First Semester Core Urban Planning Studio

The first semester core studio of the Master of Urban Planning program introduces students to the fundamental knowledge and technical skills used by urban planners to create, research, analyze, and implement plans and projects for the built environment. The studio operates in conjunction with GSD 3329: GIS and Visual Representation, which introduces students to spatial analysis and representation techniques to communicate planning analysis and ideas. The studio will use the City of Boston as the students\’ planning laboratory and students will be expected to understand the city through the lenses of planning elements such as demographics, economic attributes, market forces, and public and private stakeholder interests, all of which shape the city and inform decisions about land use, development, and infrastructure. The studio is organized into four parts, each representing a fundamental stage of the urban planning process. -Part 1 explores the importance of ideas as the basis for urban planning. Students will be exposed to the power of ideas as reflected in the kind of city Boston is today. An emphasis is placed on identifying sources of creative thinking, how ideas are expressed, and how they link to urban planning outcomes. -Part 2 explores research skills and analytic tools used by urban planners to understand the built environment. The integration of learning from GSD 3329 will provide techniques for recording and representing the results of the research. -Part 3 explores the making of plans for the built environment. Using the creative and research skills developed in Parts 1 and 2 of the studio, students prepare functional urban plans, addressing land use, related building types, infrastructure requirements, open space needs, and other aspects of physical plans. -Part 4 focuses on the strategies that planners use to implement their ideas. Students explore the range of implementation tools necessary to realize a plan, including zoning, development guidelines, phasing, sources and uses of funds, public engagement, and roles and responsibilities, among others. Throughout the semester the principles of urban planning with regard to equity, environment, and economics are explored with regard to planning proposals. Prerequisites: Enrollment in the Urban Planning program