HISP 209: Planning History & Practice

Course Outline

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the theories, methods and practical applications involved in the field of planning, particularly at the state and local levels. The first section of the course will be devoted to a study of the history of planning in the United States. This will provide the proper context for the remainder of the course. The second section emphasizes modern planning concepts, tools and procedures, both in terms of theory and practice. The third section of the course focuses on various sub-disciplines of urban planning, in particular those relating to historic preservation. These include urban design, sustainability, transportation, etc.

Course Objectives

• Provide an overview of the development of planning in the U.S.
• Foster a basic understanding of the theory of planning in the U.S.
• Create awareness of current social, political, and economic issues surrounding land use.
• Develop the basis for an understanding of the relationship between land use regulations and historic preservation.
• Encourage interest in the diverse realm of issues addressed by planning.

 Student Learning Outcomes

• Students will be able to analyze urban development based on morphology.
• Students will be able to explore and explain different, divergent, and contradictory perspectives and priorities in urban planning.

The speaking-intensive component of this course will prepare the students to:
• understand and explain the conventions and expectations of oral communication as practiced in urban planning
• apply theories and strategies for crafting messages (verbal, nonverbal, and visual) for particular audiences and purposes
• craft oral messages after a conscious process in which various options are reviewed and be able to explain and support their choices
• meta-communicate about their own communication patterns


Krueckeberg, D. (Ed.) (1983) Introduction to Planning History in the United States. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Levy, J. (1991) Contemporary Urban Planning. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. (Any edition from 8 onward is fine.)

Reps, J. (1981) Town Planning in Frontier America, Missouri: University of Missouri Press

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