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PLAN 890 is a Special Topics course, which means that the topic changes every semester and there may be several sections of PLAN 890 offered in the same semester, each covering a different subject.


Current semester: 

Title: PLAN 890: Zoning for Equity

Instructor: Andrew Whittemore

Description: Zoning for Equity is a 3 credit graduate level class held in conjunction across six US graduate planning schools. It examines (1) how past zoning priorities have led to inequitable access to public services and healthy residential environments, (2) efforts to date aimed at challenging these inequities, and (3) future directions in zoning for equity. Students on each campus will share the same readings and pre-recorded lecture materials, while also meeting once a week in person for discussion. Students at each campus will pursue an assignment related to their locale, conducting interviews with local actors, evaluating reforms to date, and imagining an alternative, more equitable local zoning scheme. Students from all campuses will meet virtually three times over the course of the semester to share assignment progress.


Previous semester examples: 

Almost every planning intervention involves public action and process. By definition, we plan to anticipate, influence, or manage future outcomes. Yet, the effectiveness of planning interventions is influenced by actions of regional and national governments, private businesses, bureaucracies, stakeholder groups, and a range of “publics”. Planners must understand how process matters in determining the success of their interventions. This course covers the theory and techniques of plan and policy adoption and implementation, while examining the processes and institutions involved in urban planning and design decision-making.

The course is a hands-on, skill-building course focused on the development of professional skills, including project management, grant-writing, and meeting organization and facilitation. In addition to completing readings selected to build theoretical knowledge, students will engage in 1) lectures from practitioners, 2) regular in-class writing assignments to improve the quality and speed of their professional writing, 3) role playing exercises to expand their facilitation and mediation skills, and 4) semester-long projects aimed at developing their critical analysis of real-world implementation cases and the acquisition of crucial management skills.