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M.S. Urban Planning

The Master of Science in Urban Planning is a two-year accredited professional degree. Our program takes a comparative, global perspective to urban planning, centering social justice and critical practice. It connects the study of the urban built environment with grounded analysis of socioeconomic and political conditions to inform planning practice and praxis toward social, racial, and climate justice. We prepare students to confront and break down structures and practices of oppression rooted in class inequality, racism, and sexism. By studying the impact of global processes (such as immigration, climate change, and public health) on cities, neighborhoods, and communities—across the Global North and Global South—the program aims to foster new, creative planning and policy approaches that will improve processes and outcomes in cities around the world.
The program pays close attention to a range of methodological approaches bringing together urban analytics, grounded field research, and community engagement to address real-world planning issues. It builds on our record as one of the first planning programs in the United States to engage data science and visualization alongside spatial analysis to tackle today’s urban problems and inform planning solutions for the future. Our graduates work in critical and leading roles in government, private firms, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, multilateral institutions, and international NGOs.
IMPORTANT LINKS AND INFORMATION

For more information about the program, please email the Program Manager: Emily Junker.

Curriculum
The Master of Science in Urban Planning program offers four concentrations: Built Environment, Community and Economic Development, International Planning and Development, and Urban Analytics. At the core of the program are a team-based studio course, which takes place in the first year, and a thesis or professional capstone, which is carried out throughout the second year. The Urban Planning Studio is a way of modeling what it means to incorporate intellectual questions into practical proposals. The studio revolves around a real client with a real-world issue. Students work as a group under the direction of faculty, producing critical and innovative analysis of socioeconomic, environmental, and political conditions as well as stakeholder engagement. In many ways, the studio introduces, considers, and evaluates a range of scenarios in approaching complex problems.

Recently, the program has significantly updated the contents of its electives and core curriculum courses to introduce more knowledge related to the global dimensions of planning, more systematic understanding of racism and spatial inequality, and more critical assessment on the use of analytical tools. For electives, in particular, the program now offers new, knowledge- and skill-based courses on data analytics, machine learning, equitable climate action, adaptation to climate change, urban mobility and accessibility in a global context, inclusion and housing, and healthy global cities. Students can also take case-based practicums, grounded in a coherent conceptual framework, to better connect with modes of practice. In addition, a number of half-semester practicum courses are offered, including residential planning in a global context, urban public infrastructure, project management, affordable housing in high-demand cities, and mega projects in global cities.

The curriculum has shifted to further integrate studios and seminars—with seasoned practitioners teaming up with more academically-oriented faculty to better unite theory and practice. The program has also emphasized new collaborations with the design faculty to offer studios and courses that enable substantive collaboration between planning and design students.

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 resulting deliverables reflect critical analyses of socioeconomic, environmental, and political conditions as well as stakeholder engagement, and encourage students to consider innovative practices in planning and critical 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
Jitendra Bajpai
Andrea Batista Schlesinger
Clarisa Bencomo
Anthony Borelli
Clara Chung
Vin Cipolla
Roberta Fennessy
Peter Flamm
Flores A. Forbes
Adam Freed
Ebru Gencer
Maxine Griffith
Boyeong Hong
Leon Hovsepian
Purnima Kapur
Rebecca Karp
Jeffrey Lin
Adam Lubinsky
Peter Marcotullio
Ariella Maron
Jonathan Martin
Victoria Mason-Ailey
Brendan McLaughlin
Leah Meisterlin
Olivia Moss
Kate Owens
Carsten Rodin
Kaz Sakamoto
Howard Slatkin
Anna Stokes
Adam Tanaka
Jamie Torres Springer
Graham Trelstad
Jose Luis Vallejo
Rachel Weinberger
Adam Weinstein
Kate Wittels
Douglas Woodward
Thomas Wright

Spring 2021 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
P4050‑1 Spring 2021
UP Elective Internship
Emily Junker
REMOTE
BY APPOINTMENT
FULL SEMESTER
1.5 Points
12728
Pla4010‑1 Spring 2021
Planning For Urban Energy Systems
Peter Marcotullio
REMOTE
TH 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12727
Pla4151‑1 Spring 2021
Economics for Planners
Jeffrey Lin
REMOTE
TH 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12729
Pla4320‑1 Spring 2021
Urban Design For Planners
Claire douglas hk dunston
Haoran zhang jiabao sun
Jiuyu wang lily li sm
Stefan Al
REMOTE
M 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12730
Pla4620‑1 Spring 2021
Public Financing of Urban Development
Richard Froehlich
REMOTE
M 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12731
Pla6052‑1 Spring 2021
Planning Law
Moira O'Neill
REMOTE
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12732
Pla6065‑1 Spring 2021
Environmental Impact Assessment
Graham Trelstad
REMOTE
M 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12733
Pla6067‑1 Spring 2021
On Spatial Exclusion and Planning
Hiba Bou Akar
REMOTE
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12734
PLA6104‑1 Spring 2021
Sustaining Access and Mobility in Cities
Jitendra Bajpai
REMOTE
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
SES B
1.5 Points
12735
Pla6108‑1 Spring 2021
Land Use Planning
Jonathan Martin
REMOTE
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12736
Pla6113‑1 Spring 2021
Exploring Urban Data with Machine Learning
Up hong helenarong chengliangli jiabaosun sp21 05 caserateclusteringmap
Up hong priskamarianne sp21 measuringlandcoverchange
Up hong qilin sp21 eudmlcover
Boyeong Hong
REMOTE
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12737
Pla6121‑1 Spring 2021
Practicum: Residential Planning in Global Cities
Tokyo
Portland
Miami
Kate Dunham
REMOTE
M 11 AM - 1 PM
SES A
1.5 Points
12741
Pla6232‑1 Spring 2021
Advanced Spatial Analysis
Up meisterlin juanmoreno sebastiansalas zeinebsellami hanzhangyang sp21
Up meisterlin marianahinojosa jeankim spenserkrut sp21
Up meisterlin mylesagudelo reginaalcazar lanierhagerty elainehsieh up21
Leah Meisterlin
REMOTE
TH 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12743
Pla6267‑1 Spring 2021
Infrastructure Planning and Practice in Developing Countries
Kate Owens
REMOTE
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
SES A
1.5 Points
12753
Pla6269‑1 Spring 2021
Approaches and Tools for Urban Economic Development
Jamie Torres Springer, Andrea Batista Schlesinger
REMOTE
W 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12785
Pla6581‑1 Spring 2021
Practicum: Planning & Mega Projects In Global Cities
Adam Lubinsky
REMOTE
M 11 AM - 1 PM
SES B
1.5 Points
12786
PLA6613‑1 Spring 2021
Built Environment Disruption: Partnerships and Urban Technology
Kate Wittels, Adam Tanaka
REMOTE
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12787
Pla6631‑1 Spring 2021
Global Healthy Cities
Malo Hutson
REMOTE
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12788
PLA6645‑1 Spring 2021
Prototyping for Urban Policy & Decision-Making
Kaz Sakamoto
REMOTE
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
13827
PLA6647‑1 Spring 2021
Project Management: From Idea to Execution
Rebecca Karp
REMOTE
M 11 AM - 1 PM
SES B
1.5 Points
12790
Pla6700‑1 Spring 2021
Re Finance + Development
Olivia Moss
REMOTE
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12792
PLA6773‑1 Spring 2021
Climate Adaptation in Cities
Adam Freed
REMOTE
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12793
PLA6775‑1 Spring 2021
Cities in Crisis: Planning in Comparative Perspectives
Up bou akar juanmoreno sp21 restoring landfills
Up bou akar sebastianandersson sp21 beirut blast political crisis
Up bouakar hayesbuchanan sp21 carribean solidarities
Hiba Bou Akar
REMOTE
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12803
PLA6777‑1 Spring 2021
Planning, Politics & Power
Maxine Griffith
REMOTE
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12804
Pla6911‑1 Spring 2021
Retail Apocalypse: Strategies for Local Communities
Anthony Borelli, Sybil Wa
408 AVERY
W 9 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
13746
Pla6911‑2 Spring 2021
A Resilient Governors Island
Stefan Al, Purnima Kapur
409 AVERY
F 9 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
13747
Pla6911‑3 Spring 2021
Regional Solutions for Equitable Urban Food Systems
Graham Trelstad, Roberta Fennessy
412 AVERY
F 9 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
13751
Pla6911‑4 Spring 2021
 Caribbean Reconnections in Culebra: Plan to Implementation
Richard Plunz, Douglas Woodward
WARE LOUNGE
F 9 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
9 Points
13753
Pla6918‑1 Spring 2021
Thesis I Workshop
Weiping Wu
BY APPOINTMENT
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
15034
Pla6919‑1 Spring 2021
Urban Planning Thesis II
Weiping Wu
BY APPOINTMENT
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12795
Pla6926‑1 Spring 2021
Advanced Research II
Weiping Wu
REMOTE
BY APPOINTMENT
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12796
A4890‑1 Spring 2021
Conflict Urbanism
Alina abouelenin transnationalism across the us mexican border
Al tariq shabazz, camille brustlein anatomy of oppression and violence
Farah alkhoury, aditi shetye madan tribes
Laura Kurgan
REMOTE
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11829
A4063‑1 Spring 2021
Points Unknown: Cartographic Narratives
Vs krischsaldarriaga chrysothemikouloumentas yuanmingma jilshah dhaniayasmin sp21 census sm
Vs krischsaldarriaga yoojinlee konstantinamarinaki cleliasimpson sp21 climatechange sm
Juan Saldarriaga, Michael Krisch
REMOTE
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11292
A4407‑1 Spring 2021
Methods in Spatial Research
Arch brawley adelalocsin sp21 01 reuse
Arch brawley adelalocsin sp21 02 miniatlas 1
Arch brawley alicefang sp21 01 archives
Dare Brawley
REMOTE
F 9 AM - 11 AM
SES A
1.5 Points
11822
A4411‑1 Spring 2021
Climate, Technology, and Society
Reinhold Martin
REMOTE
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
13067
A4437‑1 Spring 2021
A Tale of Two Cities: New York and Johannesburg
Ifeoma Ebo
REMOTE
TH 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
13106
A4552‑1 Spring 2021
Dark Space: Architecture Representation & Black Identity
Mario Gooden
REMOTE
TU 11 AM-1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11841
Pla6272‑1 Spring 2021
History of Real Estate Development in New York City
Kate Ascher
HYBRID- WOOD AUDITORIUM
TH 11 AM -1 PM
SES A
1.5 Points
12866
Introduction to Columbia’s Urban Planning Program

Lectures in Planning Series (LiPS)

Spring 2021 Lectures in Planning Series
Francesca Russello Ammon
March 23, 2021

Student Work

“Crisscrossing the Park” by Elaine Hsieh
Completed during the Spring 2020 Urban Informatics II course led by Anthony Vanky. Read more about the project here.
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