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Greetings from Chapel Hill! UNC’s Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) is entering our eighth decade of producing leaders in the planning and development field. Program graduates have led transit systems, built affordable and market-rate housing, and run planning departments across the United States and beyond. The work of faculty, graduates, and current students shapes the communities and regions where we live and is critical to addressing societal challenges including congestion, air pollution, housing affordability, and inequality.

The past few weeks have seen big changes for everyone. I’m proud of the way our Carolina Planning community has come together during the pandemic. We’ve leveraged technology to keep our communication going and processes on schedule. Recently our Open House moved to an online platform where alumni, current students and faculty connected with admitted students. Our weekly social activities — Tea Time with the chair and the student happy hour — have moved to Zoom. Students and faculty are keeping conversations going via small-group video discussions we’re calling Fireside Chats. All our courses are being delivered remotely and our faculty and students are learning new ways to keep teaching and learning.

Carolina Planning faculty are offering their perspectives on what COVID-19 means for cities through a podcast series put together by the Center for Urban and Regional Studies. You can hear Mai Nguyen discuss housing, Bill Lester the service industry, Nichola Lowe manufacturing, Charles Edwards supply chain, and Nikhil Kaza on surveillance methods.

Though we’re having a lot of virtual interaction now, we are looking forward to our in-person 75th Reunion on April 16 and 17, 2021. Planning is underway and we look forward to a fun weekend and the opportunity to get together and share our stories.

Best regards, Noreen


Noreen McDonald
Chair, City & Regional Planning