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M.S. Urban Planning

The Master of Science in Urban Planning is a two-year accredited professional degree actively engaged in the practice of urban planning. The program connects the study of the urban built environment with grounded analysis of socioeconomic and political conditions in order to explore the tensions that arise between market forces, civil society, and the goals of planning. The program pays special attention to the potential of urban analytics and the importance of advocating for social justice through planning. In fact, it is 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 possible planning solutions for the future.
The Master of Science in Urban Planning program is rooted in a global outlook. By studying the impact of global linked processes (for example, immigration and climate change) locally, in our cities and communities, the program aims to foster new creative planning and policy approaches that will improve processes and outcomes in cities around the world. The curriculum emphasizes real-world problems and insists that planners are central to confronting them and to improving the life of urban dwellers—and in doing so, the program positions planners as social activists. The program’s graduates work in critical and leading roles in government, private firms, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, multilateral institutions, and international NGOs.
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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 is a team-based studio project, which takes place in the first year of the curriculum, and a thesis, which is carried out throughout the second year. The Urban Planning studio is not a “capstone” project but 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 “best practices” in planning.

Recently, the program has significantly updated the contents of its seminar electives and core curriculum courses to introduce more knowledge related to the global dimensions of planning and more critical assessment on the use of spatial analytical tools. For electives, in particular, the program now offers new knowledge- and skill-based courses on data analytics, machine learning, social entrepreneurship in the urban built environment, infrastructure planning in a global context, inclusion and housing, mobility and accessibility, and healthy global cities. Students can also now take case-based practicums, grounded in a coherent conceptual framework, to better connect with modes of practice. Also, a number of half-semester practicum courses are being offered on critical planning issues, including residential planning in a global context, economic development for social inclusion, global practices in disaster planning, transit in resilient urban systems, and mega projects in global cities.

The curriculum has shifted to further integrate studio 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 among 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 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
Jitendra Bajpai
Andrea Batista Schlesinger
Clarisa Bencomo
Anthony Borelli
Jason Brody
Jennifer Chang
Clara Chung
Vin Cipolla
Ryan Devlin
Charles Euchner
Peter Flamm
Flores A. Forbes
Ebru Gencer
Maxine Griffith
Boyeong Hong
Leon Hovsepian
Purnima Kapur
David Karnovsky
Rebecca Karp
Adam Lubinsky
Peter Marcotullio
Ariella Maron
Jonathan Martin
Victoria Mason-Ailey
Thomas Matarazzo
Andrew McGee
Brendan McLaughlin
Leah Meisterlin
Andrea Rizvi
Carsten Rodin
Francesco Rossini
Kaz Sakamoto
Ethel Sheffer
Kairos Shen
Howard Slatkin
Valerie Stahl
Jamie Torres Springer
Graham Trelstad
Jose Luis Vallejo
Anthony Vanky
Rachel Weinberger
Adam Weinstein
Kate Wittels
Douglas Woodward
Thomas Wright

Spring 2020 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
Pla4010‑1 Spring 2020
Planning For Urban Energy Systems
Peter Marcotullio
412 AVERY
TH 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11479
Pla4050‑1 Spring 2020
UP Elective Internship
Mike Montilla
BY APPT
1.5 Points
11480
Pla4151‑1 Spring 2020
Economics for Planners
Moshe Adler
114 AVERY
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11481
Pla4304‑1 Spring 2020
Introduction to Housing
Lance Freeman
300 BUELL NORTH
M 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11482
Pla4320‑1 Spring 2020
Urban Design For Planners
Stefan Al
204 FAYERWEATHER
W 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11483
Pla4620‑1 Spring 2020
Public Financing of Urban Development
Richard Froehlich
WARE LOUNGE
M 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11484
Pla6052‑1 Spring 2020
Planning Law
David Karnovsky
114 AVERY
TH 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11487
Pla6065‑1 Spring 2020
Environmental Impact Assessment
Graham Trelstad
200 BUELL
M 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11488
Pla6067‑1 Spring 2020
On Spatial Exclusion and Planning
Hiba Bou Akar
408 AVERY
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11584
PLA6102‑1 Spring 2020
Urban Informatics II
Anthony Vanky Syllabus
202 FAYERWEATHER
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11494
PLA6104‑1 Spring 2020
Sustaining Access and Mobility in Cities
Jitendra Bajpai
204 FAYERWEATHER
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
SESSION B
1.5 Points
11585
Pla6108‑1 Spring 2020
Land Use Planning
Jonathan Martin
300 BUELL SOUTH
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11495
Pla6113‑1 Spring 2020
Exploring Urban Data with Machine Learning
Boyeong Hong
202 FAYERWEATHER
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11586
Pla6121‑1 Spring 2020
Practicum: Residential Planning in Global Cities
Kate Dunham
204 FAYERWEATHER
M 11 AM - 1 PM
SESSION A
1.5 Points
11583
Pla6232‑1 Spring 2020
Advanced Spatial Analysis
Anthony Vanky
114 AVERY
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11496
Pla6267‑1 Spring 2020
Infrastructure Planning and Practice in Developing Countries
Andrea Rizvi
204 FAYERWEATHER
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
SESSION A
1.5 Points
11588
Pla6269‑1 Spring 2020
Approaches and Tools for Urban Economic Development
Jamie Torres Springer, Andrea Batista Schlesinger
203 FAYERWEATHER
W 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11497
Pla6573‑1 Spring 2020
Community Development Planning
Moira O'Neill
204 FAYERWEATHER
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11587
Pla6605‑1 Spring 2020
Urban Informality
Ryan Devlin
204 FAYERWEATHER
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11590
PLA6613‑1 Spring 2020
Social Entrepreneurship and the Urban Built Environment
Kate Wittels, Kairos Shen
204 FAYERWEATHER
TU 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11591
PLA6637‑1 Spring 2020
Practicum: Planning in the Cultural Space
Douglas Woodward, Vin Cipolla, Peter Flamm
300 BUELL SOUTH
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
16132
PLA6639‑1 Spring 2020
Data Science Methods for Urban Systems
Thomas Matarazzo
202 FAYERWEATHER
M 4 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
20102
Pla6911‑1 Spring 2020
Buenos Aires Studio
Jose Luis Vallejo, Ryan Devlin
323M FAYERWEATHER
F 1 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
14141
Pla6911‑2 Spring 2020
NYC Studio
Anthony Borelli, Graham Trelstad
204 FAYERWEATHER
W 3 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
14143
Pla6911‑3 Spring 2020
Milan Studio
Weiping Wu, Francesco Rossini
203 FAYERWEATHER
W 3 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
14149
Pla6911‑4 Spring 2020
NYC Waterfront Studio
Sybil Wa, Jason Brody
204 FAYERWEATHER
F 1 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
14153
Pla6911‑5 Spring 2020
Joint Architecture/UP Studio
Douglas Woodward, Richard Plunz
203 FAYERWEATHER
M + TH 2 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
9 Points
14155
Pla6919‑1 Spring 2020
Urban Planning Thesis II
Lance Freeman
BY APPOINTMENT
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11593
Pla6926‑1 Spring 2020
Advanced Research II
Weiping Wu
BY APPOINTMENT
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11608
Pla6930‑1 Spring 2020
Quantitative Methods
Lance Freeman
203 FAYERWEATHER/202 FAYERWEATHER
TH 11 AM -1 PM /TH 2 PM - 4 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
16914
A4890‑1 Spring 2020
Conflict Urbanism
Laura Kurgan Syllabus
300 BUELL SOUTH
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11361
A4407‑1 Spring 2020
Methods in Spatial Research
Carsten Rodin
200 BUELL
F 9 AM - 11 AM
SESSION A
1.5 Points
14040
A4063‑1 Spring 2020
Points Unknown: Cartographic Narratives
Juan Saldarriaga, Michael Krisch
WARE LOUNGE
F 11 AM -1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14014
A4552‑1 Spring 2020
Dark Space: Architecture Representation & Black Identity
Mario Gooden Syllabus
504 AVERY
TU 11 AM-1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11359
A4898‑1 Spring 2020
(Re)Programming - Museums
David van der Leer
505 AVERY
F 12 PM - 2 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14042
GR6892‑1 Spring 2020
Spatial Inequity: Subaltern Urbanism
TBD
TU 6:00  PM - 8:00 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
15776
PLAN4059‑1 Spring 2020
Circular Cities: A New Urban Future
Malo Hutson Syllabus All GSAPP Interdisciplinary
209 FAYERWEATHER
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
16341
Introduction to Columbia’s Urban Planning Program

Lectures in Planning Series (LiPS)

Spring 2020 Lectures in Planning Series
Urban-Tech Startups
February 25, 2020

Student Work

BirdyBird by Ri Le and Suprima Bhele
BirdyBird by Ri Le and Suprima Bhele was completed during the Urban Informatics II course led by Assistant Professor 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

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