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2011 - 2012 Site Archive




Community & Regional Planning

5157. Community-Based Organizations in Planning   (3 s.h.)

This course examines the 40-year history of community-based organizations (CBOs) and the important role they play in the housing, economic, and social development of low-income communities. CBOs strive to build community leadership and empower low-income people to take charge of their own future. Understanding the role of such organizations is crucial in being an effective planner. The course profiles a select number of the more than 500 CBOs in Philadelphia to learn about faith-based programs, housing development, land trusts, Neighborhood Advisory Committees, resident associations, service districts, and tenant councils. Field trips are made to a number of community-based organizations to supplement classroom discussions.

5251. Sustainable Food Systems Planning   (3 s.h.)

Planners are paying attention to the notion of food systems planning:  farmland preservation and environmental stewardship; economic development, including distribution, processing, employment, and globalization; and food security, involving access to affordable, healthy foods. Issues of public health, food cultures, consumer spending patterns, and education are also important. This course explores all of these concerns. Guest speakers and field trips provide a focus on regionally based food systems initiatives. Course readings and lectures address work that is underway elsewhere in North America. Students develop an appreciation for the ways in which a food systems perspective can enrich community planning efforts and create more sustainable and vital places in which to live and flourish.

5256. Sustainable Community Design and Development   (3 s.h.)

This course is an introduction 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. The course includes lectures, class discussion, guest lecturers, outside lectures, and case studies.

5524. Spatial Analysis Techniques/Geographic Information Systems   (3 s.h.)

This course is an introduction to basic principles and techniques of Geographic Information Systems (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 in the Department of Community and Regional Planning. Some lab assignments are based on planning issues in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

5525. Advanced Techniques in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)   (3 s.h.)

Prerequisite: CRP 5524 or permission of instructor.

This course explores ArcGIS extensions, including Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, Network Analyst, and Image Analyst, and their uses in the field of community and regional planning. It 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 are offered by GIS practitioners.

8013.  Planning History and Theory   (3 s.h.)

Coursework 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 are key to relating planning theory to planning practice. The course strives to identify practicable as opposed to 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. A concluding examination of ecology and planning theory offers a direction for planning theory and practice in the 21st Century.

8014. Planning Politics and Administration   (3 s.h.)

This course outlines the political and administrative environment of planning, including the influences of pluralism and federalism on planning in the United States. It introduces students to various agencies and organizations that conduct or impact planning, including public agencies, authorities, consulting firms, and non-profit organizations. Coursework explores policy implementation, including legislation, regulation, negotiation, and incentives, and the role of organizations and planners as professionals with respect to the current literature on organizational theory and development.

8016. Planning Law   (3 s.h.)

Coursework addresses selected aspects of the field of law in planning and urban development, including constitutional, property, nuisance law, administrative law, state and local government law, and zoning and subdivision regulation. It seeks to impart an understanding of the nature of law and the structure and processes of the judicial system by using urban land-use control law as the vehicle.  It explores the relationships between the courts and the legislatures, especially the municipal legislative bodies that have primary responsibility for regulating land development and land use. Students learn legal research methods and are exposed to the wealth of trenchantly written, up-to-date materials that are available on the web and in the law library.

8056. Public Budgeting and Finance   (3 s.h.)

Knowledge of budget concepts and financial management is required for the successful operation of government, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. This course addresses the basics of public budgeting for those with little or no experience and presents more advanced concepts for those who have some experience in budgeting and finance. Discussion is undertaken of the entire budget process, including budget formulation and execution, program development, cost and revenue estimation, internal controls and audits, budget strategies and tactics, capital budgeting, and debt management. The course uses case studies, in-class discussions, and guest speakers involved in the development of state and local budgets to provide a broad understanding of the practical and political aspects of public budgeting.

8114. Urban Form and Design   (3 s.h.)

This course examines the many elements that contribute to the aesthetic and human quality of communities of all sizes. It analyzes the nature of public spaces, streets and boulevards, landscaping, water, materials, light, scale, mass, and time. The roles of unity, harmony, symbolism, and cultural values are explored. The course has both historical and current references. Students participate in design projects, visual design analyses, and presentations. 

8155. Ecological Planning and Development   (3 s.h.)

The fundamentals of the ecological planning method developed by landscape architect and regional planner, Ian McHarg, establish a basis to plan and develop both individual projects and entire communities that can be enduring/sustainable. Students examine both theory and practice in the relationship between ecological planning and actual development. Case studies, field trips, and guest presenters highlight specific examples of the successful implementation of ecological planning by the private development sector. 

8156. Neighborhoods, Cities, and Regions   (3 s.h.)

More than 80% of the U.S. population now lives in urbanized areas. This course 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 is 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.) The course looks at the late 20th-century unraveling of the urban fabric and the de-concentration of cities.

8166. Land-Use Planning   (3 s.h.)

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 — is 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.)

Environmental issues and concepts faced by planners and the methods used to address them are the focus of this course. It further applies 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 are discussed. 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 are utilized.

8255. Sustainability in Suburban Communities   (3 s.h.)

The physical forms of suburban communities and the social and economic patterns that shape residents’ lives make achieving sustainability in suburbia challenging and problematic. Distances between homes, businesses, and worksites are long; transportation choices are few; infrastructure needs are extensive and costly; and impacts on ecological systems can be severe. Many argue that higher-density, urban living holds our best promise for an environmentally sustainable future in the United States, but half of all Americans live in suburbia and finding sustainable solutions for them and their communities must be part of the solution. Lectures, readings, and discussions in this course address sustainability in suburban communities by covering the history of the American suburb and processes of suburbanization; architecture and housing; landscape and community design; transportation and infrastructure; built and natural environments and ecological systems; and planning, administration, and regionalism.

8257. Environmental Policy   (3 s.h.)

This course identifies the complexities associated with environmental politics and management from both national and international perspectives. The first part of the course discusses the basics of natural environmental processes and the difficulties of environmental policy formulation and implementation including risk assessment, watershed resource management, and public lands management.  The second part describes and evaluates command and control processes, primarily focusing on air, water, and solid waste abatement.  The final part examines large-scale global issues such as climate change and sustainable development and assesses the implications of energy use and the future of environmental management.

8266. Sustainable Business Practices   (3 s.h.)

Environmental issues and their impact on business, communities, institutions, and the general public are comprehensively explored. The course 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. It provides students with a broad and practical understanding of environmental sustainability concepts, and examines how challenges associated with sustainable development are multifaceted, involving economic, social, and environmental concerns. The course 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 are offered by guest experts.  Note: Cross-listed with General and Strategic Management 5191.

8267. Water Resources and Management   (3 s.h.)

Water is one of the earth’s most important resources. Without it, we cannot survive. Yet its management is complicated and highly contentious. This course evaluates various aspects of water resources, including water quality, flooding, and water supply and allocation, and how global warming will influence the quality and quantity of future supplies. Various forms of management are evaluated, ranging from fragmented management to more integrated forms such as multi-jurisdictional river basin management and ecosystem management. Water resources planning and management are also evaluated from multiple perspectives, including local, state, national, and international. The course evaluates numerous case studies and includes guest speakers with national and international expertise.

8276. Regional Development   (3 s.h.)

Coursework provides the fundamentals for understanding regional development and examines the theories that explain why cities and regions grow, as well as the spatial patterns of urban and regional development.  In addition to theory, students are introduced to the key analytical methods that have been developed to characterize regional development patterns and predict future regional growth.  By the end of the course, students have the requisite skills to complete a local development plan and have a clear understanding of the literature and tools of regional development.

8355.  Environmental Infrastructure Planning and Management   (3 s.h.)

This course introduces students to the practice of planning and managing municipal and regional environmental infrastructure programs that typically fall under the realm of a local or county department of public works or environmental planning. It covers the historical development, governing regulations, current status, and innovative trends with respect to comprehensive solid waste management, wastewater treatment, drinking water supply, stormwater management, district heating/cooling systems and green energy, and multi-purpose greenways. Infrastructure financing such as capital budget, operations and maintenance, and funding are discussed. Guest speakers present case studies to complement class discussions and student- lead case study research. This course is open to students from all disciplines.

8413. Planning Communications   (3 s.h.)
Prerequisite:  CRP 8513.

Planning in public, private, and non-profit organizations depends on effective communication among planners, employees of public agencies, elected officials, media representatives, and the public. The professional planner plays a key role in organizing, facilitating, and participating in conversations about the future of communities of all types. Strong communication skills are essential in most aspects of planners’ work and are the focus of this course. Topics include the relationship between planning analysis and communication; interpersonal communication; and graphics, written, and public presentation skills. Note: Students can substitute CRP 9995: Thesis/Project in Planning for CRP 8413.

8455. Planning Processes and Project Management   (3 s.h.)

The course emphasizes the integration of planning and project management and stresses the fundamentals of project management as essential for a successful planning process. It provides the student with an understanding of the framework of an effective planning process, while developing skills in project management. Topics include creating a vision for the planning process; managing resources and costs; integrating interest groups into the planning process; measuring outcomes; and communicating results.

8476. Collaborative Planning   (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: Planning Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution)

Students examine the theories, principles, and practices of collaborative planning with a special emphasis on resolving conflicts over land-use planning issues and planning for complex environmental systems. The course emphasizes a range of collaborative planning modes, including negotiation, facilitation, and partnerships. Students engage in a series of hands-on simulations involving communicating complex concepts and building consensus with the goal of developing student skills for effective leadership of collaborative planning and management endeavors.

8513. Planning Analysis   (3 s.h.)

This course introduces a set of analytical tools that are widely used in community and regional planning practice. The course explores both conceptual and operational understandings of a broad range of analytical methods and techniques. Students learn to obtain data; select and use the most appropriate analytical methods (with an emphasis on computer applications, such as Microsoft Excel); and present their results effectively. Topics covered include data sources and collection, application of statistics to planning practice, demographic models, population projections and forecasts, regional economic analysis, and other methods common to planning analysis.

8555. Internet and Digital Technologies for Community Engagement   (3 s.h.)

Emerging technologies are directly influencing the planning and management of our urban areas in very profound and pervasive ways. Planning and related professionals increasingly are adopting new technologies to develop plans, communicate ideas and concepts, and engage citizens in the decision making process. The course introduces many fundamental technology concepts, including e-Planning and e‐Government; Cybercities; e-Commerce and Economic Development; Web 1.0, 2.0, 3.x, Web Conferencing Tools; Online Project Collaboration Methods; IT Project Management; Section 508 Accessibility; Planning in Virtual Worlds; Municipal Wireless Networks and Public Spaces; and Digital Divide.  Through a series of labs and assignments, students gain hands‐on experience with each of these technologies.

8655. Transportation Planning   (3 s.h.)

The course presents an overview of the history of transportation in the United States and the fundamentals of present-day transportation planning and policies. It 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). Coursework covers the impact of transportation investments on land use and regional population growth, and on environmental, community, and economic sustainability. It 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.)

"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 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.

8657. Non-motorized Transportation Planning   (3 s.h.)

Transportation planning in the United States has long focused on improving conditions for motorized travel, primarily by personal cars and light duty trucks. The effects of an over-emphasis on motorized travel on energy consumption, traffic congestion, and the physical form of our communities, however, have led to the promotion of non-motorized transportation—that is, travel on foot and bicycle. This course is designed to develop an appreciation of the role of non-motorized transportation in the United States; to understand the conflicts and opportunities for compatibility between different modes of transportation; and to gain skills in planning for safer, more convenient, and more appealing walking and bicycling conditions in American cities and suburbs. Class sessions consist of a mix of lectures, discussions, and individual and group exercises.

8666. Travel Demand Modeling   (3 s.h.)

Prerequisite: CRP 8655 or CRP 8656.


This course provides an overview of regional transportation planning, emphasizing hands-on experience with travel demand modeling. It addresses the transportation management and planning process in support of policy development, environmental and system management, improvement programming, and impact analysis. The role of travel estimation is explored as it relates to the key stages of these undertakings.

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

This course 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.

8756. After the Disaster:  Effective Planning for Continuity, Recovery and Restoration   (3 s.h.)

This course provides the student with the skills necessary to develop a plan for continuing operation during and immediately following a disaster or emergency situation. It addresses the planning necessary to quickly recover and eventually restore operations to a normal status. Using various disaster and emergency scenarios, the concepts of command and control, communications protocols, and decision making are applied to the process of continuing and suspending operations.  Assessment techniques, tabletop exercises, and guest lecturers provide students with hands-on experience in disaster recovery.

8840. Topics in Community and Regional Planning   (1-3 s.h.)

Variable offerings are made from semester to semester on 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:  A description of the current course offering can be obtained at the department office and in the schedule of classes. This course may be repeated for credit.

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

Variable offerings are made from semester to semester on 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:  A description of the current course offering can be obtained at the department office and in the schedule of classes. This course may be repeated for credit. Past courses include Suburbia: Issues and Trends; Redevelopment and Revitalization; Environmentally Sensitive Development; Issues in Local and Regional Economic Development; Community-Based Organizations and Planning; Emergency Management Planning; Urban and Regional Development; Community-Based Organizations and Planning; and Planning Processes and Project Management.

8860. Topics in Community and Regional Planning   (1-3 s.h.)

Variable offerings are made from semester to semester on 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:  A description of the current course offering can be obtained at the department office and in the schedule of classes. This course may be repeated for credit.

8870. Special Topics   (1-3 s.h.)

Variable offerings are made from semester to semester on 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:  A description of the current course offering can be obtained at the department office and in the schedule of classes. This course may be repeated for credit.

8889. Planning Studio I   (3 s.h.)
Prerequisite: CRP 5524 and CRP 8513 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   (1-3 s.h.)

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

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

9885. Internship in Planning   (3 or 6 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Open only to matriculated students who have completed the majority of the Community and Regional Planning program. Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2009 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 who matriculate Fall 2009 or later may take only 3 s.h. of internship as an elective.

Students are required to complete a supervised 180/360-hour internship in which emphasis is on the acquisition and application of practical skills in planning. Internship placements are 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 matriculate prior to Fall 2009 and 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 CRP graduate course and complete CRP 9995 for 6 s.h.

9889. Planning Studio   (6 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Open only to matriculated students in the M.S. in CRP degree program who have completed CRP 5524, CRP 8013, CRP 8014, CRP 8016, CRP 8213, CRP 8413, and CRP 8513.

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.

9995. Thesis/Project in Planning   (1-6 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Open only to matriculated students who have completed a minimum of 18 s.h. toward the degree, excluding CRP 9889, at the discretion of the graduate advisor. Under the guidance and supervision of a faculty advisor and committee, students choose either a thesis or a project.

This course 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 1.24.12