First Semester Core Urban Planning Studio

The first semester core studio of the Master of Urban Planning program introduces students to the fundamental knowledge and technical skills used by urban planners to create, research, analyze, and implement plans and projects for the built environment. The studio operates in conjunction with GSD 3329: Methods of Urban Planning, which introduces students to spatial analysis through GIS; visual representation techniques; projections and forecasts in plan-making, including how demographic, economic, and market forecasts inform land use and infrastructure needs assessments; how alternative land use scenarios are constructed, including approaches to allocating land use, estimating carrying capacity, and build-out analyses; and evaluation of land use impacts through fiscal, economic, social, environmental, and transportation frameworks. The studio is organized into four parts, each representing a fundamental stage of the urban planning process. Part 1 explores the importance of ideas and the process of generating ideas for urban planning. Students test various approaches to and sources of creative thinking, how they link to urban planning outcomes, and techniques for recording and representing ideas. Part 2 explores research skills used by urban planners to understand and analyze the built environment. Students become familiar with common sources of data, both spatial and non-spatial, as well as key methods of data collection, description, and analysis. Part 3 explores the making of plans for the built environment at all scales. Using the creative and research skills developed in Parts 1 and 2 of the studio, students prepare functional urban plans, ranging in site scales from region to city to neighborhood to site. Students learn about land use categories, associated building types, infrastructure requirements, open space needs, and other aspects of physical plans. Basic site planning skills are developed for smaller-scale, project-based interventions. Part 4 explores how to implement urban plans. Students develop specific implementation strategies and craft their associated tools, such as zoning text and maps, phasing plans, and stakeholder participation processes to implement plans. Students are introduced to several important implementation techniques, including development approval/denial processes, stakeholder analysis and public participation, financing systems, and phasing schemes.Prerequisites: Enrollment in the Urban Planning program