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
Jitendra Bajpai
Andrea Batista Schlesinger
Anthony Borelli
Jennifer Chang
Clara Chung
Ryan Devlin
Charles Euchner
Maria Garces Marques
Ebru Gencer
Maxine Griffith
Leon Hovsepian
Purnima Kapur
David Karnovsky
Rebecca Karp
Adam Lubinsky
Peter Marcotullio
Megan Marini
Jonathan Martin
Victoria Mason-Ailey
Andrew McGee
Brendan McLaughlin
Leah Meisterlin
Lee Miller
Andrea Rizvi
Kaz Sakamoto
Ethel Sheffer
Kairos Shen
Howard Slatkin
Valerie Stahl
Jamie Torres Springer
Marcela Tovar-Restrepo
Graham Trelstad
Jose Luis Vallejo
Anthony Vanky
Rachel Weinberger
Adam Weinstein
Kate Wittels
Douglas Woodward

Spring 2019 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
Pla4010‑1 Spring 2019
Planning For Urban Energy Systems
Peter Marcotullio
408 AVERY
TH 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
65796
Pla4035‑1 Spring 2019
Influencing, Consensus Building, & Negotiating for Community Betterment
Lee Miller
203 FAYERWEATHER
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
17202
Pla4151‑1 Spring 2019
Economics for Planners
Moshe Adler REQUIRED 1st YR
114 AVERY HALL, RECITATIONS: 204 FAYERWEATHER
TU 9 AM - 11 AM; RECITATION SESSION 1: M 1 PM - 2 PM, RECITATION SESSION 2: W 10 AM - 11 AM, RECITATION SESSION 3: TH 1 PM - 2 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
70896
Pla4209‑2 Spring 2019
Planning Methods Lab
UP COMPUTER LAB
M 4 PM - 6 PM
0 Points
41358
Pla4304‑1 Spring 2019
Introduction to Housing
Lance Freeman
300 BUELL N
M 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
72596
Pla4320‑1 Spring 2019
Urban Design For Planners
Jose Luis Vallejo
204 FAYERWEATHER
W 11 AM - 1PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
73646
Pla4620‑1 Spring 2019
Public Financing of Urban Development
Richard Froehlich
300 BUELL SOUTH
M 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
76796
Pla6052‑1 Spring 2019
Planning Law
David Karnovsky REQUIRED 1st YR
114 AVERY HALL
TH 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
77896
Pla6065‑1 Spring 2019
Environmental Impact Assessment
Graham Trelstad
408 AVERY
M 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
80846
PLA6102‑1 Spring 2019
Urban Informatics II
Anthony Vanky
204 FAYERWEATHER
W 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
26530
PLA6103‑1 Spring 2019
Mobility Workshop
Anthony Vanky
204 FAYERWEATHER
TH 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
68247
PLA6104‑1 Spring 2019
Sustaining Access and Mobility in Cities
Jitendra Bajpai
409 AVERY
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
SES B: ¾ - 5/3
1.5 Points
83248
PLA6106‑1 Spring 2019
Urban Datascapes
Leah Meisterlin
200 BUELL
TU 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
93148
Pla6108‑1 Spring 2019
Land Use Planning
Jonathan Martin
300 BUELL SOUTH
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
89281
Pla6113‑1 Spring 2019
Exploring Urban Data with Machine Learning
Kaz Sakamoto CAP 23
202 FAYERWEATHER
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
83596
Pla6121‑1 Spring 2019
Practicum: Residential Planning in Global Cities
Kate Dunham CAP 30
204 FAYERWEATHER
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
SES A: 1/22-3/1
1.5 Points
87146
Pla6232‑1 Spring 2019
Advanced Spatial Analysis
Leah Meisterlin CAP 24
114 AVERY HALL
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
88446
Pla6267‑1 Spring 2019
Infrastructure Planning and Practice in Developing Countries
Andrea Rizvi
409 AVERY
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
SES A: 1/22-3/1
1.5 Points
91596
Pla6269‑1 Spring 2019
Approaches and Tools for Tools for Economic Development
Jamie Torres Springer, Andrea Batista Schlesinger
203 Fayerweather
W 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
92396
PLA6613‑1 Spring 2019
Social Entrepreneurship and the Urban Built Environment
Kairos Shen, Kate Wittels
204 FAYERWEATHER
TU 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
97496
Pla6621‑1 Spring 2019
Local Government Politics and Law
Moira O'Neill, Howard Slatkin
200 BUELL
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
98396
Pla6631‑1 Spring 2019
Global Healthy Cities
Malo Hutson
203 FAYERWEATHER
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
77279
Pla6641‑1 Spring 2019
Global Practices & Policy in Urban Risk, Resilience & Crises
Ebru Gencer
204 FAYERWEATHER
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
82529
Pla6700‑1 Spring 2019
Re Finance + Development
Brendan McLaughlin, Leon Hovsepian
200 BUELL
M 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
88529
Pla6911‑5 Spring 2019
Joint Arch/UP Studio
Richard Plunz, Douglas Woodward UP First Years Only, Via Studio Lottery
203 FAYERWEATHER
M + TH 2 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
9 Points
11396
Pla6911‑3 Spring 2019
Future of Pier 76: Expanding and Sustaining Hudson River Park
Maxine Griffith, Anthony Borelli UP First Years Only, Via Studio Lottery
300 AVERY
W 3 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
11779
Pla6911‑2 Spring 2019
Disaster Mgmt and Recovery in Post-Disaster Chile
Malo Hutson, Maria Garces UP First Years Only, Via Studio Lottery
203 FAYERWEATHER
W 3 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
13441
Pla6911‑4 Spring 2019
Neighborhood Impacts of Supertall Development
Ethel Sheffer, Sybil Wa UP First Years Only, Via Studio Lottery
204 FAYERWEATHER
F 1 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
14529
Pla6911‑1 Spring 2019
Madrid Future City Lab: Exploring Urban Commons
Jose Luis Vallejo, Megan Marini UP First Years Only, Via Studio Lottery
204 FAYERWEATHER
W 3 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
94691
Pla6919‑1 Spring 2019
Urban Planning Thesis II
Lance Freeman REQUIRED 2nd YR
BY APPOINTMENT
N/A
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
16196
Pla6926‑1 Spring 2019
Advanced Research II
Weiping Wu
BY APPOINTMENT
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
17446
A4890‑1 Spring 2019
Conflict Urbanism: Puerto Rico Now
Laura Kurgan, Frances Negron-Muntaner All GSAPP interdisciplinary, GSAS
HAMILTON 420
F 1 PM - 3 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
79032
A4045‑1 Spring 2019
Questions in Urbanism
Vishaan Chakrabarti All GSAPP Interdisciplinary Workshop
115 Avery
F 10 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
17196
A4064‑1 Spring 2019
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
22596
A4892‑1 Spring 2019
Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
Jia Zhang All GSAPP interdisciplinary , GSAS
WARE
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
88396
A4063‑1 Spring 2019
Points Unknown: Cartographic Narratives
Grga Basic, Michael Krisch All GSAPP Interdisciplinary
504 AVERY
F 11 AM -1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
86396
A4552‑1 Spring 2019
Dark Space: Architecture Representation & Black Identity
Mario Gooden All GSAPP Interdisciplinary
300 AVERY Hall
TU 11 AM-1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
27496
A4896‑1 Spring 2019
Who Let Them Build That? An Interdisciplinary Investigation of Six Places in New York
Justin Davidson ALL GSAPP_ INTERDISCP
409 AVERY
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
84284
A4898‑1 Spring 2019
(Re)Programming - Museums
David van der Leer ALL GSAPP_ INTERDISCP
505 AVERY
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
76047
A6787‑1 Spring 2019
Third Landscape: Urbanization in the Amazon
Anna Dietzsch All GSAPP Interdisciplinary
412 AVERY
F 11 AM- 1 PM
FULL SEMSTER
3 Points
91046
A4839‑1 Spring 2019
Aesthetics of Decay
412 AVERY
TU 4 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
16646
P4050‑1 Spring 2019
UP Elective Internship
Margaret Wiryaman
N/A
BY APPT
FULL SEMESTER
1.5 Points
66846
Pla4518‑1 Spring 2019
Urbanisms & Algorithms I
Luc Wilson
114 AVERY HALL
TU 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
77194
Introduction to Columbia’s Urban Planning Program
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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