The School of City and Regional Planning has a rich history, dating back to 1952 when planning instruction first began at Georgia Tech.
1950 - Harold Bush-Brown (Director of the College of Architecture, now College of Design), together with John Gaus (Director of City Planning, Harvard University), Frederick J. Adams (Director of City Planning, M.I.T.), and Howard Menhinick (Director of Regional Studies, Tennessee Valley Authority) meet to recommend the establishment of a city planning program at Georgia Tech.
1951 - Georgia Tech receives $251,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to start the City Planning Program; Howard Menhenick is hired as the first Graduate City Planning Program Director.
1952 - The City Planning Program welcomes its first class of ten students in the Fall of 1952.
1954 - The Student Planning Society is founded.
1955 - W.R. Gable becomes first Ph.D. recipient on the city planning faculty.
1959 - Thera H. Richter becomes first female MCP graduate and the first female to graduate with a master’s degree from Georgia Tech.
1962 - A joint degree was established in Transportation Planning (with Civil Engineering).
1964 - Georgia Tech receives $100,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Charitable Trust and $120,000 in the following year for program funding.
1965 - Malcolm Little (MCP MIT ’47) becomes second Program Director.
1968 - A joint degree was established in Urban Design (with Architecture program). Howard Menhinick retires and is awarded the American Institute of Planners’ Distinguished Service Award.
1969 - MCP Program is recognized by the National Education Committee of the American Institute of Planners.
1970 - City Planning moves to the Old Civil Engineering Building. Arthur Campbell becomes the first African-American MCP graduate.
1979 - Frederick K. Bell Memorial Scholarship instituted and Catherine Ross (Ph.D., Cornell) becomes the Program’s first African-American faculty member.
1981 - Leon S. Eplan (Atlanta Planning and Budgeting Commissioner, and former President of the American Institute of Planners) becomes the third Program Director.
1982 - City Planning moves back to the “Old” Architecture-East Building.
1983 - A doctoral degree option in City Planning was added. David Sawicki (Chair at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee) becomes the fourth Program Director.
1985 - Georgia Tech is the host of the 27th Annual Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) conference in Atlanta.
1987 - The program now offers five specializations: Transportation, Urban Development and Redevelopment, Land Use and Environment, Economic Development, and Urban Design. The program is first accredited by the newly formed Planning Accreditation Board.
1989 - Shi Hak Noh becomes the first Ph.D. graduate. Stan Fitterman’s (MCP ’88) thesis, Mortgage Redlining in Metropolitan Atlanta, receives the Edward McClure award for best master’s student paper from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
1990 - The GRA Co-Op Program is established. The first sponsoring organizations were Central Atlanta Progress, Georgia Power, City of Powder Springs, and the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
1992 - City planner Thomas D. Galloway (Dean of the College of Environmental Design, Iowa State University) becomes the third Dean of the College of Architecture (now College of Design); Steven P. French (Professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo) becomes fifth Program Director.
1993 - The program redefines its specializations to include seven specific areas: Economic Development, Environmental Planning, Geographic Information Systems, Land Development, Land Use, Transportation, and Urban Design. Rachel Matthews Prioleau earns her MCP, joining Eleanor Quinn Matthews (MCP’78) in the first mother/daughter pair to earn planning master’s degrees at Tech.
1995 - The program moves to new offices in Architecture-East building. The Thera H. Richter Award is initiated, honoring the first woman MCP graduate (also the first woman to graduate with a master’s degree from Tech). The Hahira Town Plan MCP studio project receives an American Planning Association National Student Project Award.
1996 - The Center for Geographic Information Systems is founded; Steven French becomes the first Center Director. Center offices and labs are located in Architecture Annex.
1997 - Joint degrees are established in Water Resources and Environmental Management (both with the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering). Tom Galloway and Georgia Tech host the inaugural Administrators Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Sandy Glatting Salsbury earns MCP joining Jack F. Glatting Sr. (MCP ’65) in the first father/daughter pair to earn planning master’s degrees at Tech.
1999 - Cheryl K. Contant (Program Director at University of Iowa) becomes sixth Program Director. The Glatting-Jackson Fellowship is instituted. Carol Barrett (MCP ’75) and Lester Solin (MCP ’70) are inducted in the inaugural class of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
2000 - Georiga Tech was the host of 42nd Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning in Atlanta.
2002 - The City Planning program becomes The City and Regional Planning program. The Master of City Planning (MCP) degree becomes the Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) degree.
2003 - Catherine Ross becomes Harry West Professor and Director of the newly founded Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development located in the new Technology Square Economic Development Building.
2005 - David Sawicki, FAICP, becomes Editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association.
2007 - Thomas D. Galloway dies tragically while serving as dean.
2008 - Bruce Stiftel, FAICP (Associate Dean at Florida State University) becomes seventh Program Director.
2009 - Galloway family endows Thomas D. Galloway Fellowships.
2010 - City & Regional Planning Program becomes the School of City & Regional Planning; Bruce Stiftel becomes the founding School Chair. The City and Regional Planning Ph.D. degree program is approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.
Georgia Tech hosts the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning annual Ph.D. Workshop. Steve French is workshop chair. Troels Adrian’s (MCRP ’10) paper, Funding Supportive Housing in Georgia, receives the Edward McClure award for best master’s student paper from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
Georgia Tech is co-organizer (with Sun Yat Sen University) of the 9th International Conference of the Urban Planning and Environments Association held in Guanzhou, China. Nancey Green Leigh and Perry Yang are co-chairs.
Georgia Tech Master of Science in Urban Design program is approved by Georgia Board of Regents with joint administration by the School of Architecture and the School of City and Regional Planning.
2011 - Georgia Tech’s MCRP program is ranked 8th in the nation by Planetizen.
Subhrajit Guhathakurta (Associate Director of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University) becomes the second Director of the Center for Geographic Information Systems
Ning Ai is the first graduate of the School of City & Regional Planning Ph.D. program.
2012 - Professors Subhrajit Guhathakurta and Nancey Green Leigh become co-editors of the Journal of Planning Education and Research published by Sage Publications in conjunction with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
The U.S. Department of Transportation names Georgia Tech home to one of ten national university transportation centers. Harry West Professor Catherine Ross is named as Co-Director of this National Center for Transportation Productivity and Management.
The Action Plan for the Fort Macpherson Community MCRP studio project receives an American Planning Association National Student Project Award.
2013 - Steven French is appointed Dean of the College of Architecture (now College of Design).
The Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology (MS-GIST) degree program is approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. The first 5 students enroll in the fall.
Thomas Hamed (MCRP Class of '15) is elected to the APA Student Representatives Council, Executive Committee.
Jesse Zaro-Moore's (MCRP Class of '14) paper, Notes from the Field on NSP1,NSP2, and NSP3: Policy Alternatives for Mitigating the Effects of Foreclosed and Abandoned Properties on Neighborhoods, receives the Edward McClure award for best master's student paper from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
2014 - The School is ranked 5th best planning school in the nation by Planetizen.
Georgia Tech team comprised of School of Architecture and School of City and Regional Planning Students reaches the finals in the Urban Land Institute Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition.Taylor Tyger (MCRP Class of '14) and Thomas Douthat are awarded Fulbright Scholarships. The Fall 2012 Sea Level Rise Studio wins the National APA Student Project Award.
2015 - Shelley Price (MCRP Class of '16) is elected to APA Student Representatives Council, Executive Committee.
Bruce Stiftel receives the Martin Meyerson Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
2016 - Georgia Tech team of MCRP, MS-UD, and MS-Computer Science students reaches the finals in the Urban Land Institute Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition.
The Georgia Tech College of Architecture becomes the Georgia Tech College of Design.
2017 - Georgia Tech's MCRP program is ranked 7th in the nation by Planetizen. Rebecca Van Dyke (MCRP Class of '18) is elected to APA Student Representatives Council, Executive Committee.
2018- Subhrajit Guhathakurta becomes the second chair of the School of City & Regional Planning.
Two Georgia Tech teams comprised of School of Architecture and School of City and Regional Planning Students reach the finals in the Urban Land Institute Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition.
Catherine Ross is named a Regents Professor by the University System of Georgia.
The first modular short course, “Confronting Homelessness,” is taught to a group of students and industry professionals.
2019 - Two Ph.D. students, Evan Mallen and Jessica Fisch win Institute-wide awards for Outstanding Graduate Instructor and Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant, respectively. The first student-driven studio in Puerto Rico takes place.
For More Information
Larry Keating, Professor Emeritus at the Georgia Tech College of Design, wrote a comprehensive 35-year history of the planning at Tech for the discipline's 50th anniversary. View and read the paper: “Georgia Institute of Technology Graduate Program in City and Regional Planning: The First 35 Years," by Larry Keating (2003).