Urban and regional planning is the profession that strives to improve the environmental quality, economic vitality, and social equity of places: neighborhoods, towns, cities, metropolitan areas, and larger regions. Planners seek to improve alternatives to sprawling, auto-dependent areas; to revitalize downtowns and inner-city neighborhoods; to develop cities and towns in a manner that protects the environment; to create lively, interesting neighborhoods and commercial areas; and to foster sustainable development in the world’s poorest countries. Planning is a systematic, creative approach to addressing social, physical, and economic problems. Planners identify problems and opportunities, devise alternative policies, analyze and implementing these options, and evaluate implemented plans. They study the interconnections between the various forces that shape places and the quality of life in them and develop policies around these interconnections: transportation and land use; economic development and housing; physical planning and environmental quality.
Urban planners are found throughout the public, private, and non-profit sectors. You will find alumni of Michigan’s Urban and Regional Planning Program working in community development corporations, planning consulting firms, metropolitan planning organizations, international development organizations, advocacy groups, municipal government, educational institutions, environmental agencies, land trusts, real-estate development firms, transit agencies, non-profit think tanks, downtown development organizations, state agencies, and more. Common to work in all these settings is a concern for the quality of life in places, and a professional commitment to improving both human settlements and the public and private processes that shape their development.
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning is seeking newly graduating students and those with postgraduate experience. Our students come from diverse academic backgrounds.
I’d enjoy speaking with you about graduate study in urban and regional planning, the urban planning profession, or the program offerings at the University of Michigan. If you’re interested, please call 734-764-1298 to set up an appointment.
Richard K. Norton
Associate Professor and Chair