This concentration encompasses the broad field of environmental planning that includes range of professional activities employing a variety of skills. Students may go on to work in the public or private sectors. Typical environmental planning projects focus on achieving the “triple bottom-line” in planning activities by reconciling conflicts between economic development, social equity, and ecological protection and restoration through sustainable development. Planning work may include community organizing and workforce development; sustainable transportation and urban food systems; and the design of ecological infrastructure and preparing environmental impact statements.
The breadth of environmental courses available at the GSD and other Harvard schools, especially the Kennedy School, Law School, and School of Public Health, reflect the multiple dimensions of sustainability in the context of planning practice and research. The Harvard Center on the Environment (HUCE) has prepared an excellent overview; the “Environmental Course Guide 2010-2011”.
Area of Concentration Requirements
Students interested in the environmental planning area of concentration must choose at least two pre-approved courses from the GSD and one from outside the GSD, or suggest an alternate program of three courses for approval by the concentration advisor. Please note that courses may require permission of the instructor and/or the department, especially outside the GSD.
For an up-to-date list of pre-approved courses, see the PDF concentration memo linked at the top of this page.