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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 example:

Planning Workshop Fall 2021

Course Description: The workshop is a required course for all second year MCRP students. The objective of the course is to give students experience working for a client and working in a team environment. The Fall, 2021 Planning Workshop is expected to have several student teams formed to each work with a different client community and an experienced planner. Students will be assigned to teams, based on their interests, skills, experience and on clients’ needs.

Clients: PlanNC (UNC School of Government, American Planning Association – NC Chapter)

Recent workshop examples follow:

Planning Workshop: Building more diverse coalitions to address road safety

Clients: PlanNC (UNC School of Government, American Planning Association – NC, ) and NC Vision Zero Network (led by UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, UNC Highway Safety Research Center, Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety, and the NC Institute for Public Health)

Course Description: The workshop is a required course for all second-year MCRP students. The objective of the course is to give students experience working for a client and working in a team environment.  The Spring 2021 Planning Workshop will have two clients and the students will be assigned to one of the two clients based upon their interests, their skills and experience, and the clients’ needs.

Planning Workshop: Development Workshop

Developing Creative Indicators and Institutional Scorecards for Mapping Equity, Partnerships, Resiliency and Workforce development for the Dix Park
Planning Process

Client: The City of Raleigh, Dorothea Dix Park

Course Description: The goals of the Fall 2020 workshop are to work with the Project Director of the City of Raleigh’s Dorothea Dix Park project, arguably the largest ongoing urban green development initiative in the country, to think through the use of creative indicators, indices and scorecards to map key themes of priority to the Park’s planning process. These themes include: equity, partnerships, resiliency and work force development.

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


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

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.