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Community & Regional Planning (C+R PLN)

5256. Sustainable Community Design and Development   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0423.)

Introduces students to the evolution, theory, and practice of planning for sustainable communities. Students evaluate recent conceptions of sustainable development, building an understanding of characteristics that define sustainable communities, implementation strategies, local-regional-global relationships, and constraints to achieving more sustainable communities. Recent climate change reports and policies are examined as well as their impacts on sustainable community planning and development in the United States. Lectures, class discussion, guest lecturers, outside lectures, and case studies.

5524. Spatial Analysis Techniques/Geographic Information Systems (GIS)   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0413.)

Prerequisite: Familiarity with Windows Operating System and Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Introduction to basic principles and techniques of GIS, a computer-based tool using spatial (geographic) data to analyze and solve real-world problems. Applications are from community and regional planning and other related disciplines. Lab exercises emphasize spatial data collection, entry, storage, analysis, and output using the software "ArcGIS."  Students are introduced to GIS datasets used by the Center for Sustainable Communities, a research Center for Ambler College and the Department of Community and Regional Planning. Some lab assignments will be based on planning issues in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

5525. Advanced Techniques in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0414.)

Prerequisite: C+R PLN 5524 (0413) or permission of the instructor.

Explores ArcGIS extensions, including Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, Network Analyst, and Image Analyst, and their uses in the field of community and regional planning. Introduces data collection methods, using GPS and Aero-Triangulation; the GIS-based concepts and applications of land suitability analysis; and Planning Support Systems software (such as CommunityViz and Index) for land use forecasting and planning.  Students work on real-world environmental planning projects in a studio setting using local and regional data sets. Guest lectures by GIS practitioners.

8013.  Planning Theory   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0401.)

Focuses on examining important trends in planning theory and placing them in an historic context. This approach facilitates an understanding of the relationship between the theoretical conceptualizations of urban form and the functional manifestations of those conceptualizations, which is the key to relating planning theory to planning practice. The course strives to identify practicable planning theory rather than heuristic planning theory. These distinctions are extensively explored. A review of the contribution of “planning pioneers” provides a synthesis to contemporary planning problems and issues.

8016. Planning Law and Administration   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0403.)

Explains the political and legal environment of planning, including the foundations of land use and environmental law. Introduces students to various types of legal research and reasoning and the numerous agencies that conduct or influence planning, including public agencies, authorities, non-profit organizations, and public benefit corporations. Explores policy implementation, including legislation, regulation, and incentives.

8156. Neighborhoods, Cities, and Regions   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0421.)

More than 80% of the U.S. population now lives in urbanized areas. Examines the history of the development of urban (and suburban) form, together with some of the environmental, physical, social, and economic factors that created or influenced those forms. Emphasis will be on the development of the European and North American city, from Athens to imperial Rome, to the 19th and 20th century industrial metropolis, and its suburbs. (Other great cities of the ancient world may be discussed.) Looks at the late 20th century unraveling of the urban fabric and the de-concentration of cities.

8166. Land Use Planning   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0470.)

At the heart and soul of community and regional planning is land use. How we use land and the institutional and legal basis by which we establish and implement land use goals are key elements in how our communities and regions are shaped. This course examines the foundations of land use planning, which begins with an understanding of attitudinal, value, and ethical perspectives of how land resources are used. The range of land use implementation approaches — regulatory, fiscal, incentives, and public investment — are also evaluated. The course additionally discusses the importance of ecological planning and design as prospects for contemporary land use planning to create sustainable communities and regions.

8213. Environmental Planning   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0441.)

Environmental issues and concepts faced by planners and the methods used to address them. Applying principles of natural science disciplines to the analysis of man`s physical environment and the synthesis of plans that respect and incorporate those principles. The constraints and opportunities presented by the natural and man-made physical environment evaluated in the context of planning at both site-specific and regional scales. The goal of the course is not to produce environmental scientists, but rather to make planners aware of the environmental questions that should be asked, and of whom. Lectures, case studies, and roundtable discussions.

8266. Sustainable Business Practices   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0481.)

Environmental issues and their impact on business, communities, institutions, and the general public are comprehensively explored. Examines the need for companies to effectively manage environmental issues in light of increased public demand for businesses to take a stewardship role over natural resources and environmental protection. Provides students with a broad and practical understanding of environmental sustainability concepts. Examines how challenges associated with sustainable development are multifaceted involving economic, social, and environmental concerns. Explores how these concerns alter business strategies and practices and lead to new opportunities. Case studies and lectures are used to build technical proficiencies. Lectures by guest experts.

Note: Cross-listed with General and Strategic Management 5191 (0594.)

8476. Planning Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0461.)

Evaluation of the techniques of negotiation and alternative dispute resolution with a special emphasis on planning issues and disputes. The course emphasizes dispute resolution through arbitration or mediation in lieu of litigation. Students engage in a series of hands-on simulations, involving bargaining and coalition building with the goal of training students to be effective and thoughtful negotiators.

8513. Planning Research Design and Methods   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0410.)

Introduction to basic research and analytical methods, including the conceptualization of planning problems; determination of needs gaps; basic probability theory; descriptive and inferential statistics; distributions, sampling, and the logic of data gathering and analysis; hypothesis testing; analysis of relationships among variables; estimation and projections. Not intended to produce statisticians, but rather to make planners informed readers and users of statistical and analytical reports.

8655. Transportation Planning   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0422.)

Presents an overview of the history of transportation in the United States and the fundamentals of present day transportation planning and policies. Explores the influences of urban form on: modal choice; accessibility and mobility of various population subsets (such as the economically- and physically-disadvantaged); regional and local travel demand; and the operational efficiency of different types of transportation systems (transit, highways, bicycle, and pedestrian). Covers the impact of transportation investments on land use and regional population growth, and on environmental, community, and economic sustainability. Introduces students to currently used transportation planning methodologies, legal requirements, and decision-making processes. By studying actual transportation projects, students develop a plan for an assigned project.

8656. Integrated Transportation And Land Use Planning: Context-Sensitive Design Solutions

  (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0451.)

"Context-sensitive design" seeks to blend transportation functions with other human activities and land use characteristics. Often transportation and land use decisions have worked at cross-purposes due to the inconsistency of scales, the traditional focus of transportation project planning on functional and engineering concerns, and development decisions made without adequate regard to traffic impacts. This course covers basic operational and safety requirements of various transportation systems, with special emphasis on bicycle and pedestrian travel, and appropriate designs for different types of development and policy objectives, such as downtown revitalization or decreasing the reliance on the automobile. The latter part of the course is devoted to a studio design project in which students apply design principles to solve a transportation and/or land use problem.


8755.  Introduction to Emergency Management Planning   (3 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Background in community & regional planning or permission of the instructor.

Provides a fundamental understanding of the emergency planning process, the phases of emergency management, and the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved.  Students work in a classroom environment, interacting with others on various assignments, projects and presentations

8850. Topics in Community and Regional Planning   (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: C+R PLN 0420.)

Variable offerings from semester to semester of selected topics not part of the regular listing of courses.The topic can be in an area of specialization of a faculty member or an examination of a current topic in the field of planning.

Note: Summer I, 2004: Suburbia: Issues and Trends; Fall 2004  & 2005: Redevelopment and Revitalization; Summer 1, 2006: Environmentally Sensitive Development; Fall 2006: Issues in Local and Regional Economic Development; Summer 1, 2007: Community Based Organizations and Planning; Fall 2007: Emergency Management Planning; Spring 2008: Urban and Regional Development

Students may obtain a description of the current version at the department office and in the schedule of classes. This course may be repeated for credit.

8870. Special Topics (1 - 3 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

Variable offerings from semester to semester of selected topics not part of the regular listing of courses.  The topic can be in an area of specialization of a faculty member or an examination of a current development in the field.

Note: Spring 2008: Public Administration and Practice.

Students may obtain a description of the current version at the department office and in the schedule of classes. This course may be repeated for credit.


8889. Planning Studio I   (3 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0501.)

Prerequisite: C+R PLN 5524 (0413) and 8513 (0410) plus additional coursework to total a minimum of 18 s.h. completed toward the degree.

The studio involves undertaking a planning project in cooperation with a local or regional client. Working in small groups, students synthesize the knowledge gained from previous courses in the development of an integrated approach that is appropriate to their project. The groups prepare professional-level plans and policy reports based on relevant data collection; site analysis; evaluation of location, market, transportation, environmental, financial, and schedule opportunities and constraints; and the assessment of stakeholder interests. 

9883.   Directed Reading/Study   (1 to 3 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Written contract with faculty member and approval of the Chair of the Department.

Advanced reading/study tutorial between a faculty member and student. 

Note: Special authorization required.

9885. Internship in Planning   (3 or 6 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0525.)

Prerequisite: Only open to matriculated students who have completed the majority of the Community and Regional Planning program. Students may opt for 3 s.h. of internship and 6 s.h. of thesis or project, or 6 s.h. of internship and 3 s.h. of thesis or project.

Students are required to complete a supervised 180/360-hour internship in which the emphasis is on the acquisition and application of practical skills in planning. Internship placements will be at public agencies, non-profit institutions, and private firms. Internships must be approved by the Community and Regional Planning program coordinator prior to a start date. Internships require interim reports and must culminate in a report regarding the experience.

Note: Students who have had substantial professional experience may petition for a waiver of  3 s.h. for this requirement. If granted, the student will be required to enroll in another elective C+R PLN graduate course and complete C+R PLN 9995 (0599) for 6 s.h.

9889. Planning Studio II   (3 or 6 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0502.)

Prerequisite: C+R PLN 8889 (0501.)

See description for C+R PLN 8889 (0501.)

9995. Thesis/Project in Planning   (1 to 6 s.h.)
(Formerly: C+R PLN 0599.)

Prerequisite: Only open to matriculated students who have completed a minimum of 18 s.h. toward the degree (excluding C+R PLN 9889, Internship in Planning) and at the discretion of the graduate adviser. Under the guidance and supervision of a faculty adviser and committee, students will choose to do either a thesis or a project.

Provides the terminal evidence of mastery of the field. The Master's thesis is based on planning theory, methodology, and history. The Master's project is a practice-based model, a case study of a planning activity or event. Students participate in a thesis/project colloquium addressing research design, issues, methods, and writing/presentation concerns. Students present reports on the state of their thesis/project and seek informed criticism and advice.


Updated 03.2008