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URP Mission



Starting with the UM Urban and Regional Planning Program’s mission statement adopted in 2006, the program faculty and other stakeholders engaged in an extended strategic planning during the 2013-2014 academic year to review and update the mission of the program based on changes externally in the wider planning world and internally within the program. Through that process, the program’s mission was broken up into three components:

  • vision, which focuses on the impact of planning on the world and speaks to the importance of the work produced by program faculty, staff, and students;
  • mission, which focuses on what the program does to foster good planning; and
  • core values and commitments, which speaks to the values and actions the participants seek to hold themselves to as they conduct the mission.


We believe that planning can change the world. Through place-based and interdisciplinary approaches, good planning promotes a just and sustainable future.


Michigan Planning empowers faculty, students, and community partners to promote social justice and enhance sustainability through urban and regional planning. We pursue innovative and applied scholarship, multi-disciplinary and engaged learning, and meaningful public service.

Leveraging location and resources, we engage today’s most challenging issues in the U.S. and around the world: the extreme disparities between wealth and poverty; the tensions between market and civic rationality; the contradictions of growth and abandonment; the causes and effects of environmental degradation; and the causes and effects of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic segregation.

We work to improve public decision-making and the physical design of urban spaces by promoting planning with a long-term, regional, and socially responsible perspective.


Social Justice
We seek public planning, policy, and design initiatives that maximize opportunities for all people—especially those who have been marginalized—to participate meaningfully in society.

We seek public planning, policy, and design initiatives that promote the adaptive and resilient sustainability of societies by protecting the natural environment and enhancing the place-based social relationships upon which stable, thriving societies depend.

Innovative and Practical Scholarship
We conduct individual and collaborative research to advance understanding of urban and regional problems, develop useful tools and techniques, and strengthen the links between place, policy, and design.

Reflective Practitioners and Leaders
We teach our students to be rigorous thinkers, skilled experts, and wise counselors to public leaders and citizens alike.

Service in the Public Interest
We teach community-based courses and conduct community-based scholarship that provide value to our professional, public, and citizen partners.

Urban and regional planning tackles societal problems with a focus on place-based policy and design. In doing so, we draw on the knowledge of many academic disciplines and professional fields. Our planning scholars frequently collaborate with partners outside the university to advance solutions to real-world problems. With faculty guidance, Michigan Planning offers students opportunities to create plans that address the challenges our community partners face.

At Michigan Planning, we work in a demanding but collegial learning environment that enables our students to graduate as outstanding urban planners and our faculty to engage in outstanding teaching and research.

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