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Almost every planning policy, intervention, and program involves data, public action, and process. By definition, we plan to anticipate, influence, or manage future outcomes. Planners must understand how information and process matters in determining the success of their interventions. PLAN 720 is an introductory course in planning methods featuring lectures, in-class assignments, problem sets, labs, and hands-on group assignments.

The course focuses on: 1) defining research questions, 2) reviewing existing data, 3) crafting study designs, 4) collecting data, 5) the conceptualizing and completion of data analyses, 6) creating data visualizations, and 7) interpreting and presenting results. This course covers study design; analysis and interpretation; quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection; verbal, written and visual communication; and the processes and institutions involved in urban planning and design decision-making. It is a hands-on, skill-building course focused on the development of professional skills including project management, grant-writing, and meeting organization and facilitation.