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The Planning Workshop is a problem-solving, client-based course 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.

Current workshop examples:

Planning Workshop: Reflections and Improvements on Zoning/Development Controls

The goal of the DCRP Land Use workshop is to help the City of Shenzhen in China with background research and proposals that will enable the city to evaluate and improve its land development controls, its version of zoning. Our client is the Shenzhen Land Resource and Planning Bureau. Our work products will be used by the client to improve the quality of land developments and to provide more amenities in the city.  Instructor: Yan Song

Planning Workshop: Charleston Area Justice Ministry

Review previous transportation analysis on routes and make recommendations.  We’ll look at all available data and see what is missing, what we can get from federal databases, etc.  We’ll provide busing route financial analysis, review public transit best practices, preform route GIS analysis, analyze the fare system, and review the current housing zoning practices looking for ridership opportunities/barriers.  Instructor: Allie Thomas


Recent workshop examples follow:

Planning Workshop: Big Data and Smart city for Huawei

The goal of the DCRP Land Use workshop in fall 2018 is to help Guian New District in China with background research and strategic planning that will enable the district to effectively implement the concept of the “smart city.” Our work products will be used by the client to secure additional funding for its efforts; to generate marketing materials and strategies for promoting its programs; and most importantly, to identify mechanisms to implement the initiative.


Planning Workshop: City of Durham Guidelines for Multimodal Traffic Impact Analysis

Deliverables: Guidelines for multimodal traffic impact analysis.

Background:  The City of Durham is looking to update its traffic impact analysis to include alternative modes of transportation. Currently the TIA only takes into consideration motorized modes. The main concerns for creating an MMTIA are (1) data collection (2) time needed (3) methodologies.


Planning Workshop: Innovation, Technology Change, and Economic Development

This is a survey course intended to prepare PhD students to conduct original research on topics related to innovation, technological change, and economic development. Innovation is a multidisciplinary field, drawing from economics, management, sociology, law and history, among other disciplines. This course will introduce students to important theoretical and empirical questions, discuss fundamental background knowledge from the social sciences, and discuss the appropriateness of various methodologies and data sources for tackling open research questions. Key topics include fundamental models of innovation and technological change; sources of novel ideas; general purpose technologies; the geography of innovation, knowledge spillovers and diffusion; patents and intellectual property protection; firm innovative strategy, place-based economic development strategy; the sociology of science; and the use of history as an analytic tool.

The course is conducted as a seminar with active discussion with three objectives:

  • Examine the research literature, exploring both intellectual foundations and current developments.
  • explore the craft of conducting research. In particular, students will learn how to use the literature as a resource for research. We will explore different data sources.
  • Consider how scholars participate in academic and policy discussions and discuss professional conduct.