Skip to main content

College of Built Environments

News | April 6, 2018

‘Building Blocks’ exhibit charts 15-year grassroots evolution

Building Blocks: Storefront Studio on Mainstreet charts the grassroots evolution of a community outreach studio offered by the University of Washington College Built Environments. Since 2003, Director Jim Nicholls and senior lecturer in the College of Built Environments has been leading groups of architecture, landscape, and planning students to partner with local small towns to study their main…


News | August 26, 2019

‘The lack of affordable housing is actually costing us’: Cantwell promotes affordable housing bill in Spokane

Had U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell stood at 1 S. Madelia St. just a few years ago, she would have been in a used car lot. But on Tuesday, she was in the the lobby of an affordable housing complex now home to more than 100 residents. Cantwell was joined by Spokane leaders on Tuesday as…


News | April 12, 2016

10 Parks that Changed America Premieres Tonight on PBS (KCTS9)

Tune into KCTS9 at 8:00pm to see the premier of 10 Parks that Changed America. Two of Seattle’s great parks made the list for this interesting look at the influence parks and public spaces have had on America. A packed house at Architecture Hall saw a preview a few weeks ago and it’s great! Our…


News | October 10, 2019

A space-strapped city gets an unusual opportunity: A brand-new neighborhood

As apartment high-rises and office skyscrapers have filled and reshaped Seattle, there’s one long, thin strip of relatively untouched land that stands in sharp contrast to all the development around it. The 25-acre plot of land next to the Queen Anne neighborhood and near the shore of Elliott Bay—surrounded by a golf course, rail yard,…


News | May 5, 2020

A timber-based building method draws praise, and skeptics

Last September, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee stepped to a lectern in a sprawling 270,000-square-foot factory outside Spokane and declared it the “best day so far” in his six years in office. Earlier that day, he had marched downtown as part of the youth-driven climate strike that united 4 million people worldwide. Now he was in nearby…


Scholar

A-P Hurd

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Aaron Luoma

Visit scholar website

News | June 26, 2015

Achieving Inclusivity in Visions of a Better Urban Future by Lynne Manzo

Presented at June 1st Urban@UW Launch Meeting


Course | R E 466/565

Advanced Housing Studies

Advanced survey of housing. Students select a housing-related topic that serves as the basis of a quarter-long project. Also, students read key texts and articles on a range of housing-related topics and participate in seminar discussions on these readings.

Course | R E 464/564

Affordable Housing

Introduction to the field of affordable housing. Addresses policy issues inherent in planning, finance, design, construction, and management of affordable housing in the United States. Role of federal, state, local, non-profit, and private sector agencies and participants.

Scholar

Ahmed Abdel-Aziz

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Al Levine

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Alan Borning

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Alex Anderson

Visit scholar website

Course | HSTAA 508, URBDP 565

American Urban History

Intensive lecture/seminar designed to provide students the opportunity for immersion in historical scholarship that addresses social, economic, political, technological, and cultural forces that have shaped the development of American cities.

Scholar

Andrew Prindle

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Andy Dannenberg

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Ann Huppert

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Ann Marie Borys

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Anne Vernez-Moudon

Visit scholar website

Course | IPM 504

Applied Geo Spatial Analysis

Provides the theoretical and practical skills needed to use a Geographic Information System (GIS) for analyzing spatial phenomena on the urban and regional scale. Focuses on principles and methods of spatial analysis and their application to strategic planning, risk management, and hazard mitigation.

Course | ARCH 502

Architectural Integration Studio I

The studio is structured as a first integrated design studio experience. It builds upon the first two quarters through integrating structural systems, building assemblies and environmental responses with broader design concerns. Through exploring a project in an urban context, the studio focuses on themes of community and society. The studio work is closely coordinated with parallel Design Technology and Materials and Assemblies classes. Prerequisite: ARCH 501 Credit/no-credit only.

Course | ARCH 503

Architectural Integration Studio II

The first of a two-quarter sequence structured for the development of integrative design skills. Studio problems explore the relationship between building, the public realm and place-making in an urban context and develop a building design as part of larger urban systems related to energy, ecology and mobility. The fall studio work is closely coordinated with parallel Design Technology, Urban Issues and Contemporary Theory classes. Prerequisite: ARCH 502 Credit/no-credit only.

Course | ARCH 504

Architectural Integration Studio III

The second of a two-quarter sequence structured for the development of integrative design skills. Studio problems explore the relationship between building, the public realm and place-making in an urban context and develop a building design as part of larger urban systems related to energy, ecology and mobility. The winter studio work is closely coordinated with parallel Design Technology, Site Ecology and Materials and Assemblies classes. Prerequisite: ARCH 503 Credit/no-credit only.

Course | ARCH 413

Architectural Photography Projects

Students develop in-depth photo essays relating to architecture, the urban movement, or landscape design. Lectures, seminar, and discussion.

Course | ARCH 494

Architectural Studies Abroad – Culture

Studies of language, art, food, music, and other activities that influence architectural and urban form in contexts outside the United States.

Course | ARCH 496

Architectural Studies Abroad – Urban Fieldwork

Analysis and interpretation of urban form and architectural contexts through direct observation in locations outside the United States.

Course | ARCH 496

Architectural Studies Abroad – Urban Fieldwork

Analysis and interpretation of urban form and architectural contexts through direct observation in locations outside the United States.

Degree Program

Architecture / Architectural Design (BA, CM dual degree, MArch, dual MArch-MLA, MS, Minor)

The Department of Architecture advances the discipline and practice of architecture by: Educating architects who are responsive and responsible to society, culture and the environment. Advancing architectural knowledge through research, scholarship, and critical practice. Using this knowledge to benefit local, regional, national and global communities. We value excellence in research and teaching, the traditions of…

Visit program website

Course | ART H 493 / ARCH 459

Architecture Since 1945

Theories and forms in architecture from the end of World War II to present. Includes new wave Japanese architects, recent Native American developments, and non-Western as well as Western trends.

Scholar

Arthur Acolin

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Athan Tramountanas

Visit scholar website

News | September 2, 2016

August Sees New Grants, Project Launches, and Original Research and Writing

August was a busy month at the University of Washington and the Seattle region when it comes to urban research, writing, and project launches. Take a look at what’s been happening. Urban@UW will be running a half-day workshop as part of the Eighth International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2016.) Our workshop seeks to bring…


Scholar

Barry Aaronson

Visit scholar website

News | April 20, 2017

Bellevue, Renton Among Top 100 U.S Cities for Livability

​Watch as King 5 News brings in Branden Born to shed light on the weighting mechanisms employed by a survey recently published on livability.com which ranked Renton and Bellevue among their top 100 cities for livability. Watch the whole clip on iQmediacorp.com


News | April 30, 2019

Bellingham considers expanding city limits eastward

Students from the University of Washington are helping conduct an annexation study in Bellingham. The City of Bellingham is partnering with a team of student researchers from UW’s Master of Urban Planning program to assess the interest of residents in Bellingham’s eastern Urban Growth Areas regarding possible annexation to the City. The plan is to provide community…


Course | R E 518

Best Practices in Sustainable Real Estate

Analyzes, at a macro level, the importance of sustainability in urban areas introducing best practices for various environmentally friendly and financially feasible interventions in the US and abroad. At a micro level focuses on adoption of environment5ally friendly improvements at building level with various pay-back periods but long-lasting economic benefits.

Scholar

Bill Bender

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Bill Estes

Visit scholar website

News | July 25, 2017

Birds versus buildings: Rural structures pose greater relative threat than urban ones

About one billion birds are killed every year when they unwittingly fly into human-made objects such as buildings with reflective windows. Such collisions are the largest unintended human cause of bird deaths worldwide — and they are a serious concern for conservationists. A new paper published in June in the journal Biological Conservation finds that,…


News | August 3, 2020

Black pastors and activists want Central District land as reparations

In the midst of ongoing protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, Black communities in the Seattle area have begun a push for bigger, more long-term actions toward overcoming the poverty created by decades of racist policies. “We need reparations for our Black and brown communities,” said Pastor Angela Ying of Bethany…


Scholar

Bob Freitag

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Bob Mugerauer

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Boris Srdar

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Branden Born

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Brian E. Saelens

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Brian Gerich

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Brian McLaren

Visit scholar website

News | March 30, 2020

Bringing the Lens of Hip Hop to Urban Planning

Urban planning is in itself an interdisciplinary field, but UW Community, Environment, and Planning (CEP) senior Aury Banos is pushing its interdisciplinary lens even further. For her senior project Aury is connecting hip hop lyrics and artists to urban planning and the built environment. “I was inspired by Michael Ford’s lecture on hip hop and…


Scholar

Brooke Sullivan

Visit scholar website

Degree Program

Built Environment (PhD)

Three fundamental areas of specialization in built environment knowledge and practice are offered within the BE Built Environment Doctoral Program: 1) sustainable systems and prototypes; 2) technology and project design/delivery; 3) history, theory, and representation studies. Each student will select one of these areas, within which she or he will take their advanced and specialized…

Visit program website

News | August 7, 2019

Can tiny houses help solve affordability crisis? A student who’s building one thinks so

Olivia Tyrnauer adjusts the ladder and carefully begins to climb, balancing on the steps as she carries a large window up to an empty frame. Positioned precariously on one of the top steps, she loops a screw gun out of her belt and pulls a screw from one of the pockets of her tan cargo…


Scholar

Carla Saulter

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Carrie Sturts Dossick

Visit scholar website

News | October 18, 2016

Cars vs health: UW’s Moudon, Dannenberg contribute to Lancet series on urban planning, public health

Automobiles — and the planning and infrastructure to support them — are making our cities sick, says an international group of researchers now publishing a three-part series in the British medical journal The Lancet. University of Washington professors Anne Vernez Moudon and Andrew Dannenberg are co-authors of the first of this series that explores these…


Scholar

Catherine De Almeida

Visit scholar website

News | May 1, 2019

Central District, other Seattle legacy communities are at risk — and we all need to help save them

In a new documentary about gentrification in the Central District, “On the Brink,” an advocate of Seattle’s historically African American neighborhood talks about recent construction projects in the area digging the soul out of that community. … The CD became a nearly 80% black neighborhood in the late 1960s and early ’70s because African Americans,…


News | April 11, 2017

Challenging the whiteness of American architecture, in the 1960s and today

“This book tells the story of how I got a free Ivy League education.” That’s the arresting opening sentence of Sharon Egretta Sutton‘s “When Ivory Towers Were Black,” an unusual hybrid of memoir, institutional history and broadside against the entrenched whiteness of the architecture profession in this country. The institution in question is Columbia University…


Scholar

Charles Wolfe

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Chris Hellstern

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Christine Bae

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Christopher Campbell

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Christopher Meek

Visit scholar website

News | May 5, 2020

Cities and the SARS CoV2 coronavirus in the Global South: Breaking points in an interconnected system

Since COVID-19 first erupted in China in December and began spreading across the world, the pandemic’s early outbreaks have “burned hottest in the richer, globalized quarters of the world linked by busy commercial air routes—Europe and the United States.” (National Geographic, 2020a [website]) Now, four months into the pandemic, compounding factors of urban density and…


Course | B E 220

Cities, Health, and Well-being

This course analyzes the ways urban built environments bear on physical and mental health and well-being (material-economic resources, security, social relations, open choices). It focuses on how the practices and knowledge of built environment professions and disciplines interact with public health, engineering, and the sciences to understand and change cities.

News | March 23, 2018

City of Bellevue selected as 2018-2019 UW Livable City Year partner

The University of Washington Livable City Year program has selected the City of Bellevue to be the community partner for the 2018-2019 academic year. The year-long partnership connects city staff with students and faculty who will collaborate on projects to advance the Bellevue City Council Vision Priorities, specifically around livability and sustainability. In the upcoming…


Course | L ARCH 362

Cityscapes & City Design

Introduction to the design of landscape in urban contexts. Overview of major urban design theories and examples of historic and contemporary work. Discussion of the contesting urban processes: visions of city, social and cultural factors, public and community process, and the discourses of nature, urban ecology, and ecological design.

Scholar

Clare Ryan

Visit scholar website

News | March 16, 2020

Climate Debate Over Washington State Decarbonization

On March 11, KUOW’s That’s Debatable highlighted a goal, based on the state’s own policies and recommendations — “Washington State Can Decarbonize in a Decade” — and featured Schwartz, Simonen, and local youth activists Julia Barnett and Sarah Starman. The event was broadcasted live from the KUOW studios at 7 p.m. The event was originally…


News | September 8, 2017

College of Built Environments’ David de la Cruz partners with communities for environmental justice

David de la Cruz has a question about power. “When we think about toxic sites and where they’re placed in relation to where people live, who’s left out of making those decisions?” “Often,” he answers, “it’s the people who live there. It’s low-income communities, working-class communities and communities of color who don’t have a say….


Course | URBDP 503

Communication and Analysis

Development of communication skills understanding within the planning and design process. Presentation of communications as a design process with mental, visual, oral, written, and kinesthetic cognitive actions combined to form communications thinking.

Course | URBDP 596

Community Resilience

Introduction to resilience thinking. Students apply resilience concepts to real world communities and infrastructures impacted by real events, and gain practice in supporting policies, programs, and projects that enhance overall resilience.

Degree Program

Community, Environment & Planning (BA)

Community, Environment, and Planning is a self-directed, diverse undergraduate major comprised of students, faculty, and staff engaged in holistic growth and a collaborative process of experiential and interdisciplinary learning. In our major, we develop skills, techniques, and knowledge necessary to be active leaders and conscientious planners in our communities and environments. Our values are presented…

Visit program website

Course | URBDP 501

Comprehensive Planning and Implementation

Reviews the comprehensive planning process as a part of managing metropolitan growth. Examines federal/state statutes affecting local government comprehensive plans. Includes local government land use regulations and reviews development process. Concentrates on tools to shape land use and development patterns and their effectiveness in creating outcomes specified in comprehensive plans.

News | January 23, 2020

Considering wood as a sustainable building material

Architects, builders, and sustainability advocates are all abuzz over a new building material they say could substantially reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the building sector, slash the waste, pollution, and costs associated with construction, and create a more physically, psychologically, and aesthetically healthy built environment. The material is known as, uh, wood. Recently, UW…


News | April 28, 2020

Construction causes major pollution. Here’s how we can build better.

Buildings of the future will be grown on-site, says Wil Srubar, an assistant professor of architectural engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder who also runs the Living Materials Laboratory. They’ll be made from hemp, or algae or specially engineered wood — or bacteria that can photosynthesize, like the cyanobacteria mortar he and his research…


Degree Program

Construction Management (BS, Arch dual degree, Minor, MS, Cert, PCE)

The department’s mission is: To prepare individuals for careers in the construction and related industries by providing high quality education, to conduct research that will benefit the construction industry, and to provide service to the community. This includes educating students in developing a sustainable built environment and applying innovative construction techniques based on cutting edge…

Visit program website

News | April 3, 2020

Coronavirus: Homeless families lose key support as schools close

In a typical year, homeless shelters experience the biggest surge in demand not during the cold winter months, but rather during the summer. In the summer, schools close and parents lose the usual daily eight hours of childcare and meals. With the additional burden of sleeping on the streets, parents seek out shelter more often, research…


Course | URBDP 532

Current Topics in Transportation Planning and Policy

Provides an opportunity to advance the student's knowledge by examining selected topics in depth and gaining critical insights about the interconnectivity of various planning and policy approaches. Gives a broad exposure to urban transportation problems and introduces different ideas and practices aimed at addressing these problems, along with important concepts and analytical frameworks

Scholar

Dan Abramson

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Daniel Winterbottom

Visit scholar website

News | July 7, 2016

Data Science for Social Good 2016

This summer we are thrilled to be supporting the eScience Institute’s Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) program. Modeled after similar programs at the University of Chicago and Georgia Tech, with elements from eScience’s own Data Science Incubator, sixteen DSSG Student Fellows have been working with academic researchers, data scientists, and public stakeholder groups on…


Scholar

David Blum

Visit scholar website

Scholar

David Miller

Visit scholar website

Scholar

David Strauss

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Dean Heerwagen

Visit scholar website

Course | URBDP 567

Democracy, Citizenship, and Participation in the City

Graduate seminar on democracy in cities. Focuses on contemporary ideas, debates, and initiatives.

Course | SOC 513 / CSDE 513

Demography and Ecology

Theories and research on human fertility, mortality, mobility, migration, and urbanization in social/economic context. Comparative and historical materials on Europe, the United States, and the Third World.

Course | L ARCH 362

Design of Cities

Introduction to the discourses and debates in the contemporary design of cities. Provides an overview of design theories and examples of historic and contemporary work. Includes discussion of the contesting urban processes: visions and paradigms of city; discourses of nature and the city; contemporary urban changes; public and community process; and everyday place making.

News | May 31, 2019

Designing for resilience

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the country– a hub of innovation with a thriving economy. Yet this rapid growth challenges the capacity of the city to adapt without damaging its current communities. Students from The University of Washington’s College of Built Environments responded to these and other challenges through the Winter…


News | June 26, 2015

Designing Healthy Cities by Andrew Dannenberg

Presented at the June 1st Urban@UW Launch


Course | L ARCH 482

Designing High Performance Landscapes

Looks at ways to design ' high performance landscapes' that integrate ecological realities and urban infrastructural needs while expressing an aesthetic of performance. From site analysis to final design, provides hands-on experience in creating green infrastructure assets in the urban environment.

Course | ARCH 536

Designing with Living Systems

Investigates an integrated approach to urban agriculture and building systems; looks at cyclical ecosystems intrinsically interconnected with buildings, urban infrastructure, and the constructed environment; establishes a thorough understanding of these productive, living systems, which are indispensable for architects and landscape architects in their pursuit of more sustainable design practices.

Course | CEP 473 / URBDP 573

Digital Design Practicum

Uses digital technologies for mapping, drafting, modeling, and communication. Includes real-world case study projects that focus on urban design and planning issues.

News | May 20, 2020

EarthLab announces Innovation Grant recipients for 2020

Research projects funded for 2020 by EarthLab’s Innovation Grants Program will study how vegetation might reduce pollution, help an Alaskan village achieve safety and resilience amid climate change, organize a California river’s restoration with tribal involvement, compare practices in self-managed indigenous immigrant communities and more. EarthLab is a University of Washington-wide institute connecting scholars with community…


Course | L ARCH 363

Ecological Design and Planning

Introduction to landscape ecological theory applied to urban environments. Comparison of different vocabularies used to describe landscape structure and function, from the fields of landscape design, urban design, and biology. Discussion of design theories that have sought to re-center landscape planning and design around the goal of achieving ecological sustainability.

Scholar

Elizabeth Golden

Visit scholar website

News | June 26, 2015

Environmental Change – Local Impacts and Response by Himanshu Grover

Presented at the June 1st Urban@UW Launch


Scholar

Eric Higbee

Visit scholar website

Course | URBDP 525

Evaluation in Urban Planning

Methods and techniques for a priori assessment of physical improvement plans, program designs, public policies. Includes cost effectiveness and matrix or goal achievement, as well as more conventional cost-benefit and cost-revenue forms of analysis. Emphasis on understanding the reasoning and issues in evaluation, and gaining a working competence in at least one of the methods treated.

News | February 11, 2020

Everyday Commuting in Seattle

There are many different ways for Liz MacGahan to get to work.  Most mornings, she walks.“I feel like a farmer walking the fields, looking for what has changed … and what is different,” she said. The walk energizes here for work and takes around 40 minuets. On another morning, the weather was bad, so she…


News | August 18, 2016

Exploring Artistically Significant Landscapes

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Thaisa Way has been appointed chair of the Dumbarton Oaks Fellows in Garden and Landscape Studies. Way, who has been a Senior Fellow with Dumbarton Oaks since 2011 will serve a one year term.As one of six Senior Fellows, the group serves as advisors to the Director of Dumbarton Oaks…


News | October 5, 2016

First Livable City Year projects underway; kickoff event Oct. 6

Not even a week has passed since the start of the quarter, and already a group of University of Washington public health students is deep into discovering the cultural flavor and identity of each neighborhood in a nearby city. The project is a sizeable challenge: Students will pour over census and public health data, interview…


News | March 16, 2017

First UW Livable City Year project reports delivered to the City of Auburn

Teams of University of Washington students have been working throughout this academic year on livability and sustainability projects in the City of Auburn. The yearlong Livable City Year partnership has given students a chance to work on real-world challenges identified by Auburn, while providing Auburn with tens of thousands of hours of study and student…


Course | URBDP 526

Floodplain Management and Planning for Coastal and River Communities

Focuses on ways to live with and cope with flooding.Examines coastal and riverine floodplain services, values and assets within the context of ecosystem services; determine risks and opportunities associated with flooding and floodplains; advance identified strategies and explore benefits and adverse impacts resulting from these strategies; and gain a better appreciation for coastal and riverine floodplains.

Scholar

Fritz Wagner

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Galen Minah

Visit scholar website

Course | ARCH 466, GWSS 466

Gender and Architecture

Examines gender in the experience, practice, and theory of architecture and urban space with a focus on modern typologies: skyscraper, home, convent, bachelor pad, street, and closet. Draws from architectural and art history, social studies, design practice and theory, comparative literature, film studies, and queer theory.

Course | URBDP 507

General Urban Planning Laboratory

Studio/field project in applied professional planning of a comprehensive nature, utilizing a local study area to examine the realities of problem solving in situations of functional and normative conflict. Integration of analysis, programming, implementation, and presentation phases of the planning process.

Degree Program

Geographic Information Systems (Cert)

Explore how geographic information systems have enhanced the efficiency and analytical power of traditional cartography. Examine the range of information sources that can be combined to build a GIS database – including raw data, scanned maps, GPS positions and aerial photography. Learn how to use the system to support research and decision making in a…

Visit program website

News | March 29, 2016

Geology and Art Connect at UW Light Rail Station

Tens of thousands of people will pass through the new University of Washington light rail station that opened this week. While most riders will focus on their destination, they may also learn something as they pass through the station. “Subterranium,” by UW alumnus Leo Saul Berk, lines the walls with 6,000 unique backlit panels inspired…


Scholar

Giovanni Migliaccio

Visit scholar website

News | March 20, 2018

Giving Voice, Being Seen: Community Agency and Design Action in a Time of Climate Change, April 26

Climate change affects everyone, but it does not impact all communities equally. These differences may be most evident in the built environment and the shared spaces such as parks, streets, schools, homes, which we experience and move through daily. In seeking to inspire more collaborative, inclusive and creative responses to climate change in the built…


Degree Program

Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation

The College of Built Environments (CBE) offers two complementary certificates in historic preservation which emphasize the field of historic preservation and related developments in allied fields that address the multiplicity of issues in the identification, evaluation, and protection of cultural resources. The certificates are intended to enhance the education of students beyond their regular course…

Visit program website

Degree Program

Graduate Certificate in Housing Studies

Quality, affordable, and well-connected housing is an essential component of strong and healthy communities. Housing markets are constantly evolving and there is an increasing collaboration among public, private and nonprofit actors in addressing various housing issues. The Graduate Certificate in Housing Studies (GCHS) offers graduate students an opportunity to learn the fundamental concepts and tools…

Visit program website

Degree Program

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Design and Management (Cert)

Expand your technical skills with training in green infrastructure practices that improve water quality by using the natural environment, soil and vegetation to reduce pollution caused by untreated stormwater entering our waterways. Study sustainable strategies, such as low impact development and urban retrofits, that reduce stormwater runoff, combined sewer overflow and water demand. Explore the…

Visit program website

Scholar

Gregg Colburn

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Gundula Proksch

Visit scholar website

Scholar

H. Pike Oliver

Visit scholar website

News | March 17, 2016

HALA Studio Publishes Research and Proposals About Housing in Wallingford

Seattle’s recent transformations have meant big changes throughout the city. In Autumn Quarter of 2015, The HALA Studio explored how to productively engage with Seattle’s single family zoning and neighborhood development in the Wallingford neighborhood. Led by University of Washington instructor, Rick Mohler, students explored “an expansion of housing types, ownership models, and community engagement.”…


Course | URBDP 549

Hazard Mitigation Planning

A survey of the field of planning for managing risks of natural hazards-earthquakes, floods, coastal/meteorological hazards, and human-caused technological hazards/terrorism. Covers pre-event mitigation through building and land-use controls; disaster preparedness; post-even response, recovery, and mitigation of future hazards. Emphasizes hazard mitigation as a long-term strategy for achieving sustainability of communities.

Course | ENV H 536, URBDP 536

Health Impact Assessment

Examines the use of Health Impact Assessment as a public health tool for informing decision-makers about the potential health impacts of proposed projects and policies. Students learn the steps for conducting HIAs, review case studies, and conduct an HIA of a current local proposed project.

Scholar

Heather Burpee

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Himanshu Grover

Visit scholar website

Course | ARCH 452

History of Architecture in Seattle and Environs

Historical development of architectural in Seattle and surrounding areas from the nineteenth century to the present, also touching on issues of urban design and historic preservation.

Course | L ARCH 450

History of Environmental Design in the Pacific Northwest

Development of landscape architecture, architecture, and urban planning in the Pacific Northwest from nineteenth century to the present, with major emphasis on twentieth century.

Course | L ARCH 451

History of Environmental Design on the West Coast

Development of the environmental arts of landscape architecture, architecture, and urban planning from the eighteenth century to the present, with major emphasis on the twentieth century.

Course | L ARCH 353

History of Modern Landscape Architecture

Development of profession and art of landscape architecture in the United States, Europe, South America, and Japan in relation to prevailing social, economic, political, and cultural factors. Relationships with other professions, especially architecture and urban planning, and other arts, such as painting and sculpture.

Course | L ARCH 452

History of Urban Landscapes

Introduces the history of urban landscape design of public spaces in cities. Comparative survey of non-western cultures, including China, Japan, Islamic world, and Pre-Columbian countries to the western world from the Pre-Classical through nineteenth and twentieth century in Europe and USA. Examines as pragmatic practices or works of art.

Course | L ARCH 454

History of Urban Landscapes and Environments

Explores the history and historiography of urban landscapes and the design of cities with an emphasis on North America in the context of the broader study of cities in China, Japan, and in the Western world from the pre-classical through twentieth centuries in Europe.

News | May 29, 2019

Home construction continues to rise in north Snohomish County

The sounds of hammering, sawing and heavy equipment are echoing across the area these days. It’s in stark contrast to five years ago when few new homes were being built. “Back in 2014, we were one-at-a-timing it to eke our way through,” said Anthony Holbeck of Holbeck Construction & Design on Camano. “Now, it’s a…


News | March 8, 2017

Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting just some of UW’s brilliant female professors, scholars, and and change-makers with whom Urban@UW is proud to collaborate. Click on their names to explore their work.   Leadership: Thaisa Way, Executive Director, Urban@UW; Department of Landscape Architecture Executive Committee: Margaret O’Mara, Department of History Susan P….


Course | URBDP 451

Housing

Survey of housing and redevelopment problems, theories, standards, and practice. Development of public policies, finance, technological considerations, social factors, and priorities.

Course | URBDP 457

Housing in Developing Countries

Emphasis on role of the design and planning professional in housing delivery in developing countries. Exploration of issues of culture, political environment, social context, economic circumstances, and other factors which define and limit the manner in which the professional planner and designer can and should function.

Course | R E 401/563

Housing Markets and Policy

Aims to provide students with the tools to assess housing problems. Studies housing markets in a dynamic context, with emphasis placed on demand and supply drivers. Examines the justifications for and the basis of public sector involvement in the housing market and describe and evaluate the main policy mechanisms used such as regulation of private renting or the provision of affordable housing.

News | February 6, 2020

How a Strong Regional Economy is Effecting the Snohomish Housing Market

Economic growth doesn’t come without some burden. “We are suffering from our own successes,” said economist and UW lecturer Matthew Gardner. “We have a robust economy, and that means growing pains.” The solid economy equates to more jobs — and more people — moving to the region, putting continued pressure on infrastructure and housing markets, he said….


News | May 23, 2018

How Seattle’s appetite for construction is creating a growing waste problem

The sun has barely burned the fog off Lake Washington as Noel Stout, standing near the water’s edge, peers at a heavy wooden trellis suspended 20 feet above a concrete backyard patio. He’s rigged a system of ropes and pulleys to the cedar latticework, which just yesterday supported a deck with a sweeping view across…


News | July 6, 2020

How urban design can make or break protests

If protesters could plan a perfect stage to voice their grievances, it might look a lot like Athens, Greece. Its broad, yet not overly long, central boulevards are almost tailor-made for parading. Its large parliament-facing square, Syntagma, forms a natural focal point for marchers. With a warren of narrow streets surrounding the center, including the…


Scholar

Hyun Woo “Chris” Lee

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Iain Robertson

Visit scholar website

News | June 19, 2018

If you want to get to know Seattle, walk through it

Walking is ordinary. It is so ordinary, most of us do it without thinking: You put one foot in front of the other to get to the bus, to walk from your car to the office, to pick up something from the store. It requires only shoes — and, because we live in Seattle, some…


Course | URBDP 586

Implementation in Preservation Planning

Practical experience in identifying, documenting, evaluating and developing strategies for protection of historic resources, building on introductory theories, methods, and practices. Develops skills critical to preservation planning via research, fieldwork, and writing. Prerequisite: introductory course in preservation.

News | May 8, 2018

In a concrete jungle, one architect pushes for plywood for giants

Timber is coming back in the Northwest. I don’t mean old growth forests. Those have been holding steady for a couple of decades.I mean architecture. Cross-laminated timber, or CLT, is a material a true modernist can love — and not just for furniture and finishes. It’s very strong, and too beautiful to hide inside walls….


News | March 31, 2020

In the coronavirus crisis, who gets to be outside?

As the first weekend of spring began, nearly 100 million Americans had just been ordered to stay home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Even the most stringent stay-at-home orders in the U.S. currently allow people to go outside, which is providing multitudinous benefits in this time of great uncertainty. Taking a short walk, roll,…


Course | PUBPOL 560, URBDP 560

Inequality, Governance, and Policy in the Metropolitan Region

Explores national/local urban policy concerning the major problems confronting cities and metropolitan regions today. Economic globalization, income inequality, and metropolitan decentralization shape the urban agenda, the context for urban policy, and the analytic focus of the course. A project allows the exploration of strategies for intervention.

News | July 11, 2019

Informal housing, poverty, and legacies of apartheid in South Africa

“Ten percent of all South Africans — the majority white — owns more than 90 percent of national wealth… Some 80 percent of the population — overwhelmingly black — owns nothing at all.” — New York Times On April 27, 1994, Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) won the first multiracial democratic election…


Course | URBDP 466

Infrastructure and Community Facilities

Issues and methods associated with planning for parks, schools, drainage, sewerage, utilities, libraries, solid waste, and transportation. Covers their relationship to comprehensive plans, project permitting, and impact assessment. Financing, regulating, and relationships to social, environmental, and economic goals are discussed.

Course | URBDP 566

Infrastructure and Community Facilities

Issues and methods associated with planning for parks, schools, drainage, sewerage, utilities, libraries, solid waste, and transportation. Covers their relationship to comprehensive plans, project permitting, and impact assessment. Financing, regulating, and relationships to social, environmental, and economic goals are discussed.

Course | IPM 503

Infrastructure Finance

Covers how to pay for infrastructure, including planning, budgeting, and public/private partnerships. Examines the relationships between infrastructure finance, urban form, and sustainability; local government finance, budget accountability, and equity issues; and infrastructure investments in changing economic climates, forms of finance available for infrastructure, collective decision-making, and alternative forms of project delivery.

Degree Program

Infrastructure Planning & Management

Well-planned infrastructure strengthens the sustainability and livability of our cities and communities. University of Washington's online Master of Infrastructure Planning & Management degree prepares you to lead the development of the next generation of critical infrastructure systems ­­— resilient, secure and accessible.

Visit program website

Degree Program

Interdisciplinary Urban Design & Planning (PhD)

This program brings together faculty from disciplines ranging from Architecture to Sociology to focus on the interdisciplinary study of urban problems and interventions. Covering scales from neighborhoods to metropolitan areas, the program addresses interrelationships between the physical environment, the built environment, and the social, economic, and political institutions and processes that shape urban areas. The…

Visit program website

Course | CEP 200

Introduction to Community, Environment & Planning

Introduction to central themes of major. Opportunities to engage in community action and planning process, while developing ecological literacy. Lectures, discussions, and critical writing exercises combine to increase knowledge and interest in these fields. Emphasis on developing community of learners in and out of classroom setting.

Course | URBDP 404

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Provides students with introductory practical knowledge of Geographical Information Systems and Science for current and future coursework in urban planning.

Course | URBDP 585

Introduction to Historic Preservation Planning

Theories, methods, and practices associated with historic preservation planning. Overview of preservation planning programs at federal, state, and local levels. Introduction to tools and methods needed to identify, document, evaluate, and plan for protection of historic properties. Provides opportunity to learn fundamentals of preservation planning through practical experience.

Course | URBDP 450

Introduction to Land Use, Growth Management, and Environmental Planning

Provides an understanding of contemporary land use issues (including sprawl, smart growth, new urbanism, transit-oriented development, and Washington's Growth Management Act) and examines their environmental impact and social welfare implications. Analyzes best-practice techniques of growth management.

Course | URBDP 562

Introduction to Neighborhood Planning and Community Development

Provides introduction to basic practices in neighborhood planning and community development, including theoretical/historical bases; developing neighborhood plans/projects; indicators and evaluation of neighborhood quality; community participation; institutional framework, ethical dilemmas, and professional roles. Addresses current issues, including Seattle's experience, NIMBYism, security, neighborhood character, housing segregation, etc.

Course | URBDP 552 / R E 510

Introduction to Real Estate

Provides a basic overview of the participants, processes, workings of different components of the real estate industry (including a variety of uses spanning from residential, office, retail and industrial to specialized) as well as the quantitative components of the real estate decision-making. Additionally, students are introduced to an overview of construction management, sustainability, corporate services, property law and ethics.

Course | R E 416/516

Introduction to Real Estate Economics/Market Analysis

Introduces students to the urban land market in which sites and properties are embedded Covers five areas: basic economic concepts critical in the understanding of real estate markets; urban economy; land rent theory; locational analysis and decision making; and market analysis.

Course | URBDP 423 / 523

Introduction to Urban Design

Definitions and examples of urban design; heritage of urban design; theories of city building; the role of urban design in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning. Offered: Sp.

Course | URBDP 300

Introduction to Urban Planning

Principles and theories of urban structure and institutions. Concepts and logic of planning as a community process and a professional activity. Evolution of planning ideas in response to changing social, economic, and environmental conditions within the American political framework. Complementary nature of public and private responsibilities. Major procedures used by planners.

Course | URBDP 200

Introduction to Urbanization: Planning and Designing Alternative Urban Futures

Introduces how cities work and explores alternative ways of planning and designing urban futures. Explores the economic, cultural, political, and social aspects of cities and how we might change them for the better. Also examines numerous case studies from the Global North and South.

Scholar

James Shaiman

Visit scholar website

Scholar

James Young

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Jan Whittington

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Jean Ni

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Jeff Hou

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Jeffrey Karl Ochsner

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Jeffrey Ottesen

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Jennifer Dee

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Jess Hamilton

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Jill Sterrett

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Jim Nicholls

Visit scholar website

Scholar

John Fandel

Visit scholar website

Scholar

John Schaufelberger

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Julie Angeley

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Julie M. Johnson

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Julie Parrett

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Kate Simonen

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Kathryn Rogers Merlino

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Keith Harris

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Kelli Leith

Visit scholar website

News | May 14, 2015

Ken Smith: Going Beyond the Metrics

In case you missed it. Ken Smith’s lecture, a part of the UW Landscape Architecture Lecture Series on May 14th 2015. The lecture focuses on ideas and craft in creating contemporary landscapes particularly at a larger scale. A number of new or recent projects are discussed as case studies. It addresses issues of scale, infrastructure…


Scholar

Ken Tadashi Oshima

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Ken Yocom

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Ken-Yu Lin

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Kimo Griggs

Visit scholar website

News | May 31, 2019

King County’s condo prices continue to fall as market gets new inventory

Though home prices in the region are not climbing as dramatically as they once were, that doesn’t mean that they’re falling. According to the latest Northwest Multiple Listing Service report, home prices for completed sales in April (the last month for which they have data) rose 2.4% across the 23-county system. Eight counties reported double-digit gains, as the hot market…


Scholar

Kristi Park

Visit scholar website

News | June 19, 2017

Lake Union building earns awards for energy savings

Henbart LLC announced recently that a year-long study led by the University of Washington’s Integrated Design Lab confirmed that upgrading to View® Dynamic Glass technology in the Lake Union Building significantly saved energy and improved the tenant experience. The report verified annual energy savings of 17.7 percent or 351,604 kWh – roughly $28,000 a year…


Course | URBDP 550

Land Use, Growth Management and Environmental Planning

Provides an understanding of contemporary land use issues (including sprawl, smart growth, new urbanism, transit-oriented development, and Washington's Growth Management Act) and examines their environmental and social welfare implications. Analyzes best practice techniques of growth management.

Degree Program

Landscape Architecture (BLA, MLA, dual MArch-MLA, dual MLA-MUP)

At the University of Washington, we strive to create a program that meets the complex social, environmental, political, and aesthetic challenges of our time. Our program emphasis on urban ecological design addresses the multiple dimensions of today’s environmental challenges – infrastructure, culture, ecological literacy, and human and environmental health. With our focus on the intersection…

Visit program website

Course | L ARCH 310

Landscape Architecture Field Sketching

Introductory level sketching of landscape subjects: natural and urban sites, plants, animals, architectural elements. Emphasis on perspective. Various media, including pencil, charcoal, markers, ink wash, water color.

Course | L ARCH 412

Landscape Representation II

Development of advanced skills of visual representation to communicate students' visions for urban ecological design including techniques used during the design process and for presentation.

Course | L ARCH 523

Landscape Technology

Studio on rehabilitation of stressed urban landscapes. Focus varies but often deals with an analysis of the potentials in urban watershed and the study of alternative site designs for enhancing a range of landscape functions related to water quality. Taught by an interdisciplinary team.

Scholar

Laure Heland

Visit scholar website

Course | R E 512

Leadership in the Built Environment

Focuses on leadership principles applicable to the real estate and the built environment and helps students conduct self-assessments to understand their strengths and ways they can apply them. Addresses both organizational leadership and leadership of construction processes.

Scholar

Leann Andrews

Visit scholar website

Course | URBDP 580

Legal and Administrative Framework for Planning

Political, legal, and administrative institutions closely related to the planning process. Issues of devolution of authority and public representation and participation. Legal basis for planning and associated regulation.

News | October 2, 2018

Livable City Year and Tacoma finalize partnership

Throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, 349 University of Washington students and 26 UW faculty members worked with staff and community members from the City of Tacoma on projects to advance livability and sustainability in the city. The year-long partnership between Tacoma and UW Livable City Year (LCY) provided the city with university resources to tackle…


News | June 13, 2019

Livable City Year celebrates partnership with City of Bellevue

This year’s Livable City Year partnership with the City of Bellevue mobilized 285 students from a variety of schools and colleges, representing all three UW campuses, to work on 30 projects in the city. The students’ research, findings and recommendations were on display at a celebration at Bellevue City Hall on Monday, June 3. The Bellevue City…


News | August 25, 2020

Livable City Year research leads to publication on university–community partnerships

Anne Taufen, associate professor of Urban Studies at UW Tacoma, and Anneka Olson, graduate of UW Tacoma’s Community Planning MA program, recently published an article examining the Livable City Year program, a university-community partnership at the University of Washington. This work was partially supported through Urban@UW. “Especially in this time of polarization, with problems like…


News | November 14, 2019

Livable City Year: Jennifer Otten & Branden Born

Food brings people together. In the case of the academic collaboration between Jennifer Otten and Branden Born, so did food policy. Otten, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and core faculty in the Nutritional Sciences Program within the School of Public Health, met Born, an associate professor in Urban Design and Planning…


Course | B E 230

Living with Disasters: Design for Resilience

Studies types of environmental hazards (e.g., earthquakes, flooding, climate change) and the ways people can build more resilient communities. Pre-major introduction to BE disciplines: architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, construction management. Students apply concepts in a Seattle-based scenario project.

Scholar

Liz Browning

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Louisa Iarocci

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Lynne Manzo

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Mackenzie Waller

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Makie Suzuki

Visit scholar website

News | March 16, 2020

Making Transit More Transparent: Catching Up with Kona Farry

Kona Farry is an undergraduate student at UW studying Community, Environment, and Planning. Last year Farry created a website (https://www.pantographapp.com) showing the real-time locations of buses, ferries, and trains in the greater Seattle area that received a lot of interest. (Also, since the coronavirus outbreak he has created an app to help remind people to…


Scholar

Manish Chalana

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Margaret O’Mara

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Maria Taylor

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Marina Alberti

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Mark Purcell

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Marty Curry

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Mary Roderick

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Matthew Disston

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Mehlika Inanici

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Melissa Best

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Meredith Clausen

Visit scholar website

Course | URBDP 481

Metropolitan Planning and Development in Developing Countries

Examination of the nature and causes of urban planning and management problems in developing countries and exploration of alternative approaches to solve some of these problems.

Scholar

Michael Lewis

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Milenko Matanovic

Visit scholar website

Degree Program

Minor in Urban Ecological Design

The Department of Landscape Architecture’s focus on Urban Ecological Design. This design practice integrates site, landscape, and people in a way that is functional, artful, and engaging. Urban Ecological Design is an interdisciplinary approach that addresses emerging local, regional, and global issues in five key areas: (1) design as activism, (2) design for ecological infrastructure,…

Visit program website

News | January 31, 2016

Monthly Wrap up January 2016

It’s been a great start to 2016. UW Alumni association and History Department put together a woderful history lecture series: Excavating Seattle’s histories: Peoples, politics, and place check out details and videos here> The CBE also hosted a number of great speakers and events including SUSTAINING JAPAN: 3.11 FIVE YEARS ON lecture and panel discussion…


Scholar

Nancy Rottle

Visit scholar website

Course | R E 514

Negotiations and Conflict Resolution in the Built Environment

Overview of negotiation theories, approaches and tactics. Application of deal making procedures for various aspects of real estate decision making processes and audiences (e.g. government, community groups, real estate organizations and partners). Analysis of conflict resolution techniques, mediation, arbitration, etc.

News | August 25, 2016

NEH Awards $179,000 for Urban-Nature Summer Institute at UW

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded nearly $180,000 for a new summer institute on the urban environment at the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington. The institute, City/Nature: Urban Environmental Humanities, examines how Western cultures have historically viewed city and nature as separate—and how a more integrative understanding can…


Course | L ARCH 402

Neighborhood Design Studio

Studio at neighborhood and site scales, mixed use. Incorporates urban design theory, precedents, neighborhood/project issues, and community clients. Skills in neighborhood and site analysis, programming, designs are developed in groups and individually. Methods include readings, research, critiques, field studies, and graphic, written and verbal presentations.

News | November 21, 2019

New apps help builders reduce carbon footprint

Two new widgets out of the Pacific Northwest aim to address what their developers say is a pressing need to begin using less carbon-intensive building materials. They work like meal-tracking apps, only for new construction. Input: Materials used in the building. Output: The amount of carbon dioxide used to produce the materials, called embodied carbon….


News | March 10, 2020

New Bill that May Pave the Way for Seattle Seismic Upgrades

Public officials for decades have promised to deal with the old brick buildings in Seattle that could crumble with deadly consequences when a major earthquake hits — and have produced nothing but paper plans. Now some advocates hope a new attempt could at last lead to action. A state bill that could help building owners finance…


News | August 15, 2016

New book ‘Cities that Think Like Planets’ imagines urban regions resilient to change

Marina Alberti is a professor in the Department of Urban Design and Planning, which is part of the University of Washington College of Built Environments. Alberti directs the college’s Urban Ecology Research Laboratory and the Graduate School’s interdisciplinary doctoral program in urban design and planning. She answered some questions about her new book, “Cities that…


News | January 11, 2018

New book ‘City Unsilenced’ explores protest and public space

Jeff Hou is a professor of landscape architecture and adjunct professor of urban design and planning in the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments. His research, teaching and practice focus on community design, design activism, cross-cultural learning and engaging marginalized communities in planning and design. Hou has written extensively on the agency of citizens…


News | June 5, 2019

New documentary examines the impact of gentrification in Seattle

If you’ve been in our area for any length of time, you can probably recognize the changes occurring not only in downtown Seattle but across Western Washington. Many feel that gentrification of neighborhoods is stifling cultural communities and their history. On the Brink, a new documentary produced by University of Washington’s Foster School of Business…


News | May 12, 2016

New Project to Shine Light on Dark Places Around UW campus

Where do you walk on campus after dark, and which areas could benefit from better lighting? An interdisciplinary team of students, faculty and staff together with lighting design experts is asking the UW community those questions as part of a new plan to improve the efficiency and sustainability of outdoor lighting around the Seattle campus….


News | May 7, 2019

New study finds Seattle is even less prepared for mega quakes than previously thought

Scientists have found that the shaking likely to be generated by a massive earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone is worse than previously thought—and Seattle’s current building codes aren’t equipped to handle it. The study, which was presented at the 2019 Seismological Society of America Annual Meeting last month, is based on the work of…


Scholar

Nicole DeNamur

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Nicole Huber

Visit scholar website

News | October 28, 2016

October Recap: Urban Transporation, Health, and Justice

October has seen a lot of research and engagement surrounding urban design, health, and transportation from University of Washington’s urban scholars and practitioners. Here at Urban@UW we’ve kicked off our Livable City Year program, reflected on our first full year of work and collaborations, and are planning for our symposium on Urban Environmental Justice in…


News | May 18, 2016

Office Hours with Britton Shephard

Britton Shepard is a Masters student in Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington, and will be graduating this June. He is currently wrapping up his thesis project, Site 1121: Field Notes, a public site exhibition of an abandoned lot that explored the history and identity of a landscape in an urban setting. The week-long…


News | July 16, 2020

Opportunities to engage UW faculty and students to address COVID-19

In recognition of the intense needs of local governments around COVID-19 response and recovery, the LCY program has compiled a list of existing UW courses whose faculty and students are seeking to assist local communities in COVID-related projects. Most projects can start in Autumn 2020 — some as early as Summer 2020. The list of…


Course | ARCH 458, ART H 494, JSIS A 433

Paris: Architecture and Urbanism

Spans the architectural history of Paris, from its Gallic, pre-Roman origins in the second century BCE through the work of twenty-first century architects. Focuses on changing patterns of the physical fabric of the city and its buildings, as seen within the context of the broader political, social, economic, and cultural history.

News | September 16, 2016

PARK(ing) Day+ and Little Collective’s “Bees and Salmon”

Today you may notice some new public spaces in your neighborhood; but look fast, because they will be gone by Sunday. Now a global phenomenon, PARK(ing) day is a few hours per year when cities endeavor to convert city spaces into public places called parklets. The parklet’s origins are tied to ReBar, a San Francisco…


News | November 27, 2018

Parks help cities – but only if people use them

Written by Thaisa Way, faculty director of Urban@UW and Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture in the College of Built Environments. In cities, access to parks is strongly linked with better health for both people and neighborhoods. Children suffer higher rates of obesity when they grow up in urban areas without a park in easy reach. Because low-income neighborhoods have fewer green spaces, poorer…


Scholar

Pat McCabe

Visit scholar website

Degree Program

PCE Certificate in Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate is the raw material of a region’s economy. The Seattle market is experiencing huge growth, which means both increased opportunity and heightened competition. Staying current and getting an insider’s perspective on the industry can give you the edge you need to succeed. In this three-course program, we’ll explore commercial real estate as…

Visit program website

Degree Program

PCE Certificate in Facility Management

Facility managers today play an important role in many organizations, where they contribute to overall goals such as reducing costs, improving productivity and pursuing sustainability. This three-course certificate program imparts comprehensive knowledge of operations, maintenance, budgeting and business-planning issues related to facility management. You’ll also learn about important safety, security and environmental factors in the…

Visit program website

Course | URBDP 576 / CEE 586

Pedestrian Travel, Land Use, and Urban Form

Seminar concentrating on walking as a mode of transportation in cities and city-regions, including social, cognitive, and perceptual dimensions of pedestrian movement and behavior theory.

Scholar

Pete Stone

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Peter Cohan

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Phil Hurvitz

Visit scholar website

Course | URBDP 480

Planning as a Profession

Provides students interested in the planning profession an opportunity to understand the different pathways and career choices within the profession. Introduces students to guest professionals in various planning careers and highlight key issues, skills used, and tips to entering the field. Focuses on professional practice rather than analytical methods or theory.

Course | URBDP 564

Planning history, theory and ethics

Examines major historical landmarks since the Civil War (urban, suburban, and rural, physical and social-economic); theoretical alternatives (rationalism, pluralism-advocacy, critical theory, bio-regionalism, dissipative models); and ethical issues (such as distributive justice and principles of professional conduct).

Course | URBDP 564

Planning History, Theory, and Ethics

Examines major historical landmarks since the Civil War (urban, suburban, and rural, physical and social-economic); theoretical alternatives (rationalism, pluralism-advocacy, critical theory, bio-regionalism, dissipative models); and ethical issues (such as distributive justice and principles of professional conduct).

Course | L ARCH 481

Planning Urban Green Infrastructure Networks for Healthy Cities

Explores the planning of green infrastructures to maximize ecosystems services and support more compact and livable communities. Credit/no-credit only.

Course | L ARCH 423

Plant Identification & Management

Plants and the soil in which they grow are the living materials that form the foundational palette from which landscape architects work to design and manage landscapes. Learn to identify plants, their ecology and understand their maintenance requirements. Provides students with the opportunity to gain insight into the field of botany, biological complexity of plants and their structural contributions to urban ecology.

News | May 5, 2020

Population Health Initiative announces award of 21 COVID-19 rapid response grants

The University of Washington Population Health Initiative announced the award of approximately $350,000 in COVID-19 rapid response grants to 21 different faculty-led teams. These teams are composed of individuals representing 10 different schools and colleges. Funding was partially matched by additional school, college and departmental funds, bringing the total value of these awards to roughly $820,000. “A…


Course | URBDP 446

Practical Experience

Off-campus internship under academic supervision in situations useful to the education of planners, such as public/private planning and design offices, projects related to the environment, cross-cultural matters, and decision making. Assistance in identifying appropriate projects.

Course | URBDP 587

Preservation and the Vernacular Environment

Exploration of theoretical, methodological, and practical issues related to the preservation of vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes in the United States.

Course | R E 542

Private – Public Project Finance

Explores creative ways of project financing through public and private partnerships in the form of incentives (e.g. TIF, LIHTC, Brownfield development incentives, etc.) currently offered by different government levels throughout the USA. Prepares to identify the incentives for a project and structure a deal package based on a project's parameters.

News | September 17, 2020

Project Highlight: Seattle Street Sink

For many living unsheltered, access to a place to wash up is hard to come by. During the pandemic, it is more important than ever to have accessible hygiene stations. The Real Change Advocacy Department partnered with University of Washington College of Built Environments faculty to design and install environmentally friendly “street sinks”. On May…


Course | ENV H 538, URBDP 538

Public Health and the Built Environment

Examines how the design of communities and land use and transportation decision have positive and adverse effects on health. Considers built environment impacts on physical activity, obesity, air quality, injuries, mental health, social capital, and environmental justice; and explores interventions to promote healthy community design.

Scholar

Qing Shen

Visit scholar website

Course | URBDP 520

Quantitative Methods in Urban Design and Planning

Methods of statistical and mathematical analysis in design and planning. Emphasizes the use of computer packages for analyzing urban data. Regression, matrix methods, cohort-survival populations models with examples solved on microcomputers. Prerequisite: college mathematics and basic course in probability and statistics.

News | May 4, 2016

Quick Recap: A Busy April!

April saw a lot of wonderful developments here at the University of Washington, here’s a quick recap: Our first Office Hours interview with John Vidale (more coming of these soon!) UW researchers continued to explore the effects of a $15/hr minimum wage. PBS premiered their 10 Parks that Changed America program featuring our own Thaisa…


News | May 29, 2016

Quick Recap: Here’s What Happened in May!

May saw a lot of wonderful events, visitors, and research coming out of the University of Washington community. Here’s a quick recap: The CBE PhD Program looked at the future of cities Patricia Romero Lankao visited to talk about the human dimension of climate change Seattle’s “diverse neighborhoods” are actually surprisingly segregated New lighting research…


Course | URBDP 514

Race and Social Justice Seminar

This course will explore concepts of race, racism, class, social justice, and make explicit their connections between design and planning. It does so to build student understanding about how, and the degree to which, these disciplines have historically addressed these topics, and where they stand currently. This exploration will include progress made, challenges, and overt actions that have and may continue to work in racist and unjust ways.

Scholar

Rachel Berney

Visit scholar website

News | January 5, 2016

Re-Imaging Urban Scholarship: Differencing the Data

Winter Quarter 2016 | HUM 597E | 1 credit, C/NC Instructor:Thaisa Way (Landscape Architecture) Meeting Dates: Friday, January 15, 12-1:20 pm (Startup Hall) Friday, January 29, 12-1:20 pm (Henry Art Gallery) Tuesday, February 2, and Wednesday, February 3 (Participation encouraged as feasible, Center for Urban Horticulture) Thursday, February 4, 9-10:20 am (eScience Institute, Physics/Astronomy Tower)…


News | April 6, 2016

Reading List for Edgar Pieterse Visit 4/12

In anticipation of Edgar Pieterse’s visit we thought you might enjoy a video lecture and in-depth examination to get a feel for Pieterse’s research and thinking. How can we transcend slum urbanism in Africa? – Edgar Pieterse, University of Cape Town – This short video delivered by Edgar Pieterse and UN-Habitat offers a very accessible…


News | May 7, 2016

Reading List for Patricia Romero Lankao Visit 5/11

In anticipation of Patricia Romero Lankao’s visit we thought you might enjoy these pieces to get a feel for her research and thinking. Water in Mexico City: What Will Climate Change Bring to Its History of Water-Related Hazards and Vulnerabilities?—This research paper delves into the history and evolution of water related risks and crises in…


Course | URBDP 370

Reading the City

Comprehending cities as reflection of individual reader and social/cultural context. Skills for analyzing everyday, visible evidence of the city. Topics include self-identity with place, city, image and perception, visual design analysis; and place as representation of culture. Extensive writing, multiple texts, collaborative work in groups and fieldwork.

Degree Program

Real Estate (MS, Minor, Cert, PCE)

Our mission is: To be one the world’s leading academic centers in real estate, through the promotion of excellence in research and educational programs in an intellectually stimulating, creative and innovative environment and that engages with and empowers real estate leaders and the community to transform our built environment To achieve this we aim to:…

Visit program website

Course | URBDP 551 / R E 517

Real Estate Asset Management

Focuses on the fundamentals and structure of asset management from a value improvement perspective. Students are educated on the proactive manner asset managers need to respond to changing tenant needs and competitive market condition, while focusing on the asset appreciation throughout the ownership cycle (acquisition, leasing and disposition).

Course | R E 550 / URBDP 578

Real Estate Development

Introduction and survey of processes and people involved in developing real estate, including issues of site control, public/private approvals, feasibility analysis, project financing, design/construction, marketing, and asset management.

Course | R E 363

Real Estate Development Process

Real estate development sits at the heart of the built environment, interacting with urban planners, landscape architects, architects, financiers, construction managers and end users. An understanding of the key decision making that underpins development is a vital part in understanding what is developed, where and when.

Course | URBDP 513 / R E 551

Real Estate Development Studio

The Real Estate Development studio is a required for the MSRE option in RE Development. The focus of the course has been traditionally on competitions. The course will continue to focus in commercial real estate competitions (NAIOP) and projects in the autumn quarter, however a focus on affordable housing will be the emphasis while pursuing the Bank of America's affordable Housing Challenge in the winter and spring quarter.

Course | URBDP 554 / R E 513

Real Estate Finance and Investment

Introduces students to basic real estate finance and institutional analysis allowing them to quantify the financial implications of real estate decisions. Topics include: basic time value of money, financial leverage, discounted cash flow analysis (properties and institutional portfolios), assessment of various real estate investment classes and distribution of proceeds to investors

Course | R E 360

Real Estate Market Analysis

The course is designed to introduce students to basic elements of real estate markets studies for different uses. It begins with an overview of the basic steps regardless of real estate use followed by the analysis of data sources, public policy issues affecting cities and their economy and software available to analyze different market patterns.

Scholar

Rebecca Barnes

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Rebecca J. Walter

Visit scholar website

News | December 20, 2016

Reflections on Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change

On November 7th and 8th Urban@UW, in collaboration with the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group (CIG), hosted a symposium to begin transdisciplinary conversation on the multifaceted dynamics and consequences of Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change (UEJ). Below are some reflections from this event, and a sample of the resources we’ll…


Course | L ARCH 504

Regional Landscape Planning

Application of landscape ecological theory to the design of urban environments. Focuses on the strategic design of urban infrastructure, including underground drainage systems, roads, parks, transit systems, and on understanding the cumulative performance of urban sites.

Scholar

Renée Cheng

Visit scholar website

Course | URBDP 512

Research Seminar

Planning, designing, and undertaking applied research in an urban setting. Framing, critically assessing, managing, and presenting research used in urban planning and design. Conceptual modeling of causal relationships, choice among experimental and quasi-experimental designs, and ethical and political implications of research undertakings. Exercises leading to a complete research design.

Course | URBDP 509

Resources for Urban Planning

Provides an opportunity for students to explore and discuss issues of professional practice with practicing planners in an informal context. Questions posed by the participants usually emphasize practical aspects of working as planners.

News | May 7, 2020

Rethinking the needs of a post-pandemic city

What will the future city look like after the pandemic? As political leaders around the country debate when to safely reopen the economy, city planners and designers have been pondering the implications of the pandemic for the future design of cities. Some suggest reducing urban density, while others predict a second wave of “white flight”…


Scholar

Richard Hartlage

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Rick Mohler

Visit scholar website

News | August 20, 2020

Rick Mohler receives Architect magazine 2020 R+D award for housing access prototype ‘ADUniverse’

Rick Mohler, UW associate professor of architecture, has won a 2020 R+D Award from Architect magazine for a project designed with Seattle city planner Nick Welch to give local homeowners the information they need to plan and build accessory dwelling units on their property. The two led a team at the UW Data Science for Social Good Program in creating a prototype…


Scholar

Roark Congdon

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Rob Corser

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Rob Hutchison

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Rob Peña

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Rob Warnaca

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Ronald J. Kasprisin

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Sandy Fischer

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Sara Jacobs

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Scott Osborne

Visit scholar website

News | October 24, 2019

Seattle’s treasured P-Patch community gardens face uncertain future

Have you stumbled on a P-Patch community garden in your neighborhood? These beehives of gardening and community populate every corner of Seattle. Both the gardens and the people are as diverse as the neighborhoods they serve. From sprawling production farms to tiny lots, each provides a green respite, an open and interactive space. To those…


Course | ARCH 560

Seminar on Architectural Theories

Recent developments in architectural theory, urban design theory, criticism, and the methodology of criticism.

News | September 29, 2016

September Recap – News, Big Data, and Monthly Hightlights

September is nearly gone, but this was not a very sleepy month. The University of Washington has started the new school year and the past month has seen some tremendous developments for urban thinking and the City of Seattle. KQED published a piece about urban heat islands and how changes in landcover from hard-scapes and…


Scholar

Shannon Affholter

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Sharon E. Sutton

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Shawn Stankewich

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Simon Stevenson

Visit scholar website

Course | L ARCH 341

Site Design and Planning

Introduces urban ecological design issues for good site-planning processes, principles, and methods. Linked with L ARCH 301. Addresses planning for people, natural systems in place-making, design for movement with carried land uses. Includes readings, discussions, presentations, campus walks, case studies, graphic and written assignments.

Course | URBDP 424

Site Planning: Issues and Techniques

Introduction to site planning; how it is regulated; why it is important to know; and how to carry out its key tasks, including residential subdivision and mixed-use development layout; basic topographical and hydrological analysis and manipulation; roadways, parking and hierarchies of circulation, and site design detail.

Scholar

Sofia Dermisi

Visit scholar website

News | July 19, 2018

Sound Transit rail stations could help solve our housing crisis

All of Sound Transit’s LINK light-rail stations offer opportunities to create vibrant, walkable mixed-use communities with significant amounts of new housing and reduced dependence on automobiles. We need a bold, regional approach to housing affordability, says Rick Mohler, Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture, and  Al Levine, Associate Faculty at the Department of Urban Design…


Course | ARCH 445

South Asian Architecture I

Advanced introduction to precolonial architecture and urbanism of South Asia. Using methodologies of culture studies, examines select Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic case studies on a comparative genealogy.

Course | ARCH 446

South Asian Architecture II

Advanced introduction to colonial and postcolonial architecture and urbanism of South Asia. Using methodologies of culture studies, covers 1800 to present, emphasizing the years since India's independence in 1947.

News | March 16, 2016

Southern Urbanisms: Edgar Pieterse and Jean-Marie Teno (1 cr. seminar)

This microseminar addresses the emergence of global urbanisms and especially southern urbanisms, focusing on the dramatic urbanization of Africa and the resurgence of African urban studies. The course is coordinated with the visits of the influential scholar of African urbanisms Edgar Pieterse (University of Cape Town) and renowned African filmmaker Jean-Marie Teno. Their visit provides…


Course | R E 597

Spatial Analysis of Real Estate and Housing Markets

Spatial analysis of real estate and housing market data. Methods in quantitative analysis of spatial data. Methods are applied to a variety of housing and real estate data sets to inform business decisions and policy making. Exploratory data analysis, spatial interpolation, and spatial regression.

Course | URBDP 508

Specialized Planning Laboratory

Studio/field project on a specialized planning problem. Several options are offered each year, such as regional-environmental planning, housing, metropolitan planning, and urban design.

Scholar

Steve Badanes

Visit scholar website

News | September 10, 2017

Storefront Studio creates vision for downtown block

Three graduate students and their professor from the University of Washington College of Built Environments spent much of this summer visiting Gig Harbor and creating a plan that could change and enhance an area in the downtown waterfront business district. The Storefront Studio Project, as the endeavor is called, began in June when the students…


News | September 12, 2018

Summer Design/Build Studio 2018

Food and the ability to prepare it are fundamental components of life. Places of food preparation–whether a home kitchen or a fire pit–serve not only their most explicit functions but also act as cultural gathering spaces for families and communities. Food preparation poses particularly unique challenges in Seattle’s homeless communities for individuals, families and larger…


Course | URBDP 500

Survey of Urban Planning

Concepts and logic of planning as a professional activity. Evolution of guiding ideas in relation to changing social, economic, and environmental conditions within the American political framework. Major procedures used by planners. Critical appraisal.

Course | CM 340

Sustainable Building Design and Construction Practices

Examines sustainable standards for design and construction of commercial and institutional buildings focusing on environmental, economic, and social benefits of sustainable buildings.

Course | CM 335

Sustainable Construction

Studies issues associated with planning and constructing sustainable projects including development of LEED documentation and evaluation of financial, social, and environmental impacts of construction operations.

Degree Program

Sustainable Transportation: Planning and Livable Communities (Cert)

Examine the important issues involved in sustainable transportation planning. Review policies and programs that encourage mixed use development and higher density levels in order to promote modes of transportation other than the single occupancy vehicle. Study the impact different transportation options have on the environment and sustainability. Explore the movement of goods as well as…

Visit program website

Course | L ARCH 564

Sustainable Urban Landscapes

Introduces contemporary literature on urban sustainability and provides a forum for discussion about theories, applications, and practices towards the planning and design of sustainable and ecological urban environments.

Scholar

Suzanne Cartwright

Visit scholar website

News | August 17, 2020

Systemic racism has consequences for all life in cities

Social inequalities, specifically racism and classism, are impacting the biodiversity, evolutionary shifts, and ecological health of plants and animals in our cities. That’s the main finding of a review paper led by the University of Washington, with co-authors at the University of California, Berkeley, and University of Michigan, which examined more than 170 published studies and analyzed…


News | May 29, 2019

Team of UW seniors wins ‘Re-imagining Red Square’ design competition

A team of UW Architecture and Landscape Architecture seniors has won this year’s Re-Imagining Red Square competition. The designers of the “The Loop” originally were looking at how to preserve Red Square and do some intervention underneath in the garage. Then, one of the architects helping critique the designs in the contest gave the team advice…


News | August 14, 2019

Tech companies step up to fund affordable housing, but experts say it’s not enough to curb shortages

Microsoft pledged $500 million for affordable housing in January. Five months later, Google said it would invest $1 billion to help the Bay Area housing crisis. Amazon and Salesforce also announced contributions of their own this year. Major tech companies are stepping up to help mitigate affordable housing shortages, caused in part by the influx of high-income labor they have imported to the…


Scholar

Thaisa Way

Visit scholar website

News | December 16, 2019

The Central District has lost over a dozen of its Black churches. The rest may still be saved

There’s little doubt that The Nehemiah Initiative faces an immense challenge combating the displacement of African Americans from central Seattle. When you drive through the Central District today, you see gentrification in its stark reality. New market-rate buildings line the intersections of 23rd Avenue and East Union Street, as well as 23rd and South Jackson…


Course | L ARCH 361

The Human Experience of Place

Interdisciplinary approaches to exploring the reciprocal relationship between people and the landscapes of everyday life. Through readings, discussion, in-class activities and mini-projects, students study place attachment, relationships to nature, environmental attitudes and perception, personal space, territoriality, urban public space, diversity, participation, and the politics of space.

News | September 15, 2020

The pandemic is transforming how Americans use public libraries, parks, and streets — and it’s depriving vulnerable people of space when they need it most

On a Friday in early March, Jennifer Pearson looked around her library in Lewisburg, Tennessee. “The library was full of older people,” Pearson, the library’s director, said. “I thought, if I don’t close this space, they will never stop coming to it, so I have to close it, for their good and for my staff.”…


Course | URBDP 405 / 505

The Urban Form

Elements, patterns, and evolution of urban form. The forces that shaped cities in history. Contemporary trends. Methods of urban morphological analysis as related to urban design and planning practices. Required for MUP graduate students.

Course | URBDP 510

Theories and Methodologies of Planning I

Survey of the philosophy, methods, and analytical techniques used in planning public actions and policies, with emphasis on the logic and assumptions upon which these are based. Various planning surveys and methods. Open to graduate students in urban design and planning and to graduate students seeking the urban design certificate.

News | January 9, 2020

This is what Seattle’s new neighborhood could look like

Architecture and planning students love to wrestle with big ideas. And while their end-of-the-quarter presentations sometimes include out-of-the-box ideas, they usually don’t have the attention of public officials. But this time was different. Students with the University of Washington Built Environments Studio, taught by Rick Mohler (Architecture) and David Blum (Urban Design and Planning) in…


Scholar

Tim Overland

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Tomás Méndez Echenagucia

Visit scholar website

Course | CEP 470 / URBDP 502

Tools for Sustainable Cities

Examines specific tools used for planning sustainable cities, including hands-on learning, speakers, case studies, and site tours to enrich students' knowledge and experience.

Course | L ARCH 324

Topics in Planting Design II

Explores planting design topics that relate specifically to site, program, and design issues addressed in concurrent studio projects. Utilizes trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants as space forms in urban contexts. Utilizes plant characteristics of color, texture, and form in studio project design. Considers design principles of unity/diversity, complexity/simplicity, and pattern in studio project design.

News | April 24, 2017

Toward greener construction: UW professor collab sets markers for carbon across life of buildings

A University of Washington-led research group has taken an important step toward measuring — and ultimately reducing — the global carbon footprint of building construction and long-term maintenance. The Carbon Leadership Forum is a collaborative effort among academics and industry professionals based in the UW’s College of Built Environments that studies reducing carbon emissions over…


News | March 31, 2016

Towards a Speculative Politics for African Cities with Edgar Pieterse – 4/12

Join us April 12 at Kane Hall (Room 120) for Visiting Scholar Edgar Pieterse, Please Register for this Public Event Towards a Speculative Politics for African Cities The available frames to understand and reimagine contemporary urban politics in the African context come down two divergent pathways: 1) build the institutional infrastructure to enact the deliberative…


News | March 1, 2018

Tri-campus survey aims to identify student struggles with housing, food costs

In a region as expensive as the Puget Sound, making ends meet affects college students, too. Rent, utilities and food can run into the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a month – and for students without the means, it’s a daunting and sometimes compromising challenge. Urban@UW is trying to learn more about the situations…


Course | ART H 491 / ARCH 457

Twentieth-Century Architecture

Architecture in the twentieth century, mainly in Europe and the United States. Traces roots of Modernism in Europe in the 1920s, its demise (largely in the United States) in the 1960s, and recent trends such as Post-Modernism and Deconstructivism.

Scholar

Tyler Sprague

Visit scholar website

News | August 30, 2016

University of Washington and City of Auburn launch first Livable City Year partnership

The University of Washington has begun a yearlong partnership with the City of Auburn, under the new Livable City Year program. UW students and professors will work with the City of Auburn to advance the city’s goals for livability and sustainability throughout the upcoming academic year. In this inaugural year, UW faculty will lead classes…


News | April 15, 2019

University of Washington researchers want to help Uber and Lyft protect data and share it with cities

Cities where Uber and Lyft operate have a data problem. The University of Washington wants to provide the solution. Companies such as Uber and Lyft are sitting on mounds of valuable data about where and when riders move around cities. Transportation officials are eager to get their hands on that information but the companies have…


News | July 17, 2016

Urban Alleys: Seattle and Beyond

Alleys have long been seen as places of both delight and terror. These urban spaces have a cultural history built around them much the way train and subway stations, markets, or parks do. But alleys have an encompassing spectrum of associations: home to magical night markets as well as our most sinister fears. However, the…


Course | ARCH 590

Urban and Preservation Issues in Design

Introduction to recent theory and practice in the fields of urban design and historic preservation primarily in North American urban contexts, including examples of recent projects presented by practicing professionals.

Course | URBDP 422

Urban and Regional Geospatial Analysis

Principles of GIS applied to problems in urban design and planning, landscape architecture, and environmental and resource studies. Practical problem-solving approaches using contemporary desktop mapping packages and vector and raster GIS systems. Siting, environmental evaluation and inventories, and modeling. Prerequisite: either GEOG 317, GEOG 360, GEOG 461, GEOG 462, GEOG 465, FISH 452, or OCEAN 452.

News | April 22, 2019

Urban coyote evolution favors the bold

Coyotes become fearless around people in just a few generations—which isn’t good for their longterm co-existence with humans in cities. Coyotes are now common residents of many large urban areas. And while it doesn’t happen all that often, coyotes are increasingly coming into conflict with people and pets. “They’re these mid-sized carnivores, [though] most people…


Degree Program

Urban Design and Planning (Minor, Cert, MUP, dual MLA-MUP, PhD)

Our core mission is to develop a community of inquiry, learning, and practice that helps urban regions to become more livable, just, economically effective, and environmentally sound through a democratic process of urban design and planning.

Visit program website

Course | ARCH 561

Urban Design Theory

Study of development of nineteenth- and twentieth-century urban design theories and parallel developments in architecture and urban planning. Theoretical premises are related to current practices of urban design in various sociopolitical contexts, European as well as American. Evolutionary nature of theory emphasized

Course | URBDP 561, PUBPOL 561

Urban Economics and Public Policy

Examines the rationale for and consequences of public intervention in urban land, housing, and transportation markets through land use regulations such as zoning and growth management, infrastructure investments, and fiscal policies to manage urban development and traffic. Prerequisite: successful completion of an introductory microeconomics course or permission of the instructor.

Course | R E 553, URBDP 553

Urban Land Economics

Introduces urban economics, land markets, and locational decision making; and examines urban spatial structure and the economic, political, social, technological, and historical forces that shape land values and uses. Uses applied spatial analytical tools including geographic information systems and geodemographic software.

News | May 5, 2016

Urban Planning and PhD Program Addresses ‘The Future City’ (5/5)

What kinds of cities shall we live in, and how can urban planners help make them a reality? What possible future scenarios lie ahead, and how will big data and new technologies affect science and decision-making in urban design? The University of Washington Graduate School’s Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Urban Design and Planning’s annual symposium…


Course | URBDP 467

Urban Planning Uses of Remote Sensing

Using aerial photographs and satellite image data in urban planning. Urban change analysis, land-use and land cover classification, and environmental planning applications. Scale and resolution considerations. Development of proficiency through laboratory exercises and use of image-processing software.

Course | L ARCH 463

Urban Recreational Design

Special recreational studies in metropolitan, urban, and neighborhood areas; the design, policies, and behavioral studies of existing parks, playgrounds, public places, and commercial areas. Design projects dealing with the play environment for all ages. Open to nonmajors.

News | May 10, 2017

Urban Scholar Highlight: Christopher Meek

Christopher Meek is a faculty member in University of Washington’s Department of Architecture and a director in the Integrated Design Lab in the Center for Integrated Design, located in the Bullitt Center. He teaches during the school year and the rest of his time is focused on research on high-performance buildings. We sat down with…


News | November 21, 2017

Urban Scholar Highlight: Heather Burpee

Heather Burpee is a Research Associate Professor in University of Washington’s Department of Architecture and Director of Education and Outreach at the Integrated Design Lab in the Center for Integrated Design, located in the Bullitt Center. We sat down with her to discuss her work and research on high-performance buildings. What are your current research…


News | October 1, 2019

Urban Scholar Highlight: Rachel Berney

Rachel Berney is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Design and Planning, Adjunct Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture, an Urban@UW Fellow, and author of Learning from Bogotá: Pedagogical Urbanism and the Reshaping of Public Space. Her primary interests include community sustainable design, public space, and international development in the Americas, as well as…


Course | L ARCH 302

Urban Sites Studio

Explores the application of design ideas and principles to urban sites. Theory and research informing the design of human environments and lessons from urban and ecological design precedents are implemented in the design of plazas, urban parks, waterfronts, streets, campuses, commercial areas, and historical sites.

Course | L ARCH 434

Urban Soils and Hydrology

Develops basic understanding and skills related to soil properties and their specification for use in horticulture and hydrological performance, and knowledge and skills needed by landscape architects to implement design solutions that manipulate urban hydrological conditions.

News | September 30, 2019

Urban@UW at 4 years: looking back, looking ahead

The Launch of a Leading-Edge Collaborative Research Center: Urban@UW Urban@UW launched in 2015 as an initiative of the Office of Research and CoMotion, funded through the Provost. We convened our first meeting of faculty to discuss urban challenges that same spring on June 1, a conversation that surfaced key themes that Urban@UW would go on…


News | October 20, 2017

Urban@UW compiles Faculty Highlights Report for research, teaching and engagement on homelessness

As part of its recently launched Homelessess Research Initiative, Urban@UW has collaborated with faculty and staff across all three UW campuses to compile a broad-ranging selection of powerful and robust projects addressing homelessness from a research lens. Check out the Faculty Highlights Report to learn more about these efforts and the people behind them.


News | August 18, 2020

Urban@UW Research Spark Grants awardees announced

Urban@UW is excited to announce the awardees for our Research Spark Grants program. The two proposals selected address urgent urban challenges in our region, with a strong focus on community engagement and vulnerable populations.   Co-creating an Adaptive Community-Science Network: Supporting Tribal and Grassroots Action through the Puget Creek Watershed Assessment Urban communities in the…


News | March 16, 2020

UW Architectural Historian Publishes Work about Kingdome Designer Jack Christiansen

Tyler Sprague is an assistant professor of architecture who studies and teaches structural design and architectural history. A former structural engineer himself, Sprague is the author of “Sculpture on a Grand Scale: Jack Christiansen’s Thin Shell Modernism.” The book, published in 2019 by University of Washington press, is a study of the life and work of…


News | May 26, 2020

UW research team seeks campus input with survey on coronavirus mobility impacts

Three professors are teaming up for a study of the mobility impacts of the coronavirus — and they are inviting UW faculty, staff and students to complete a short online survey to assist the research. The research is being conducted by Anne Vernez Moudon, professor emerita of urban design and planning in the College of Built Environments, with Jeff…


News | September 1, 2020

UW researchers explore how urbanization changes Earth’s ecosystems in new paper

UW researchers Marina Alberti, Urban Design & Planning; Simone Des Roches, Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences; and Christopher Schell, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW Tacoma have published a new report titled “The Complexity of Urban Eco-evolutionary Dynamics”, examining how urbanization affects ecological and evolutionary processes over time, and how these changes affect nature’s contribution to people….


News | May 13, 2019

UW students face food, housing insecurity, survey shows

Preliminary data from a survey of food and housing insecurity at the University of Washington’s three campuses shows that an estimated 190 students may lack a stable place to live, and about one-quarter of students have worried recently about having enough to eat. Results of the online survey, conducted by UW faculty in 2018, are…


News | November 29, 2018

UW’s Marina Alberti to lead new NSF-funded research network to study impact of cities on Earth’s evolutionary dynamics

Here in what is called the Anthropocene era, humans and our urban environments appear to be driving accelerated evolutionary change in plants, animals, fungi, viruses and more — changes that could affect key ecosystem functions and thus human well-being. These interactions between evolution and ecology are called “eco-evolutionary feedback.” The National Science Foundation has awarded a five-year,…


News | November 1, 2018

Valuing older buildings: Architecture professor’s book argues for reuse rather than wrecking ball

In her new book, Kathryn Rogers Merlino, University of Washington associate professor in the department of Architecture in the College of Built Environments, argues for the environmental benefit of reusing buildings rather than tearing them down and building anew. “I was trained as both an architect and architectural historian,” Merlino says, “and have always been drawn…


Scholar

Vikram Prakash

Visit scholar website

News | May 10, 2018

Vikram Prakash’s ‘ArchitectureTalk’ podcast explores topics ‘at the edge of the known’

Vikram Prakash says his weekly “ArchitectureTalk” podcast got its start, as many things do, from a student’s idea. Prakash is a professor of architecture in the University of Washington College of Built Environments. An architect himself, he is also an author, a theorist and an architectural historian. He said he has always felt “energized” by discussions in…


News | August 7, 2017

What city ants can teach us about species evolution and climate change

Acorn ants are tiny. They’re not the ants you’d notice marching across your kitchen or swarming around sidewalk cracks, but the species is common across eastern North America. In particular, acorn ants live anywhere you find oak or hickory trees: both in forests and in the hearts of cities. That’s why they’re so interesting to…


News | August 19, 2017

Why Architects should care about public health

Andrew Dannenberg, an Affiliate Professor at the School of Public Health and the College of Built Environments, writes about the importance of architects recognizing human health: while architects have long recognized the importance of human health —including physical, mental, and social well-being — as part of their mission, implementation sometimes reflects a spirit of compliance…


News | July 7, 2020

Why host platforms? Extracts from an interview with Professor Thaisa Way

In early March 2020, Andrea Kahn (Synthesis Lab Director for SLU Urban Futures and former SLU Landscape Facilitator) met Thaisa Way, Facilitator for Urban@UW, to discuss the origins, actors, actions and impacts of the platform.   Like SLU Landscape, Urban@UW is a network of researchers and practitioners engaging in different collaborative projects and initiatives across multiple…


News | June 4, 2020

Will the Spokane housing market weather the storm? Homebuying during the pandemic remains competitive and continues to favor the seller

Beth and Larry Belcher found the perfect home in Spokane, but it wasn’t easy. The couple was aware of Spokane’s housing market dynamics: low inventory, rising prices and high demand. But they didn’t expect to overcome an additional hurdle of searching for a home during a pandemic. “Looking for homes during COVID-19 was a little…


News | February 1, 2017

Working with community to tackle homelessness

Seattle’s rapid rise in homelessness, coinciding with increasing costs in housing and living, have brought significant challenges to economically vulnerable populations in the Puget Sound. In spite of a sense of urgency regionally and in many areas of the country, sufficient resources, effective systemic fixes and broad support still have not come together to end…


Scholar

Wyn Bielaska

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Yong-Woo Kim

Visit scholar website

Scholar

Yong-Woo Kim

Visit scholar website

News | March 27, 2019

You can now see all transit in Seattle on one map, at the same time

Ever wanted to see every bus, ferry, street car and light rail line operating in Seattle and throughout the greater Puget Sound region on one map at the same time? Kona Farry, a junior at the University of Washington originally from Marysville, did — so he did something about it. “It occurred to me that with all of…


News | April 14, 2020

Zillow and Redfin’s guesswork has changed how we see prices

In 2016, Spencer Rascoff sold one of his homes, a Madison Park three-story, for $1.05 million. Days later, Seattle-based Zillow estimated the value of that house at $1.75 million. Here’s the real estate rub: Rascoff was Zillow’s CEO. If an extreme example of an errant “zestimate,” the PR debacle points to a curiosity. Zillow and Redfin…