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Urban Design & Planning

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…


Scholar

Alan Borning

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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

Andy Dannenberg

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Anne Vernez-Moudon

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Arthur Acolin

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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…


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…


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,…


Scholar

Bob Freitag

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Bob Mugerauer

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Branden Born

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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…

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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

Charles Wolfe

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Christine Bae

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Christopher Bitter

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Christopher Campbell

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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 | 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.

Scholar

Dan Abramson

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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

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Course | URBDP 567

Democracy, Citizenship, and Participation in the City

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

Course | URBDP 567

Democracy, Citizenship, and Participation in the City

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

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 | URBDP 573

Digital Design

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

News |

Environmental Change – Local Impacts and Response by Himanshu Grover

Presented at the June 1st Urban@UW Launch


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 | 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…


Scholar

Fritz Wagner

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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.

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 | 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

Himanshu Grover

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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.

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….


Scholar

Hossein Estiri

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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 | 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.

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.

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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 470

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.

Course | URBDP 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.

Course | URBDP 423

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.

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

Jan Whittington

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Jeffrey Karl Ochsner

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Jill Sterrett

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Keith Harris

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Ken Yocom

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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…


Scholar

Manish Chalana

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Marina Alberti

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Mark Purcell

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Marty Curry

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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.

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.

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…


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…


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 | 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…


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…


Course | URBDP 576

Pedestrian Travel, Land Use, and Urban Form

Graduate 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.

Course | URBDP 576

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

Phil Hurvitz

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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 | 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

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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.

Scholar

Rachel Berney

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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…


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 field work.

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.

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 | 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.

Scholar

Ronald J. Kasprisin

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Scott Rutherford

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Sofia Dermisi

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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 | HUM597D

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 an opportunity to contemplate the politics, practices, and representations associated with Africa’s rapid urbanization, the specificity and diversity of African cities, and ways to plot different, more socially just urban futures.

Course | HUM597D

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 an opportunity to contemplate the politics, practices, and representations associated with Africa’s rapid urbanization, the specificity and diversity of African cities, and ways to plot different, more socially just urban futures.

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.

Scholar

Suzanne Cartwright

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Course | URBDP 479

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.

Course | URBDP 405

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 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 | CEP 470

Tools for Sustainable Cities

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

Course | 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.

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 | 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…


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.

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.

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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.

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 | 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…