Welcome to the Department of Community and Regional Planning.
Our department is committed to preparing students with the understanding, values and skills that enable positive contributions in a rapidly changing world. We are specifically focused on the three pillars of sustainability: equity, economy and the environment.
We offer a bachelor’s degree in Community Development and a master’s in Community and Regional Planning in addition to certificate programs and minors, such as Sustainable Food Systems and Ecological Planning and Design. While based at Temple University Ambler, we video conference courses to Temple’s Harrisburg and Center City campuses. We also offer general education and undergraduate courses at the Main Campus.
The accredited Community and Regional Planning curriculum has a core emphasis on environmental planning, policy and politics, and advanced computer applications. Our planning students are engaged in the cutting edge of professional practice having garnered nine regional and state awards since 2006. Program alumni are employed in all levels of government as well as the private and nonprofit sectors. Two of our alumni hold academic positions having completed their doctorates. Two others are Presidential Management Fellows, a highly competitive program that enabled them to secure positions in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
We view innovation as essential to effective planning practice. During the 2012-13 academic year, we adopted the “Aging of Society” as a theme that would be incorporated into all courses offered by the Community and Regional Planning Department. Students in the studio courses worked with two counties to define alternatives for addressing the various challenges of an aging population. This work was showcased at the 2013 Spring Planning Institute Planning for Livable Communities: Incorporating an Aging Perspective held at Temple’s Harrisburg Campus.
The implementation of this year-long theme was an effective way of ensuring the relevancy of our curricula. The theme for 2013-14 is “Community-Based Organizations in Urban Revitalization” reflecting our newly-approved bachelor’s degree in Community Development, which begins during the Fall 2013 semester. We are particularly excited about the Community Development program as it complements and strengthens our existing focus on planning. This program replaces the undergraduate Community and Regional Planning major as the master’s degree is considered to be the preferred credential for entry level positions and career advancement in the planning field.
The Community Development program provides students with the skills to empower culturally, economically and geographically disadvantaged communities to define goals and implement strategies to improve the quality of life. This major is offered as a “4+1” program in which qualified students will be able to take graduate planning courses in their junior year enabling them to complete the master’s degree with just one additional year of study.
Our programs are directed toward those students who want to develop their capacity to engage communities in achieving environmental and social equity goals. We have a faculty with extensive community development and planning experience and a deep commitment to societal change. Our small class sizes offer our diverse student body a personalized educational experience. When they complete their studies, they stop being our students and instead become our colleagues working toward our shared goals of healthier, just and sustainable communities.
Deborah Howe, Ph.D., FAICP
Professor of Community and Planning
Chair of the Department of Community & Regional Planning