Introduction to Spatial Analysis

Practical introduction to spatial analysis and geographic information systems (GIS). Examines how geography is represented digitally and how nonrandom distributions of phenomena as diverse as poverty and scenic resources can be better understood by examining their spatial characteristics. Limited enrollment; preference to first-year MCP students.

Workshop on Geographic Information Systems

An introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) as applied to urban and regional planning, community development, and local government. Emphasis on learning GIS technology and spatial analysis techniques through extensive hands-on exercises using real-world data sets such as the US census of population and housing. Includes a small project on an urban planning problem involving the selection of appropriate methods, the use of primary and secondary data, computer-based modeling, and spatial analysis. Enrollment limited; preference to MCP students.

Analyzing and Accounting for Regional Economic Change

The practice of regional development utilizes economic theory to explain how (primarily) economic forces lead to and perpetuate spatial variation across geographic space. Regional theory seeks to explain not only why activities vary across location, but it also provides the motive force behind changes over time.  For planners “regional” represents a spatial unit of analysis like city, metropolitan, or rural area.

IDG Thesis Prep

This course is intended for MCP students preparing to conduct international field research. The class will introduce the basics of field research, including different types of data collection and qualitative data analysis techniques. Over the course of the semester, students will develop their ideas for their thesis project and prepare a thesis proposal.

D-Lab: Disseminating Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Innovations for the Common Good

Focuses on disseminating water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) innovations in developing countries, especially among underserved communities. Structured around field-based learning, case studies, lectures and videos. Emphasis on core WASH principles, culture-specific solutions, appropriate and sustainable technologies, behavior change, social marketing and building partnerships. Term project entails implementing the "next steps" in a WASH innovation in a specific locale and/or a new proposal/plan/project.

Structuring Low-Income Housing Projects in Developing Countries

This course explores the divergent motivations and resultant dynamics among international funders, national ministries, local authorities and project benefactors in housing projects. Issues of development are tested against actual projects in a comparative format.

The New Global Practitioner

Considers a new interdisciplinary paradigm of practice that regards dialogue among practitioners and users essential for efficacious and creative design and planning process. Focuses on non-traditional client groups: communities, the poor, and the generally excluded middle-income. Explores key issues confronting development practitioners, with stress on practical exercises drawn from current national and international case studies; e.g., an investigative comparison of cities or tools in coping with impending rapid and massive growth and expansion.

Water Planning, Policy, and Design

Focuses on water in environmental planning, policy, and design. Draws together faculty and students who are working on water-related research projects to develop and maintain a current perspective on the field from the site to metropolitan and international scales.

Theory of City Form

Why and how are cities made? What forces have shaped cities through time? And how has the physical urban form of the city structured power relations? Seeking a better understanding of the history of urban form and urbanization, we propose to examine the city through a set of lenses, or driving forces—geographic, economic, spiritual, political and technological ones—that have always shaped the city and in turn been influenced by it.

Transportation Policy, the Environment, and Livable Communities

Examines the economic and political conflict between transportation and the environment. Investigates the role of government regulation, green business and transportation policy as a facilitator of economic development and environmental sustainability.