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    Course Listing

    Regularly scheduled courses for undergraduates


    See the UNC Course Catalog for additional course information

    050 First Year Seminars (3).
    First Year Seminars offer an introduction to the intellectual life of the University. While drawing on diverse disciplines and subject areas, the seminars share a focus on how scholars pose problems, discover "truths," resolve controversies, and evaluate knowledge. The department offers four seminars each year.

    050 Your Land, My Land, or Our Land?
    An issue encountered in managing urban communities and environmental quality concerns rights to land ownership. Environmental regulations limit people's rights to use land as they see fit. This seminar explores processes whereby rights to land, water, and environmental resources of the United States have been acquired, reserved, distributed, and regulated.

    051 Urban Growth & Sustainable Communities
    How is "community" understood as a concept used to describe towns, universities, and other forms of social interaction? This seminar introduces students to urban planning, higher education, and social capital and provides students with opportunities to explore and document local leaders' views concerning the towns' futures and the University's growth.

    052 Race, Sex, and Place in America
    This first-year seminar will expose students to the complex dynamics of race, ethnicity, and gender and how these have shaped the American city since 1945.

    053 FYS Changing American Job
    Explores the changing nature of the American job and the transformative forces from global trade and outsourcing to corporate restructuring and new skill demands that have influenced this change.

    054 Transportation and a Sustainable Campus
    The seminar seeks to understand the current realities of North Carolina's inner-city communities in the context of their historical evolution and the current proposals for revitalization. Each student selects one city or town for a case study.

    055 Sustainable Cities
    How can the sustainability of cities and their ability to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups be improved? In this seminar students will look at the evolution of cities throughout history to find out how they have coped with threats to sustainability.

    057 What is a Good City?
    After studying the forces that have produced the American urban landscape, we will explore the city from the normative perspectives of urban historians, planners and architects, social scientists, social critics, and futurists, as a way for each student to develop her/his own perspective about what a "good city" might be. Honors version available.

    058 Globalization and the Transformation of Local Economies

    Using directed readings, participative class exercises, and cases that cut across developed and developing countries, this seminar will focus on how global pressures and economic integration is changing local economies.

    246 Cities of the Future (3). Introduction to the evolution of cities in history, the concept of urban morphology, and the different elements or sub-systems of the urban system and how they have changed over time.

    247 Solving Urban Problems (3). This course is an introduction to the methods used in urban planning for solving urban problems. Students will learn the methods used in various sub-fields of planning and will develop an ability to critically evaluate different techniques and approaches used within these disciplines.

    317 Introduction to Site Planning and Urban Design (3). This course examines site planning as a process of creating the built environment. A site planner considers many things, including site hydrology, topography, building form, access, and regulation. Students will review the theories of urban design that guide site planning, conduct a site analysis and propose a site plan.

    326 Social Ventures (PLCY 326) (3). Examines students’ knowledge and understanding of social entrepreneurship as an innovative approach to addressing complex social needs. Affords students the opportunity to engage in a business planning exercise designed to assist them in establishing and launching a social purpose entrepreneurial venture.

    330 Principles of Sustainability (ENEC 330) (3). An overview of science, social science, and humanities perspectives on community sustainability.

    420 Community Design and Green Architecture (ENEC 420) (3). The impact of building on the environment and health will be examined by looking at the major areas of land use planning, water resource use, energy, materials, and indoor environment.

    691 Honors Seminar in Urban and Regional Students (3).
    An overview of the subject matter and methods of investigation to the study of cities and regions. Presentation of original papers prepared by students. Permission of the instructor.


    Courses for graduate and advanced undergraduate students


    491 Introduction to GIS (GEOG 491) (3).
    Stresses the spatial analysis and modeling capabilities of organizing data within a geographic information system.  See GEOG 491 for description.

    547 Energy, Transportation, and Land Use (3).
    This course explores the reciprocal connections between energy (production/conversion, distribution, and use), land use, environment, and transportation. Evaluation of federal, state, and local policies on energy conservation and alternative energy sources are emphasized. Students gain skills to analyze impacts, interdependencies, and uncertainties of various energy conservation measures and production technologies.

    550 Evolution of the American Urban Landscape (3).
    Examines shaping the urban built environments of the United States from the colonial era to present day.


    574 Political Economy of Poverty and Inequality (3).
    Introduces students to the political economy of poverty alleviation programs. Uses comparative cases to explore what types of projects, tasks, and environments lead to effective and equitable outcomes, and why.

    575 Real Estate Development (3). Rigorous examination of real estate development from the entrepreneurial and public perspectives. Emphasis on risk management and the inherent uncertainties of development. The four dimensions of real estate are addressed: economic/market, legal/institutional, physical, and financial.


    585 American Environmental Policy (ENST 585, ENVR 585, PLCY 585) (3).
    Intensive introduction to environmental management and policy, including environmental and health risks; policy institutions, processes, and instruments; policy analysis; and major elements of American environmental policy. See ENVR 585 for description.


    590 Special Topics Seminar (1–9). Original research, fieldwork, readings, or discussion of selected planning issues under guidance of a member of the faculty. 

    591 Applied Issues in Geographic Information Systems (GEOG 591) (3).
    Prerequisite, GEOG 370 or 491. Applied issues in the use of geographic information systems in terrain analysis, medical geography, biophysical analysis, and population geography.

    596 Independent Study (1–9). This course permits full-time undergraduate students enrolled in the Department of City and Regional Planning who wish to pursue independent research or an independent project to do so under the direction of a member of the department faculty.

    636 Urban Transportation Planning (3). Fundamental characteristics of the urban transportation system as a component of urban structure. Methodologies for the analysis of transportation problems, planning urban transportation, and the evaluation of plans.


    637 Public Transportation (3).
    Alternative public urban transportation systems including mass transit, innovative transit services, and paratransit, examined from economic, land use, social, technical, and policy perspectives.

    638 Pedestrian and Bike Transportation (3).
    This graduate-level course examines the importance of multimodal transportation planning and provides a comprehensive overview of best planning practices to support increased walking and bicycling.


    641 Ecology and Land Use Planning (3).
    Integration of the structure, function, and change of ecosystems with a land use planning framework. How land use planning accommodates human use and occupancy within ecological limits to sustain long-term natural system integrity.

    651 Urban Form and the Design of Cities (3). Lecture course on comparative urbanism and the global evolution of the city form. Examines values and ideals embedded in urban landscapes, seeking to understand how social, economic, and political forces have influenced the development of cities through history.

    662 Gender Issues in Planning and Development (WMST 662) (3). Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. Examination of the environmental and health risks, policy institutions, processes, instruments, policy analysis, and major elements of American environmental policy. Lectures and case studies.

    685 Water and Sanitation Planning and Policy in Developed Countries (ENVR 685) (3). Permission of the instructor. Seminar on policy and planning approaches for improved community water and sanitation services in developing countries. Topics include the choice of appropriate technology and level of service; cost recovery; water venting; community participation in the management of water systems; and rent-seeking behavior in providing water supplies.

    686 Policy Instruments for Environmental Management (ENST 686, ENVR 686, PLCY 686) (3).
    Design of public policy instruments as incentives for sustainable management of environmental resources and ecosystems, and comparison of the effects and effectiveness of alternative policies.  See PLCY 686 for description.


    687 International Development and Social Change (3). Permission of the instructor. Course explores effect of the global economy on national and community development, effect of environmental degradation processes on development, and strategies to guide social change.

    691H Honors Seminar in Urban and Regional Studies (3). Permission of the instructor. An overview of the subject matter and methods of investigation for the study of cities and regions. Presentations of original papers prepared by students.


    Courses for graduate students

    701 Research Methods (1–6). Course combines material learned in other courses (theory/philosophy, methods, and their substantive area of interest). Familiarizes students with the skills necessary to conduct research and critically review and understand evaluation reports.

    704 Theory of Planning I (3). The logic of planning as a professional activity. Critical overview of current process theories leading students to develop a personal philosophy applicable to their work as planners.

    710 Microeconomics for Planning and Public Policy Analysis (3). Introduction to principles of demand and supply, elasticity, marginal utility opportunity cost, pricing, production decisions, and profit maximization, cost-benefit analysis, financial appraisal, role of government, and market instruments for environmental protection.

    714 Urban Spatial Structure (3). Theories and empirical evidence of the contemporary spatial development of metropolitan areas. Industrial, residential and commercial location; neighborhood change; the role of technological change and public policies; and normative perspectives.

    720 Planning Methods (3). Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. Accessing information from conventional and electronic sources, spatial data acquisition, analysis and mapping. Inferential statistics through multiple regression. Microcomputer laboratory.

    721 Advanced Planning Methods (3). Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. More in-depth treatment of topics covered in PLAN 720. Particular emphasis on techniques of multiple regression analysis, forecasting, categorical data analysis, and spatial data analysis.


    722 Systems Thinking and Modeling for Planners (1.5). This course will introduce systems thinking and system dynamics computer simulation modeling, a computer-aided approach to policy analysis and design. The goal of this course is to enhance knowledge and skills in understanding and analyzing the complex feedback dynamics in social, economic, and environmental problems.

    724 Introduction to Law for Planners (3). Governmental institutions, real property, constitutional law, land use law, and environmental law.

    725 Development Dispute Resolution (3). Contemporary methods of resolving development disputes through negotiation, bargaining, and mediation. Techniques and skills applicable to solving controversies over planning and implementation of public and private development projects.


    735 Community Revitalization Applied (PUBA 735). Students apply their skills in business, planning, or public administration to actual community revitalization projects in North Carolina communities. Projects require an understanding of community development methods, the real estate development process, and public-private partnerships. Students will manage client relationships and learn how their skills contribute to solving community challenges.


    738 Transportation Policy and Planning (3).
    Prerequisite, PLAN 636. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Examination of active transportation planning and policy questions: land use relationships, modal comparisons, environmental quality, transportation demand management, paratransit planning, the transportation needs of special populations, and international comparisons.


    739 Transportation Planning Models (3).
    Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. The transportation planning process; data collection, trip generation, modal choice, trip distribution and assignment. Social, economic, and environmental impacts of transportation. Innovative modeling techniques.


    740 Land Use and Environmental Policy (3).
    History, institutional setting, rationale of state and local land use, and environmental policies. Program and policy frameworks, political and market processes, resource utilization concepts, and contemporary development and resource management.


    741 Land Use and Environmental Planning (3).
    Methods of land use planmaking. Use of GIS and spreadsheets to analyze land suitability and spatial needs. Preparation of land classification plans, land use design plans, and development management programs.


    744 Development and Environmental Management (3).
    Coordination of public powers and private actions to implement development plans and conserve environmental resources. Regulatory, public investment, incentive, and policy instruments used in land use and environmental guidance systems.

    745 Development Impact Assessment (3). Methods for data management and predictive analysis of the environmental, transportation, and other infrastructure; fiscal and social impacts of land development projects. Impact mitigation measures are also examined.


    747 Coastal Management Policy (3).
    Analysis of national and state coastal management laws, policies, and programs.


    752 Project and Site Planning (3).
    Techniques of site analysis, project programming, and arrangement of structures on the land. Workshop covering design and review of urban development projects within limitations of regulatory standards and market criteria.

    755 Planning for Natural Hazards and Climate Change Adaption (3). Introduction to natural hazards risk management planning, including climate change-induced hazards. Areas of study include planning and its application to hazard mitigation and disaster recovery. Emphasis is placed on the connectivity between planning for natural hazards and disasters, climate change adaption, sustainability, and disaster resilience.

    756 Survey of Natural Hazards and Disasters (3). Introductory level study of natural hazards and disasters, with an emphasis on the characteristics of natural hazards and how their effects on human settlements. Topics include meteorology, geology, hydrology, engineering, and building performance, policy making, planning, and sociology, among other disciplines. Case study based.


    757 Planning for Historical Preservation (3).
    Concepts, processes, and policies for historic preservation; its role in the community planning and development process.


    760 Real Estate Investment and Affordable Housing (3).
    Fundamentals and techniques of real estate investment analysis, including cases and computer modeling; applications of the public interest in private investment decisions; tax and other public policies influencing real estate investments; and affordable housing.

    761 Housing and Public Policy (3). A theory-based course in housing and market dynamics; the justification for government intervention and the operations of the mortgage market and construction industry. Students develop skills for housing market and policy analysis.

    762 Central City Revitalization (3). Analyzes central cities over past twenty years and factors affecting their growth or decline. Analyzes how economic, social, physical conditions of central cities can be improved through large-scale urban-planning efforts.

    763 Urban Neighborhood Revitalization (3). Social, political, and economic theory of local communities. Models of neighborhood change. Neighborhood revitalization: theoretical aspects; federal, state, and local programs; role of nonprofit organizations; step-by-step process for revitalizing an area.

    764 Techniques in Community Development (3). The steps involved in developing neighborhood revitalization plans. Students work with local neighborhood associations in identifying both community assets and problems and the various stakeholders, conducting research on selected issues, developing and selecting strategies for addressing those issues, and formulating an implementation strategy.

    765 Real Estate Development (3). The dynamics of real property development from the developer’s perspective covering market research, government relations, site planning, financing, investment analysis, construction and project management, and marketing.

    770 Economic Development Policy (3). Introduction to basic theories, concepts and strategies employed to pursue local and regional economic development. Clarifies similarities and distinctions with related planning perspectives including community development, investigates the economic logic behind various development initiatives, and reviews basic principles for critically examining alternative policies and programs.

    771 Development Planning Techniques (3). Intermediate and advanced techniques for analyzing the development of local and regional economies. Social accounts, indicator construction, regional input-output models, economic and fiscal impact analysis, labor market analysis, and regional economic forecasting techniques.

    773 Urban and Regional Development Seminar (3). Fundamental concepts and theories applied to local economic development including growth, trade, product-cycle, flexible specialization, and entrepreneurship theories. Urban and regional development issues addressed in the North American, South American, European, or South Asian contexts.

    774 Planning for Jobs (3). This graduate seminar examines the policy and planning implications of changing labor market conditions and their impact on U.S. workers, especially the working poor.


    776 Development Finance (3).
    Community development financial institutions and loan funds for local asset building and wealth creation. Investment analysis to structure and finance local projects. Real estate and business development cases.


    781 Water Resources Planning and Policy Analysis (ENVR 781) (3).
    Water resources planning and management. Federal and state water resources policies. Analytical skills to identify environmental problems associated with urban water resources development.

    785 Public Investment Theory (ENVR 785) (3). Prerequisite, PLAN 710. Equivalent experience for students lacking the prerequisite. Basic theory, process, and techniques of public investment planning and decision making, involving synthesis of economic, political, and technologic aspects. Theory underlying benefit-cost analysis, adaptation to a descriptive and normative model for planning public projects and programs.

    786 Environmental Quality Management (ENVR 786) (3). Planning and analysis of regional environmental system with a focus on management of mass flows that affect the quality of the regional environment.

    787 Applied Environmental Finance: How to Pay for Environmental Services (PUBA 787) (3). This applied course looks at the diverse tools and strategies environmental service providers use to pay for their programs. It also examines the policy implications of deciding how to pay for these services. The course will focus on environmental services related to: drinking Water, wastewater, storm-water, watershed protection, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainability, and wetlands.

    788 Advanced Economic Analysis for Public Policy I (PLCY 788) (3). Topics covered include theory of utility and demand, theory of the producer, organization, and operation of product and factor markets, market equilibrium, and regulation.  See PLCY 788 for description.

    789 Advanced Economic Analysis for Public Policy II (PLCY 789) (3). Further applications of ecenomic theory to public policy including risk and uncertainty, general equilibrium and welfare policy, market failure, public goods and taxation, and game theory.  See PLCY 798 for description.

    799 Planning Seminar (1–15). Original research, fieldwork, readings, or discussion of selected planning issues under guidance of a member of the faculty.

    801 Design of Policy-Oriented Research (PLCY 801) (3). Logic of designing research for the analysis of planning problems and the formulation of public policies. Elements of research design, case study, survey research, quasi-experimental designs, and the social experiment are covered.

    802 Advanced Seminar in Research Design: Data, Methods, and Evaluation (PLCY 802) (3). Three main objectives: to deepen students' understanding of important issues and topics in the design of empirical research, to further develop students' ability to critically evaluate research designs and policy-related products, and to aid in developing a research paper, dissertation, or other product.

    805 Theory of Planning II (3). Construction of methodologies for evaluating various theories of planning and intensive analysis of the North American planning theory literature. Doctoral-level introduction to the area.

    823 Planning Workshop (3). Problem-solving, client-based courses designed to give students experience in applying planning theory and methods to actual problem situations in economic development, housing and community development, real estate, environmental planning, and land use and transportation.

    890 Special Topics in Planning and Urbanism (3). Reading, lectures and discussions to provide opportunities to develop new concepts and courses in various city and regional planning topics.

    891 Special Topics in Planning and Urbanism (3). Reading, lectures and discussions to provide opportunities to develop new concepts and courses in various city and regional planning topics.

    896 Independent Study (1–15). This course permits full-time graduate students enrolled in the Department of City and Regional Planning who wish to pursue independent research or an independent project to do so under the direction of a member of the department faculty.

    911 Ph.D. Research Seminar (1–15). Original research, fieldwork, readings or discussion of selected planning issues under guidance of a member of the faculty.

    992 Master’s (Non-Thesis) (3). The master’s project is original work, involving a substantial degree of independent research and/or analysis. May be a research paper, critical essay, development and evaluation of a program, project, or plan.

    994 Doctoral Research and Dissertation (3).

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