Department of City and Regional Planning
ROBERTO G. QUERCIA, Chair
Philip R. Berke, Emil E. Malizia, Roberto G. Quercia, Daniel A. Rodriguez, William M. Rohe, Dale Whittington.
Thomas Campanella, Nichola Lowe, Noreen McDonald, Yan Song, Meenu Tewari.
Todd BenDor, Nikhil Kaza, T. William Lester, Mai Nguyen.
David J. Brower, Gavin Smith.
Richard N.L. Andrews, Michele Berger, Maryann Feldman, David J. Hartzell, Judith W. Wegner, Jesse White.
Raymond J. Burby, F. Stuart Chapin Jr., David R. Godschalk, Harvey A. Goldstein, Edward J. Kaiser, David H. Moreau.
City and regional planning is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to improve the quality of life for people in urban, suburban, and rural areas and in larger regions of the country. To this end, city and regional planners apply humanistic, social science, and specialized technical theory and knowledge to lay out and develop human settlements both here and abroad. Planners are involved, for example, in guiding the type and location of new development, analyzing transportation systems, encouraging economic development, protecting the environment, and revitalizing urban neighborhoods. They are involved in designing solutions to pressing societal problems such as urban sprawl, unemployment, homelessness, environmental pollution, and urban decay.
City and regional planners work for a variety of public and private organizations. In the public sector local, state, and federal governments all employ city and regional planners. In the private sector planners work for development companies, consulting firms, and a variety of nonprofit organizations.
For undergraduates the Department of City and Regional Planning offers basic coursework, opportunities for supervised practical experience, and an academic minor. Undergraduate students take courses in the department for several reasons: to learn about cities and the city and regional planning field, to enrich or expand their current area of interest, or to explore the possibility of graduate work leading to a career in planning. Planning courses allow students to see how the arts and sciences can be applied to improve the prosperity and livability of cities, towns, and rural areas. In this way they help students deepen their appreciation of their major field of study. Some planning courses may fulfill General Education requirements.
The minor in urban studies and planning provides students with coursework and access to advisors. With strong performance in their major and planning minor, students may qualify for entry-level positions in planning. The department’s director of dual-degree and undergraduate programs serves as the primary point of contact for students participating in the minor. Student advising and approval of equivalent courses are handled through the director.
Program of Study
A minor in urban studies and planning is offered to undergraduates.
Minoring in Urban Studies and Planning
Five courses (15 credit hours) are needed to fulfill the requirements for the minor in urban studies and planning. The minor requires all students to take a two-course core in urban studies and planning: PLAN 246 Cities of the Future and PLAN 247 Solving Urban Problems. After taking the core courses, students can select three additional PLAN courses numbered 200 through 699.
Please contact your main academic advisor in Steele Building for information about the minor or the director of undergraduate studies in the department (see “Contact Information” below).
An important resource available to the department is the Center for Urban and Regional Studies, located in Hickerson House, where the research and service programs of the department are housed.
Graduate School and Career Opportunities
Undergraduates interested in a career in city and regional planning can pursue postgraduate work in planning at UNC–Chapel Hill. The Department of City and Regional Planning offers several degree programs at the graduate level. A two-year program preparing students for advanced positions in professional practice in city and regional planning leads to the degree of master in city and regional planning. A program leading to the degree of doctor of philosophy prepares for careers in teaching and research. Dual graduate degree programs are offered in collaboration with related professional programs (law, business, public administration, public health, landscape architecture, and environmental sciences and engineering).
Additional information on the Department of City and Regional Planning and the undergraduate minor in urban studies and planning is available on the department’s Web site and from the department’s student services manager, CB# 3140, New East, (919) 962-4784. Web site: www.planning.unc.edu.
50 First-Year Seminar: This Land Is Your Land (3). An issue encountered in managing urban communities and environmental quality concerns rights to land ownership. Environmental regulations limit people’s rights to use land as they see fit. This seminar explores processes whereby rights to land, water, and environmental resources of the United States have been acquired, reserved, distributed, and regulated.
51 First-Year Seminar: Envisioning Community (3). How is “community” understood as a concept used to describe towns, universities, and other forms of social interaction? This seminar introduces students to urban planning, higher education, and social capital and provides students with opportunities to explore and document local leaders’ views concerning the towns’ futures and the University’s growth.
52 First-Year Seminar: Race, Sex, and Place in America (WMST 51) (3). This first-year seminar will expose students to the complex dynamics of race, ethnicity, and gender and how these have shaped the American city since 1945.
53 First-Year Seminar: The Changing American Job (3). Explores the changing nature of the American job and the transformative forces—from global trade and outsourcing to corporate restructuring and new skill demands—that have influenced this change.
54 First-Year Seminar: Bringing Life Back to Downtown: Commercial Redevelopment of Cities and Towns (3). The seminar seeks to understand the current realities of North Carolina’s inner-city communities in the context of their historical evolution and the current proposals for revitalization. Each student selects one city or town for a case study.
55 First-Year Seminar: Sustainable Cities (3). How can the sustainability of cities and their ability to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups be improved? In this seminar students will look at the evolution of cities throughout history to find out how they have coped with threats to sustainability.
57 First-Year Seminar: What Is a Good City? (3). After studying the forces that have produced the American urban landscape, we will explore the city from the normative perspectives of urban historians, planners and architects, social scientists, social critics, and futurists, as a way for each student to develop her/his own perspective about what a “good city” might be.
58 First-Year Seminar: Globalization and the Transformation of Local Economies (3). Using directed readings, participative class exercises, and cases that cut across developed and developing countries, this seminar will focus on how global pressures and economic integration is changing local economies.
89 First-Year Seminar: Special Topics (3). Content varies each semester.
246 Cities of the Future (3). Introduction to the evolution of cities in history, to the concept of urban morphology or form, and to the different elements or subsystems of the urban system and how they have changed over time.
247 Solving Urban Problems (3). Introduction to methods used for solving urban problems. Covers methods employed in subfields of planning to develop an ability to critically evaluate different techniques and approaches used within these disciplines.
326 Social Ventures (PLCY 326) (3). Examines students’ knowledge and understanding of social entrepreneurship as an innovative approach to addressing complex social needs. Affords students the opportunity to engage in a business planning exercise designed to assist them in establishing and launching a social purpose entrepreneurial venture.
330 Principles of Sustainability (3). Provides students with a general introduction to the concept of sustainability and how it is represented in public and academic discourse and practiced in institutions, businesses, and communities.
491 Introduction to GIS (GEOG 491) (3). See GEOG 491 for description.
526 Principles of Public Finance for Public Policy and Planning (1.5).Provides the foundation of state and local government finance necessary to understand new developments in the provision of infrastructure for economic development.
550 Evolution of the American City (3). Examines shaping the urban built environments of the United States from the colonial era to present day. Critically examines forces that shaped our cities, and studies the values, ideals, and motivations underlying efforts to plan and direct physical development of American cities.
574 Political Economy of Poverty and Inequality (3). Introduces students to the political economy of poverty alleviation programs. Uses comparative cases to explore what types of projects, tasks, and environments lead to effective and equitable outcomes, and why.
585 American Environmental Policy (ENST 585, ENVR 585, PLCY 585) (3). See ENVR 585 for description.
590 Special Topics Seminar (1–9). Original research, fieldwork, readings, or discussion of selected planning issues under guidance of a member of the faculty.
591 Applied Issues in Geographic Information Systems (3). Prerequisite, GEOG 370 or 491. Applied issues in the use of geographic information systems in terrain analysis, medical geography, biophysical analysis, and population geography.
596 Independent Study (1–9). This course permits full-time undergraduate students enrolled in the Department of City and Regional Planning who wish to pursue independent research or an independent project to do so under the direction of a member of the department faculty.
636 Urban Transportation Planning (3). Fundamental characteristics of the urban transportation system as a component of urban structure. Methodologies for the analysis of transportation problems, planning urban transportation, and the evaluation of plans.
637 Public Transportation (3). Alternative public urban transportation systems including mass transit, innovative transit services, and paratransit, examined from economic, land use, social, technical, and policy perspectives.
638 Pedestrian and Bike Transportation (3). This graduate-level course examines the importance of multimodal transportation planning and provides a comprehensive overview of best planning practices to support increased walking and bicycling.
641 Ecology and Land Use Planning (3). Integration of the structure, function, and change of ecosystems with a land use planning framework. How land use planning accommodates human use and occupancy within ecological limits to sustain long-term natural system integrity.
651 Urban Form and the Design of Cities (3). Lecture course on comparative urbanism and the global evolution of the city form. Examines values and ideals embedded in urban landscapes, seeking to understand how social, economic, and political forces have influenced the development of cities through history.
662 Gender Issues in Planning and Development (WMST 662) (3). Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. Examination of the environmental and health risks, policy institutions, processes, instruments, policy analysis, and major elements of American environmental policy. Lectures and case studies.
663 Diversity and Inequality in Cities (3). Permission of instructor needed for undergraduates. Introduces students in planning to issues related to diversity and inequality. Different aspects of diversity (e.g., gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality/citizenship) will be explored. Examines the relationship between diversity and the unequal distribution of resources and life trajectories.
685 Water and Sanitation Planning and Policy in Developed Countries (ENVR 685) (3). Permission of the instructor. Seminar on policy and planning approaches for improved community water and sanitation services in developed countries. Topics include the choice of appropriate technology and level of service; cost recovery; water venting; community participation in the management of water systems; and rent-seeking behavior in providing water supplies.
686 Policy Instruments for Environmental Management (ENST 686, ENVR 686, PLCY 686) (3). See PLCY 686 for description.
687 International Development and Social Change (3). Permission of the instructor. Course explores effect of the global economy on national and community development, effect of environmental degradation processes on development, and strategies to guide social change.
691H Honors Seminar in Urban and Regional Studies (3). Permission of the instructor. An overview of the subject matter and methods of investigation for the study of cities and regions. Presentations of original papers prepared by students.