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URP 508 – Spatial Thinking and Environmental Systems


This class is roughly divided into two, unequal parts. In the first 2/3rds of the semester, we will focus on understanding and evaluating the built environment. This will include:

  • Reading the built environment to see its patterns, elements, and underlying systems
  • Creating a graphic site inventory
  • Analyzing a site's potential and constraints relative to different uses, users, and surrounding conditions
  • Having the language to critique the form and layout of existing and proposed developments
  • Understanding the physical implications of different density, design, and parking regulations
  • Building a repartee of well built examples

The second 1/3 of this class will introduce different environmental systems while emphasizing the direct environmental consequences and the indirect human health impacts of different development patterns and existing urban conditions. We believe that addressing contemporary planning challenges, such as climate change, aging gray infrastructure, air and water pollution, low density growth, as well as potential solutions, such as renaturalization and green infrastructure, necessitate a basic ecological literacy.


Class Instruction Mode:  Hybrid 

Mon 4:00-7:00pm 1360 A&AB


Larissa Larsen


Course Brief

Plan Your Future
Housing, Community, and Economic Development
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Physical Planning and Design
Transportation Planning
Global and Comparative Planning