Green Cities: Health and Environmental Planning

How are health and environmental planning actually done? Solution-oriented, this class focuses on key areas where physical planning and associated programs and policies are important in shaping the future of neighborhoods, cities, and regions. It examines two sets of methods. Analysis approaches enable planners and others to understand the problems they are dealing with by assessing landscapes, developing scenarios, using indicators, and assessing impacts. Implementation tools are where planners make a difference in land use planning, densification, green infrastructure, conservation, resiliency, food systems, energy, and waste. This is not just a how-to class, rather the course focuses on analyzing what planners are able to do and whether they can make a difference. It also examines how research evidence can help planning. Visiting speakers will provide case studies. 

Evaluation: short papers and a longer case study or practical project. 

Learning Objectives: 

By the end of the course, students will be able to: 

– Understand basic approaches to assessing places in terms of health and environmental issues. 

– Appreciate the strength and limitations of the approaches. 

– Critique the major styles and methods of implementing green and healthy cities considering both social and environmental dimensions. 

– Evaluate research related to health and environmental planning methods. 

– Comprehend the potentials and limitations of using research to create evidence-based interventions. 

Appreciate the roles of different disciplines, and of local knowledge, in working on issues connecting health, environment, and place.