PLAN 390.001 (1.5 credits)
Title: Introduction to Neighborhood Opportunity Analysis
Instructor: Atticus Jaramillo

Description: One major objective of U.S. housing and community development policy is to increase housing options for low-income and minority families in “high-opportunity” areas – a term that refers to neighborhoods with demographic characteristics and public services believed to facilitate economic mobility.  This course will provide students with an understanding of (1) basic definitions, theories, and metrics of neighborhood opportunity, (2) how to conduct a descriptive statistical analysis of neighborhood opportunity, and (3) data sources for conducting neighborhood opportunity analysis. The course will closely follow the contents of Dr. Xavier de Souza Briggs and Dr. William Julius Wilsons’ book The Geography or Opportunity: Race and Housing in Metropolitan America.

PLAN 390.002 (1.5 credits)
Title: Introduction to Water Policy: The Future Depends on Water
Instructor: Ahmed Rachid El-Khattabi

Description: Freshwater is the single most important resource for sustaining human life and activity. Water resources, however, are often undervalued, overexploited, or otherwise mismanaged and under unprecedented stress due to changes in climate and increasing competition for limited resources. In this course, students will learn about current and future challenge of ensuring sufficient water supplies and be introduced to a range of tools including conservation, groundwater depletion, water law, cost–benefit analysis, demand and supply estimation, economic development policies, land-use policies, and pricing policies that will prepare them to thoughtfully engage on issues related to water scarcity.

This course will prepare students to address the issue of water scarcity through the following four learning objectives. First, students will develop an understanding of the status quo to grasp the complexity of managing water supplies. Second, this course will cover trends in climate, demographics, land-use, and economic development to help develop an appreciation for the most pressing problems facing us in the future. Third, students will be encouraged to think about the various actors and stakeholders in the water sector by examining issues from the perspective of the primary categories of water ‘users’ – agricultural, municipal, industrial, and wildlife. Fourth, this course will cover common policy interventions used to address different aspects of water scarcity and the challenges associated with each. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to think critically about these issues through writing op-eds and policy briefs.