Urban Design

The urban design specialization within City and Regional Planning is intended for planners who seek to engage effectively with architects, developers, and institutions around issues of urban form and design. Planners will develop an understanding of how planning and policy alter the built environment, by delineating the legal, regulatory, economic, and social context within which design can occur. Planners will learn concepts and approaches used by architects in the design of urban places, and will learn to develop plans and policies that support good urban design.

The curriculum builds upon three major bodies of material:

  • Urban history and design theory as a way of understanding the formal and architectural order of the city
  • Economics and development methods as a basis for formulating development projects
  • Process and methods as a means of understanding professional practice and of designing policies and strategies that can be implemented in a private market regulated by public bodies.

In support of this specialization, the Architecture and City and Regional Planning Programs offer a sequence of introductory courses in urban design and several related elective courses. The courses are open to all planning students. However, those interested in the urban design specialization should have at least an introductory, academic or professional background in a design-related field, such as architecture, engineering, or landscape architecture. Students without this background in design and physical dimensionality will need to find courses either at Tech or elsewhere to gain these essential skills to being an effective urban design planner.

Students with undergraduate degrees in architecture may want to consider the dual M.ARCH/MCRP Degree Program.

Required Courses

Courses required in the urban design specialization include:

CP 6834 Urban Design Policy and Implementation
CP 6836 Urban Ecological Design
ARCH 6151 Theories of Urban Design or  COA 6151 History of Urban Form

Additional Courses

In addition, students must take one additional course that supports the urban design specialization, which may be selected from those listed below or as approved by the student’s advisor.

COA 6120 Retrofitting Suburbia
CP 6832 Introduction to Urban Design
CP 8823 Site Planning and Urban Simulation
CP 6005 Drawing for Planners (1 credit, needing at least 2 more CHs from this list)
CP 8881 Visualization for Planners (1 credit, needing at least 2 more CHs from this list)
CP 6190 Introduction to Climate Change
CP 6241 Water Resource Planning
​CP 6850 Public Health and the Urban Environment
CP 6112 Introduction to Land Use Planning
CP 6213 Urban Environmental Planning & Design
CP 6311 Introduction to Transportation Planning
CP 6331 Land Use and Transportation Interaction
CP 6611 Introduction to Real Estate Finance and Development
CP 6640 Applied Real Estate Methods
CP 6422 Economic Development Analysis and Practice
CP 6760 Negotiation, Facilitation and Conflict Management
Arch 6151 Theories of Urban Design
Arch 6153 History and Theory of the Modern City
Arch 6228 Analytic Investment in Urban Design
Arch 7041‐2 Urban Design Workshop
BC 6175 Real Estate Development and Construction
CEE 8813 Complete Streets Design
LMC 6650 Project Studio, Local Data
​PubP 6604 Urban Policy Analysis
​PubP 6740 Social Justice and Design

Urban Design Faculty

Professor of the Practice Michael Dobbins 
Associate Professor Perry Yang 
Associate Professor Richard Dagenhart, School of Architecture 
Professor Ellen Dunham-Jones, School of Architecture