UrbPlan 720 Urban Development Theory for Planning

The purpose of this course is to understand why metropolitan areas “look” the way they do. You will examine economic, social, and political theories that seek to explain the growth and development of cities and regions. By “look” we mean the characteristics and geographic patterns of the physical landscape, as well as the social and demographic landscape. An understanding of the theories that attempt to tell us “why metro areas look the way they do” is important for developing appropriate public policies in such areas as transportation, economic development, housing, social policy, and environmental regulation. These theories form the basis for modeling—quantitatively or qualitatively—the likely impacts of alternative urban policies at the local, state, and national levels.

Syllabi for Courses