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From the Chair

From the Chair

Welcome to the Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Urban and regional planners improve the lives of people through changing the environmental quality, economic vitality, and social equity of places.  At Taubman College, we educate and encourage our students to be change-oriented leaders in both the professional world and the academy. Two important themes -- social justice and environmental sustainability -- are central to our teaching, research, and working with community partners, all aimed at improving public decision-making and the physical design of spaces. Through a focused curriculum, our students grapple with the challenges of these themes, and they enrich their educational experience by tapping into the remarkable campus-wide resources that are available here at one of the world’s premier public universities.

Our students are at the core of our program. Students come to planning at Michigan with high ideals,  a passion for working closely with communities,  a commitment to diversity, and a dedication to making a difference through their work. We offer a flexible package of skills and experiences, including hands-on projects in the nearby city of Detroit, global and comparative perspectives, spatial analysis techniques, data-driven research skills, advanced training in writing, progressive real estate, urban informatics, community health, and much more. Students here develop strong professional ties with planning colleagues, with other colleagues across campus, and with connections throughout the vast Michigan alumni network. Such relationships are vital, not only for learning, but also for enhancing careers as professionals and scholars.

Taubman College students do more than attend classes. They broaden their knowledge and experience through internships, volunteering, and travel. In turn, they engage with communities through participation in the student-led journal, Agora, and intensive field study in the Expanded Horizons program. Involvement in Michigan Planners Network and national competitions, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition, give our students experience in advocacy.

At Taubman College, we believe that we can make change through planning. If you share that belief, we invite you to join us as we strengthen and enhance our cities and communities.


Joe Grengs
Chair and Associate Professor

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