M.S. Urban Planning

The Columbia University Master of Science in Urban Planning is an accredited two-year program of professional education. Actively engaged in practice, our curriculum connects the study of the urban built environment with grounded analysis of socioeconomic and political conditions. We explore the tensions between market forces, civil society, and the goals of planning, paying special attention to the role of urban analytics and the quest for social justice. Students learn to evaluate and shape efforts to develop and enhance cities and their communities in ways that foster healthy and sustainable living.

Located in New York City, our program promotes a global outlook. We look to planning issues locally and internationally for studio projects, classroom case studies, and thesis research. By studying the impact of global linked processes (e.g. immigration and climate change) as well as local conditions on cities and communities, we think creatively about planning and policy approaches to improve processes and outcomes in cities around the world.

Planning education promotes the redistribution of resources and social justice in cities as much as the creation of wealth. Our students connect challenges of urban development, sustainability and equity with the political and socioeconomic conditions that define them. They learn to engage and assess the increasing abundance and availability of data to address urban problems and inform planning efforts. Throughout the curriculum, the emphasis is on real-world problems and how planners can act to improve the lives of urban residents.

Being part of GSAPP, our program connects with design, preservation, and real estate faculty and professionals to add to ideas and techniques developed by planners and social activists. We also offer a range of curriculum and dual-degree options within and beyond GSAPP for students interested in additional content expertise and skills. Our graduates work in critical and leading roles in government, private firms, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, multilateral institutions, and international NGOs.

Curriculum

The faculty shares a core pedagogic belief that the best professional education takes place in an environment of learning by doing, reinforced by classroom work and group projects. Planners must have a thorough understanding of the economic, social, political, legal, and physical forces that shape the built environment.

Curriculum offerings equip students with familiarity with the range of analytic and research techniques used by planners, practical skills through a semester-long studio project and other class projects, and competency in both general and specialized knowledge of planning. Students are required to choose at least one concentration area among four options: Built Environment, Community and Economic Development, International Planning and Development, and Urban Analytics. Students take a minimum of four courses and 12 points in a concentration.

Studios
In the Urban Planning studio, there is a real client with a real-world issue that will be analyzed by students working as a team under the direction of faculty. The deliverables that results will reflect critical analysis of socioeconomic, environmental, and political conditions as well as stakeholder engagement, and encourage students to consider “best practices” in planning and innovative thinking. Studio takes place in the spring of the students’ first year, and is thus not a “capstone” project but a way of integrating classroom learning with practical experience early in the students’ education.
Current Faculty
Moshe Adler
Andrea Batista Schlesinger
Anthony Borelli
Jennifer Chang
Clara Chung
Charles Euchner
Ebru Gencer
Eldad Gothelf
Maxine Griffith
Sandy Hornick
David Karnovsky
Floyd Lapp
Adam Lubinsky
Peter Marcotullio
Megan Marini
Jonathan Martin
Andrew McGee
Leah Meisterlin
Lee Miller
Andrea Rizvi
Kaz Sakamoto
Ethel Sheffer
Kairos Shen
Howard Slatkin
Jamie Torres Springer
Marcela Tovar-Restrepo
Graham Trelstad
Jose Luis Vallejo
Anthony Vanky
Douglas Woodward
Thomas Wright

Fall 2018 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
Pla4008‑1 Fall 2018
History and Theory of Planning
Hiba Bou Akar
114 Avery; (201 Fayerweather, 200 Buell, 300 North)
M 10 AM - 12 PM; 12 PM - 1 PM (201 Fayerweather, 200 Buell, 300 North)
Full Semester
3 Points
66947
Pla4022‑1 Fall 2018
Fundamentals of Urban Digital Design
Jennifer Chang, Andrew McGee
201 Fayerweather, UP Computer Lab
F 2 PM - 4 PM, LAB F 4 PM - 6 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
67696
Pla4050‑1 Fall 2018
UP Elective Internship
Margaret Wiryaman Open to M.S. UP 2nd Year With Approval Only - Via Application
Full Semester
1.5 Points
68546
Pla4208‑1 Fall 2018
Planning Methods
Malo Hutson Required for 1st Year, One Lab is Required
200 South Fayerweather
W 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
88146
Pla4209‑1 Fall 2018
Planning Methods Lab
Required for 1st Year, CAP 18
UP Computer Lab
M 2 PM - 4 PM
Full Semester
0 Points
91346
Pla4209‑2 Fall 2018
Planning Methods Lab
Required for 1st Year, CAP 18
UP Computer Lab
M 4 PM - 6 PM
Full Semester
0 Points
92346
Pla4209‑3 Fall 2018
Planning Methods Lab
Required for 1st Year, CAP 18
UP Computer Lab
TH 4 PM - 6 PM
Full Semester
0 Points
92846
Pla4577‑1 Fall 2018
Geographic Information Systems
Leah Meisterlin Required for M.S. UP 1st Year
113 Avery
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
Full Semester
3 Points
95896
Pla4578‑3 Fall 2018
GIS Lab
Clara Chung Required for 1st Year, Cap 22
UP Computer Lab
TH 6 PM - 8 PM
Full Semester
0 Points
76279
Pla4578‑4 Fall 2018
GIS Lab for Architecture and Urban Design
Grga Basic Cap 20
UP Computer Lab
W 1 - 3 PM
Full Semester
0 Points
79529
Pla4578‑1 Fall 2018
GIS Lab
Kaz Sakamoto Required for 1st Year, Cap 22
UP Computer Lab
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
Full Semester
0 Points
97046
Pla4578‑2 Fall 2018
GIS Lab
Kaz Sakamoto Required for 1st Year, Cap 22
UP Computer Lab
W 6 PM - 8 PM
Full Semester
0 Points
98396
PLA6003‑1 Fall 2018
Genesis and Development of Zoning
Douglas Woodward, Purnima Kapur
201 Fayerweather
TH 6 PM - 8 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
63496
PLA6009‑1 Fall 2018
Introduction to Environmental Analysis
Peter Marcotullio
408 Avery & 200 Fayerweather North
TH 9 AM - 10 AM & TH 10 AM - 11 AM
Full Semester
3 Points
81046
Pla6067‑1 Fall 2018
On Spatial Exclusion and Planning
Hiba Bou Akar
201 Fayerweather
M 2PM - 4PM
Full Semester
3 Points
16446
Pla6088‑1 Fall 2018
Introduction to International Development
Marcela Tovar-Restrepo
201 Fayerweather
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
85030
Pla6330‑1 Fall 2018
Site Planning & Support Systems
Graham Trelstad
115 Avery
F 9 AM - 11 AM
Full Semester
3 Points
90941
Pla6434‑1 Fall 2018
Introduction to Transportation Planning
Floyd Lapp
115 Avery
TU 3 PM - 5 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
13443
Pla6526‑1 Fall 2018
Chinese Urbanism in Global Context
Weiping Wu
300 Buell South
W 3 PM - 5 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
13279
Pla6573‑1 Fall 2018
Community Development Planning
Lance Freeman
200 Buell
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
11196
Pla6581‑1 Fall 2018
Practicum: Planning & Mega Projects In Global Cities
Adam Lubinsky
300 Buell South
W 6 PM - 8 PM
Ses B= 10/22-11/30
1.5 Points
12596
Pla6586‑1 Fall 2018
Writing the City
Charles Euchner
201 Fayerweather
M 4 PM - 6 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
13596
PLA6615‑1 Fall 2018
Planning for Resilience: Practicum on Santiago de Los Caballeros
Marcela Tovar-Restrepo CAP 12
201 Fayerweather
TH 2 PM - 4 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
88696
PLA6617‑1 Fall 2018
Resilient Urban Systems: Practicum on Transit
Thaddeus Pawlowski
200 Buell
TU 3 PM - 5 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
16346
PLA6619‑1 Fall 2018
Urban Informatics I
Anthony Vanky Cap 23
201 Fayerweather
M 6 PM - 8 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
27546
PLA6619‑2 Fall 2018
Urban Informatics I
Anthony Vanky
201 Fayerweather
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
76201
Pla6918‑1 Fall 2018
Thesis I Workshop
Lance Freeman Required for M.S. UP 2nd Year
114 Avery
W 9 AM - 11 AM
Full Semester
3 Points
20896
Pla6919‑1 Fall 2018
Urban Planning Thesis II
11146
Pla6930‑1 Fall 2018
Advanced Quantitative Techniques
Lance Freeman
200 Buell & Urban Planning Computer Lab
TH 11 AM - 1 PM; TH 2 PM - 4 PM (Lab)
Full Semester
3 Points
26096
PLA6939‑1 Fall 2018
Sustainable Urban Planning and Design
Jonathan Martin
300 Buell South
F 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
76646
PLA6943‑1 Fall 2018
Politics of Community Planning and Participation
Ethel Sheffer
115 Avery
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
92046
Pla6909‑1 Fall 2018
Advanced Studio III - Joint Historic Preservation/Urban Planning Studio
Erica Avrami, William Raynolds
300 Buell North
TU 2 PM - 6 PM
Full Semester
6 Points
66096
Pla6925‑1 Fall 2018
Advanced Research I
Weiping Wu By Appointment
N/A
N/A
Full Semester
2 or 3 Points
21546
A6708‑1 Fall 2018
Sustainable Retrofits
Michael Adlerstein
655 Schermerhorn
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
Ses B= 10/22-11/30
1.5 Points
76781
A6785‑1 Fall 2018
Theory of City Form
Vishaan Chakrabarti All GSAPP Interdisciplinary
200 Fayerweather South
F 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
66446
A6783‑1 Fall 2018
Narrative Urbanism: Strategic Storytelling For Designers and Planners
Cassim Shepard All GSAPP Interdisciplinary, GSAS
115 Avery
F 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
72191
Video produced by Urban Planning students as part of the course “Hong Kong as a Palimpsest: Transit-Induced Redevelopment in To Kwa Wan” led by Weiping Wu and Jose Luis Vallejo.
RIO: DESIGN THINKING FOR HEALTH URBAN ENVIRONMENT
Video produced by Urban Planning students of the Spring 2017 course “Rio: Design Thinking for Health Urban Environment”, taught by Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo.
Recent News
Dual Degree Programs

M.S. in Urban Planning and Master of Architecture

M.S. in Urban Planning and M.S. in Historic Preservation

M.S. in Urban Planning and M.S. in Real Estate Development

M.S. in Urban Planning and Business

M.S. in Urban Planning and International Affairs

M.S. in Urban Planning and Law

M.S. in Urban Planning and Social Work

M.S. in Urban Planning and Public Health

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