed planning and implementation processes.

UP457: Small Town/Rural Planning Workshop
UP460: Urban Transport & Land Use Policy

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.

UP466: Energy, Planning & Built Environment
UP470: Shrinking Cities
UP473: Housing and Urban Policy Planning

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.

UP474: Neighborhood Planning
UP475: Real Estate Development Fundamentals

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.

UP478: Community Development Workshop

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.

UP479: Community Engagement in Planning

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.

UP480: Sustainable Design Principles
UP481: Urban Communities & Public Pol
UP486: Planning with Climate Change

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.

UP494-AG: Neighborhood Analysis

Survey of quantitative and qualitative methods for analyzing demographic, economic, physical, and social conditions at the neighborhood and local government scale. Analytical techniques cover the description of past and present conditions, and the projection of future trends. Treatment of how analysis guides local deliberative processes and decision-making, and training in methods for engaging public, government, and private stakeholders in conversations regarding scenarios derived from analysis.

UP494-FF: Advanced Data Science for Planners

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.

UP494-FM: Digital Storytelling

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

UP494-KS: International Institutions, Law & Urbanizations
UP494-SK: Food Systems Planning

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.

UP501: Planning History and Theory

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.

UP503: Physical 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.

UP504: Urban History and Theory

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.

UP505: Urban and Regional Analysis

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.

UP 509: Economics for Planners

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.

UP510-DA: Plan Making

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.

UP510-HS: Plan Making

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.

UP511: Law and Planning

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.

UP 533: Community in American Society

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)

UP545: Economic Development Policy

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.

UP546: Land Use Policy and Planning

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.

UP576: Sustainable Urban Systems

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.

UP590: Professional Internship
UP591: Capstone Seminar

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.

UP592: Doctoral Urban Planning Seminar

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.

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