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Urban Planning Course Descriptions

UBPL 200

SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIETY (3) White

 

This course will introduce the concept of sustainability, examining its early iterations, recent applications, and possible future transformations. Critical analysis of sustainability as a concept and societal goal will be a course cornerstone. We will examine two contemporary social issues that are relevant to students at the University of Kansas. Social science perspectives will be emphasized, but, because sustainability necessitates an interdisciplinary perspective, the course will consider the contributions of a wide range of disciplines to these issues.

UBPL 300

PLANNING THE AMERICAN CITY (3) Lyles

 

A broad introduction to the field of urban planning as a technical profession, a process of decision-making, and a governmental function. The multi-disciplinary nature of planning as an area for professional practice in the geographical, socio-economic and political contexts of the U.S. is stressed. The course is intended for both the student who is considering planning as a major field of study and the student with primary interest in a related field who would like a working knowledge of past and current planning in the U.S.

UBPL 502

Undergraduate Sections of an UBPL 802 course.

UBPL 522

HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN CITY I (3) Englehart

 

This course examines the evolution of American cities from their European antecedents through the late 20th Century, from the urban planning perspective. It focuses on the changing spatial forms and functions of American cities and how these changes relate to socioeconomic and political aspects of urbanization as well as changes in technology. Emphasis is placed on analyzing the relationships between historical development patterns and the current range of problems facing most US cities.   Meets with UBPL 722.

UBPL 538

ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING TECHNIQUES (3) Schulte
 

This course covers a variety of topics within environmental planning. Each topic is examined with respect to the scope of the issues, the methods of analyzing and/or measuring those issues, and the ways planners can address those issues in order to avoid or mitigate environmental problems. Meets with UBPL 738.

UBPL 565

PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING (3) Lyles

 

This course introduces students to the issues that planners and decision makers face as they strive to protect environmental resources, especially within the context of land use planning. Emphasis will be placed on the theoretical and policy considerations that guide the work of environmental planners. Meets with UBPL 765.

UBPL 662

TWENTIETH CENTURY AMERICAN LANDSCAPE (3)
 

This course investigates the relationships between the American culture and the resulting built and natural landscape. Issues of building types, public places, and land use arrangements are studied from a socio-historical perspective

UBPL 701

DIRECTED READINGS (1-6) Staff
 

Intended to meet the needs of students for study in urban planning beyond the regularly scheduled courses. Requires consent of instructor.

UBPL 705

ECONOMIC ANALYSIS FOR PLANNERS (3) Dunning

 

An introduction to the concepts and analytical techniques of economics that are most relevant to urban planners. The first half of the course is devoted to microeconomic theory, welfare economics, and the role of the government in the economy. The second half covers public finance, investment analysis, and methods for determining the allocation of public resources (particularly benefit-cost analysis).

UBPL 710

INTRODUCTION TO HOUSING POLICY (3) McClure

 

Designed to provide an introduction to the various methods used by the public sector in order to intervene in the housing market. Many different programs are used by governments at all levels to serve many different housing goals. This course will examine many of these programs in an effort to understand what they are supposed to accomplish and how well they work. In all cases, the objective of the course is to train planners so that they have a firm understanding of housing programs that exist now as well as a grasp of the methods used to select housing strategies for implementation by the public sector.

UBPL 714

LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (3) McClure
 

This course provides a broad overview of local economic development planning. Emphasis is on the role of the practitioner and the various activities that can be pursued to encourage and enhance the economic base of a locality. The objectives of the course are to answer the questions: who are economic development planners; what backgrounds and interests do they have; what types of activities do they perform and initiate to encourage and enhance economic development; and how do they decide upon which activities to pursue?  Prerequisite: UPBL 764 or permission of instructor.

UBPL 715 "COMMUNITY" IN NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING AND DESIGN (3)
  This course provides a place-centered approach for understanding and applying the idea of community to local neighborhood planning and housing design. The course explores social theories of community and how these have influenced housing types, site plans, and concepts for neighborhood development and design. The course also evaluates the interplay of social, environmental, and economic forces at the neighborhood level and their relationship to community development and well-being. Examples of topics covered in the course are the neighborhood unit plan; urban renewal and public housing; community organizing and empowerment; community development corporations; neighborhood associations; gated communities; New Urbanist neighborhood design; co-housing and housing cooperatives; and research methods including visual assessment, interviewing, participant-observation, and analysis of community plans and archival documents.
UBPL 716

COMMUNITY AND NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION (3) McClure

 

This course examines the fields of community development and the revitalization of urban neighborhoods. In the course, students study the theories of community redevelopment as well as the methods of analysis guiding the planning of neighborhoods. The course also reviews the many programs that exist to assist the neighborhood revitalization process and looks at the literature evaluating the implementation of these programs. As an implementation course, students complete a project that calls for them to apply the knowledge learned to real world setting. Prerequisite: UBPL 764 or permission of the professor.

UBPL 722

HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN CITY II (3) Englehart

 

Same as UBPL 522 but gives graduate credit. Graduate students will have additional assignments.

UBPL 730

INTRODUCTION TO LAND USE PLANNING (3) Johnson

 

This course is about how to put the pieces of cities together in a sustainable manner balancing the competing values of economy, ecology, equity, and livability. It introduces students to the planning process, what makes great plans, the major implementation tools for planning (zoning, capital improvement plans, engineering standards, and subdivision regulations), and major theories for how to plan cities (smart growth, new urbanism, sustainable development, etc.).

UBPL 735

SITE PLANNING (3) Johnson
  Site planning is the arrangement of elements (buildings, landscaping, parking, open space) on particular pieces of property. This class focuses on site analysis and understanding the present and future contexts of sites. While examining sites we will delve into the elements and principles of design and ask these big questions: What makes great public spaces? What makes great neighborhoods? and What makes great streets? As we get into the basics of design thinking and designing great places, we will learn about the process behind the design of sites and how to use technical and artistic skills to steer development in the direction of “greatness.”

UBPL 736

PLANNING INSTITUTIONS (3)
 

This course explores the legal principles underlying the institutions, practices and processes of city planning. Subjects to be discussed include zoning, eminent domain, subdivision regulation, transfer of development rights, environmental regulation, growth management, and other planning mechanisms used to guide urban growth and control the use of land.  Students should emerge from the course with a solid understanding of both the logic and routine practice of planning in a procedural and institutional context.

UBPL 737

NEPA ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS  (3) Smalley

 

This course provides an understanding of how to effectively manage and conduct environmental assessments as required by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). Topics include the history and intent of NEPA; the steps, players and assessment types; techniques used to balance environmental concerns with the social and economic considerations; and the role of the courts and environmental advocacy groups in challenging NEPA assessment findings. The class also addresses the role of leadership, conflict resolution, and consensus building in managing environmental assessments. Case studies are used to examine different assessment types and process approaches.

UBPL 738

ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING TECHNIQUES (3) Schulte

 

Same as UBPL 538 but gives graduate credit. Graduate students will have additional assignments.

UBPL 739

ISSUES IN GROWTH MANAGEMENT (3) Johnson
 

This course examines various aspects of growth management including its history, legal foundations, and application at different levels of government. Growth management not only means dealing with the rapid growth of cities, it also includes managing slow growth, no growth, and negative growth with the ultimate goal being sustainability. Impacts on affordable housing, economic development, social equity, transportation, and environmental conservation are also explored. 

UBPL 741

QUANTITATIVE METHODS I (3) Lyles
 

Introduction to quantitative techniques utilized in planning analysis. Introduction to inferential statistics, computer programming and the use of statistical packages.

UBPL 742

QUANTITATIVE METHODS II (3) McClure
 

Advanced study in planning techniques in the areas of population forecasting, analysis of variance and regression. The course makes extensive use of microcomputers. Prerequisite UBPL 741 or consent of instructor.

UBPL 750

INTRODUCTION TO TRANSPORTATION PLANNING (3) Dunning

 

This course is a survey course covering multiple modes of transportation (planes, trains, buses, automobiles, bicycles, and walking). The field of transportation planning is examined within a policy analysis framework. Knowing the policy context and understanding how decisions are made will assist transportation planners in understanding the world in which they operate. In addition to the policy context, this course will focus on the technical knowledge transportation planners are expected to know like federal requirements, traffic modeling, and specific topics like bicycle and pedestrian planning and traffic calming.      

UBPL 755

PLANNING INTERCITY TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS (3) Dunning
 

This course explores the supply and demand of intercity multimodal movement of people and goods from megaregional to global scales. Students will learn the characteristics and performance of rail, aviation, and marine travel, the nuts and bolts of supply provision, effects of intercity connections on communities, and mechanisms for planning across state and national borders.

UBPL 756

TRAVEL DEMAND FORECASTING METHODS (3) Miller
 

This course is intended to provide a working knowledge of analytical transportation planning; it emphasizes two elements. One emphasis is to describe the fundamental principles of transportation planning through the review of transportation modeling theory and practice. The second emphasis is to work with the TransCad model. Students learn how to use these models by running TransCad (GIS based modeling software), building a transportation model, and using it to forecast future transportation conditions. Prerequisite: UBPL 750 or consent of instructor.

UBPL 757

TRANSPORTATION PLANNING IMPLEMENTATION (3) Smalley

 

A variety of transportation implementation methods and strategies are explored. Project management with an emphasis on finance is the major focus of this course. This is a significant responsibility of transportation planners, consisting of several key steps including project initiating, planning, execution, and control. Other techniques included in this course deal with air quality conformity, congestion management, environmental reviews, developing performance measures, scenario testing, highway capacity analysis and micro-simulation modeling and executing public involvement programs.

UBPL 758

PUBLIC TRANSIT (3) Dunning
 

This course familiarizes students with core concepts and practices in public provision of local transit systems from high-capacity heavy rail to on-the-fly demand response. Course modules examine modes, system design, planning issues, organizational relationships inherent to public transit, and technical operations. The course concludes with an examination of comprehensive transit systems.

UBPL 760

HISTORIC PRESERVATION PLANNING (3) Nimz

 

In the addition to studying the history of the preservation movement in the United States, the course will discuss preservation at the state and local level, preservation at the private level, ordinance creation, legal aspects of preservation, technical issues and contemporary issues and controversies in the field of preservation. Projects will deal with philosophic and current issues in preservation.

UBPL 761 HISTORIC PRESERVATION ECONOMICS (3) Nimz
 

This course considers the economic strategies for the historic preservation of the built environment. Topics include investment tax credits, tax increment financing and tax abatement, bond issues, historic preservation grants, and revolving funds. Students will analyze case studies and meet guest speakers who make preservation projects work. Class projects may include market analyses, economic feasibility studies, rehabilitation/ redevelopment plans, and technical research papers.

UBPL 763

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (3) White
 

This course seeks to provide students with both skills and evaluative frameworks to enhance their work as practicing planners. We will focus specifically on issues related to ethics, citizen participation, dispute resolution, and management. Considerable attention will be paid to "real-life" lessons.  Prerequisite: UBPL 741 and 815.

UBPL 764

REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (3) McClure

 

This course is designed to provide a working knowledge of the mechanics of real estate investment analysis. As a planning course, the emphasis is placed upon the process as performed by the practicing planner working with the public sector. This means that the course covers much of the same material that is normally included in a real estate development course in a business school. However, this material is augmented with the study of techniques used to achieve public sector goals. Among the topics covered in the course are: the calculation of return on investment in real estate; the financing of real estate development; the various forms of property ownership; and the implications of tax laws upon the rehabilitation of historic properties and the provision of low-income housing. Prerequisite: knowledge of spreadsheet software on a personal computer.

UBPL 765

PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING (3) Lyles

 

Same as UBPL 565 but gives graduate credit. Graduate students will have additional assignments.

UBPL 766 URBAN DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION (3)
  Urban design is studied from the perspective of planning controls. Issues include: aesthetics and zoning, sign regulation, circulation control, administration, finance, downtown revitalization, and historic preservation.
UBPL 768 REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING II (3) Grube
 

This course extends the study of real estate development planning begun in UBPL 764: Real Estate Development Planning I. The course will examine various forms of public-private participation in the real estate development process. Advanced study of various public sector programs to guide and direct the real estate development process will be undertaken, including the use of tax credits for affordable housing and for historic preservation. Projects developed within the region will be examined to illustrate the application of these techniques. Prerequisite: Successful completion of UBPL 764 or permission of instructor.

UBPL 773

ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING IMPLEMENTATION (3) White

 

This course emphasizes the details of successful implementation of environmental plans. While the particular focus (land, water, energy, etc.) may vary, the techniques and processes studied will be broadly applicable. Students will develop environmental plans using real-world data. Prerequisites: UBPL 765, UBPL 738, or consent of instructor.

UBPL 802

SPECIAL TOPICS IN URBAN PLANNING (1-6) Staff
 

Intended for individual or group projects/research in an urban planning topic.

UBPL 806

THESIS (1-6) Staff

 

Independent study and research related to the Master's thesis. Requires consent of instructor.

UBPL 815

HISTORY AND THEORY OF THE PLANNING PROCESS (3) Johnson

 

The course serves as an introduction to the field of city planning and "how to plan" in general. Planners are particularly concerned with future consequences of current actions. In looking to the future, knowing past history is a good place to start. Also, planning theorists have thought deeply about how best to plan and their thoughts and advice can serve planners and decision-makers well when they are facing unknowns.

UBPL 816

POLITICS AND PLANNING (3) Johnson

 

Planners and other public servants operate within a highly technical yet political environment. Their expertise can be respected, ignored, or distrusted. Planners often try to bring consensus and action-taking to communities but the very structure of our democracy promotes conflict and stalemate. Understanding power structures can help planners choose the most appropriate techniques and strategies. This class explores the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of planners as they deal with politics.

UBPL 850

URBAN AND REGIONAL THEORY (3) Englehart

 

The course explores the forces that shape the structure and function of cities and regions, drawing upon insights from planning, geography, economics, sociology, demography, and political science.  Special attention is paid to theories that can be applied by urban planners to improve the economic performance, quality of life and social equity of urban areas.  Topics covered include the origin and development of ciities, agglomeration economies, location theory, central place, mix-and-share analysis, economic base, input-output, labor markets, urban models, regional development planning, globalization, high technology, urban poverty, and problems of regional governance.  Prerequisite:  UBPL 741 and 815.

 

 

  RELATED COURSES

CE 781

TRAFFIC ENGINEERING I (Characteristics and Studies) (3)

 

Two lecture periods and one laboratory period. A study of fundamental traits and behavior patterns of the road user and his or her vehicle in traffic. The major content involves techniques for obtaining data, analyzing data and interpreting data on traffic speed, volume, origin and destination, streamflow, intersection operation, parking, and accidents. Prerequisite: CE 582 or equivalent.

CE 881

TRAFFIC ENGINEERING II (Operations and Control) (3)

 

Two lecture periods and one laboratory period. A study of theory and practical applications of traffic regulatory measures and traffic control devices including the design and functional operations of traffic signals, systems, and networks. Prerequisite: CE 781 or equivalent.


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