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
Clara Chung
Charles Euchner
Eldad Gothelf
Floyd Lapp
Adam Lubinsky
Peter Marcotullio
Jonathan Martin
Leah Meisterlin
Lee Miller
Moira O'Neill
Kathleen O'Nieal
Kaz Sakamoto
Ethel Sheffer
Kairos Shen
Howard Slatkin
Marcela Tovar-Restrepo
Graham Trelstad
Jose Luis Vallejo
Jeremy White
Douglas Woodward

Spring 2018 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
Pla4010‑1 Spring 2018
Planning For Urban Energy Systems
Peter Marcotullio
408 Avery
TH 9 AM - 11 AM
Full Semester
3 Points
11946
Pla4151 Spring 2018
Economics For Planners
Moshe Adler Required for 1st Year
114 Avery, 201 Fayerweather (Recitation)
TU 9 AM - 11 AM, Recitation 1: M 1 PM - 2 PM; Recitation 2: W 10 AM - 11 AM, Recitation 3: TH 1 PM - 2 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
94255
Pla4304‑1 Spring 2018
Introduction to Housing
Lance Freeman
408 Avery
M 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
17046
Pla4320‑1 Spring 2018
Urban Design For Planners
Justin Moore
200 Fayerweather North
TH 11 AM - 1PM
Full Semester
3 Points
17996
Pla4620‑1 Spring 2018
Public Financing of Urban Development
Richard Froehlich
300 Buell South
M 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
20846
Pla6052‑1 Spring 2018
Planning Law
David Karnovsky Required for 1st Year
114 Avery
TH 6:30 PM - 9 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
21797
Pla6065‑1 Spring 2018
Environmental Impact Assessment
Graham Trelstad
408 Avery
M 9 AM - 11 AM
Full Semester
3 Points
22747
Pla6108‑1 Spring 2018
Land Use Planning
Jonathan Martin
300 Buell South
F 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
26346
Pla6111‑1 Spring 2018
Digital Restructuring of Urban Space
Leah Meisterlin
200 North Buell
TU 3 PM - 5 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
27097
Pla6113‑1 Spring 2018
Exploring Urban Data With Machine Learning
Kaz Sakamoto Cap 20
200 Fayerweather North
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
Session B: 3/5 - 4/30
1.5 Points
27746
Pla6121‑1 Spring 2018
Practicum: Residential Planning in Global Cities
Kate Dunham Cap 20
200 Buell
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
Session A: 1/16-3/2
1.5 Points
28497
Pla6232‑1 Spring 2018
Advanced Spatial Analysis
Leah Meisterlin
114 Avery
W 9 AM - 11 AM
Full Semester
3 Points
22191
Pla6267‑1 Spring 2018
Infrastructure Planning and Practice in Developing Countries
Andrea Rizvi
201 Fayerweather
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
Session A: 1/16-3/2
1.5 Points
68396
Pla6269‑1 Spring 2018
Urban Economic Development Practicum: Achieving Outcomes for Inclusive Growth
Jamie Torres Springer, Andrea Batista Schlesinger
201 Fayerweather
M 11 AM - 1 PM
Session B: 3/5 - 4/30
1.5 Points
81546
Pla6605‑1 Spring 2018
Historical Development of Urban Informality
Alejandro de Castro Mazarro
200 Buell
TH 9 AM - 11 AM
Full Semester
3 Points
71247
PLA6613‑1 Spring 2018
Social Entrepreneurship and the Urban Built Environment
Kairos Shen, Thaddeus Pawlowski
600 Avery
TU 3 PM - 5 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
19691
Pla6621‑1 Spring 2018
Local Government Politics and Law
Moira O'Neill, Howard Slatkin
409 Avery
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
27496
Pla6631‑1 Spring 2018
Global Healthy Cities
Malo Hutson
200 Buell
W 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
61779
Pla6641‑1 Spring 2018
Practicum: Global Practices in Risk Reduction & Resilience
Ebru Gencer
200 Buell
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
Session B: 3/5 - 4/30
1.5 Points
16029
Pla6911‑5 Spring 2018
The Global Campus
Maxine Griffith, Thomas Wright Required for UP 1st Years Only, Via Studio Lottery
323M Fayerweather
W 3 PM - 7 PM
Full Semester
6 Points
62029
Pla6911‑1 Spring 2018
Transformational Waterfront Planning in Brooklyn + Queens
Sandy Hornick Required for UP 1st Years Only, Via Studio Lottery
300 Avery
W 3 PM - 7 PM
Full Semester
6 Points
69255
Pla6911‑3 Spring 2018
Hong Kong as Palimpsest: Transit-Induced Redevelopment
Weiping Wu, Jose Luis Vallejo Required for UP 1st Years Only, Via Studio Lottery
320M Fayerweather
W 3 PM - 7 PM
Full Semester
6 Points
75030
Pla6911‑4 Spring 2018
Creating a Pilot Emergency Planning Toolkit
Ethel Sheffer, Graham Trelstad Required for UP 1st Years Only, Via Studio Lottery
323M Fayerweather
M 2 PM - 6 PM
Full Semester
6 Points
78280
Pla6911‑2 Spring 2018
Neighborhood Change, Displacement, and Health
Malo Hutson, Kian Tajbakhsh Required for UP 1st Years Only, Via Studio Lottery
200N/ 201 Fayerweather
W 3 PM - 7 PM
Full Semester
6 Points
82529
Pla6911‑6 Spring 2018
Genoa, Italy: Negotiating Fragments
Richard Plunz, Douglas Woodward Required for UP 1st Years Only, Via Studio Lottery, Joint 2nd Year Arch
200N/ 201 Fayerweather
M & TH 2 PM - 6 PM
Full Semester
9 Points
87029
Pla6919‑1 Spring 2018
Urban Planning Thesis II
Lance Freeman Required for 2nd Year
By Appointment
Full Semester
3 Points
78442
Pla6926‑1 Spring 2018
Advanced Research II
Weiping Wu
By Appointment
Full Semester
3 Points
97191
A4045‑1 Spring 2018
Questions in Urbanism
Vishaan Chakrabarti All GSAPP Interdisciplinary Workshop
115 Avery
F 10 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
63779
A4064‑1 Spring 2018
Informal Urbanisms: Incrementalism and Citizen Participation in the Built Environment
Cassim Shepard All GSAPP Interdisciplinary
408 Avery
F 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
67446
A4892‑2 Spring 2018
Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
Agnes Chang All GSAPP Interdisciplinary, GSAS
114 Avery Hall
W 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
18444
A4892‑1 Spring 2018
Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
Juan Saldarriaga All GSAPP Interdisciplinary, GSAS
600 Avery
F 9 AM - 11 AM
Full Semester
3 Points
81796
A4063‑1 Spring 2018
Points Unknown: Cartographic Narratives
Grga Basic, Michael Krisch All GSAPP Interdisciplinary, Joint Journalism
Ware Lounge (600 Avery)
F 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
66596
A4069‑1 Spring 2018
Navigating the Hudson Valley
Sandro Marpillero All GSAPP Interdisciplinary Workshop
505 Avery
F 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
12897
P4050‑1 Spring 2018
UP Elective Internship
Margaret Wiryaman
By Appointment
1.5 Points
15846
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