URBS 602—Urban Planning Process

Term: Fall, 2002

Instructor: Tony Filipovitch, 106c Morris Hall, xt.5035, 388-2264 (home)

Office Hours: M 1-2 & 4-6; T 2-3 & 4:15-6; R 2-3

NOTE: Supporting material for this course is available from MSU’s UCompass Educator site.



CAMPBELL, SCOTT and SUSAN FAINSTEIN, eds. 1996. Readings in Planning Theory. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

HOCH, CHARLES J., LINDA C. DALTON, and FRANK S. SO. 2000. The Practice of Local Government Planning, 3rd. Ed. Washington, DC: International City/County Management Association. (The “Green Book”)

LEWIS, CAROL W. 1991. The Ethics Challenge in Public Service. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.


Course Objectives:

This course is “a survey of the history, concepts, values and ethics of public-sector planning. The emphasis is on practical and comprehensive approach to developing and implementing plans.”

Whether you pursue a public-sector career in urban affairs (in management or in planning), a private sector career in development or corporate public affairs, or a career in the non-profit sector, you will need to understand the planning process.

The purpose of this course is not to train you in the techniques of planning--there are other, specific courses for that. Rather, this course comes to grips with the concepts (values, theories, philosophies, paradigms, models) which underlie any attempt at planning. It provides you the opportunity to evaluate these concepts critically, to determine their individual strengths and weaknesses, to compare them, and finally to come up with your own approach to the planning process.

Two assumptions underlie this approach to the class:

  • that there are competing, equally valid approaches to the planning process, and
  • that the planning process is a specific form of the policy-making process (and therefore it is interesting to urban managers as well as urban planners and private-sector practitioners).

By the end of the course, you should have developed:

  • an appreciation of the intellectual foundations of the planning profession;
  • a clear ethical posture on planning issues and the political process of planning;
  • a clear opinion of your approach to the planning process, and why you have chosen that approach rather than one of the competing approaches;
  • the ability to outline a process for planning, from first concept through implementation and evaluation;
  • a familiarity with both the AICP Exam - Subject Matter and AICP Exam: Selected Readings.


Instructional Methodology and Teaching Strategies:

A variety of techniques will be employed throughout the course. While there will be reading and lectures and tests, this course is heavily weighted to case study and seminar-style discussion. My teaching style is based on an "adult-centered" model which assumes that you are active participants, each responsible for your own learning, and I am a facilitator and resource who helps you advance your project. My goal for myself as a teacher is to "take you someplace you would never before have gone alone." You might begin that journey by looking at “Five Easy Pieces” I have assembled for your consideration.




This is primarily a case-study and discussion class, although I may bring in an occasional guest or indulge in the occasional lecture. You are expected to do the reading assigned from the texts and be prepared to discuss them in class on the assigned date. There will also be in-class projects which will contribute to your grade. Attendance at all class meetings is presumed.


The course calendar lists the dates by which textbook chapters and other readings must be prepared for discussion, as well as other activities for the day.


There will be 2 writing projects, 4 in-class projects, 2 "other activities," and 1 oral report to the class:

  • Writing Projects:
    1. The first writing project is a case study of planning-in-practice. You may use historical, participant-observation, or interview method. The purpose of the project is to demonstrate the relevance (or irrelevance) of class concepts to planning practice.
    2. The second writing project is a brief essay arguing for your concept of what public planning should be.
  • In-Class Projects:
    1. There will be 2 "skill-development" exercises (one on the uses of history, one on resolving values conflict). You will do the exercises in pairs, and each pair will receive a common grade. These exercises are each worth 5% of your grade.
    2. There will be 3 case studies which will ask you to decide which approaches are best applied in concrete situations. You will work on the cases in teams of 5, and everyone in the team will receive a common grade. These projects are each worth 10% of your grade.
  • "Other" Activities:
    There are 2 other activities--a pre-test and your presentation of the "story of planning"--which will not be scored, but are worth 5 points apiece.
  • Oral Report on Reading:
    Each student will select one of the "Auxiliary Readings" report on that reading to the class by the assigned date. These reports and the common reading from the text will be the basis of weekly "close reading" discussions in the class.

Final Exam:

The final exam for the course will be a practice run of the AICP Exam. 70% is a passing score for the AICP. For grading purposes, 70% or better will be graded an "A," 60-70% a "B," etc. Your score on this exercise will be worth 10% of your grade.


Course Expectations:

Attendance & Class Participation:

Students play an important role in educating and challenging each other. This can only happen if there is consistent attendance. I expect you to attend. I may take the class roll. Unexcused absence (prior notification is required—even if I am not available, my voice mail and e-mail always are) can result in loss of points toward one’s grade.


Grading for this class will be based on

  • Writing Projects 40%
  • In-Class Projects 30%
  • "Other" Activities 10%
  • Oral Report 10%
  • Final Exam 10%


The final grade may be based on a curve, but students can expect at least an A if they achieve 90, a B with 80, etc.

Other Matters:

Extra Credit: In general, I do not encourage extra credit in this class. I would rather that you put the extra effort into your regular assignments. In the event of very unusual circumstances, a maximum of 10 points may be earned by prior arrangement with me.

All assignments are due on the assigned date. There will be no makeups except for very unusual circumstances. No extensions or makeups are allowed without prior permission.

I encourage you to stop in at my office to see me. If my office hours are inconvenient, we can arrange some other time (check with me first). I am also available over e-mail (I generally check it once a day). I'd be glad to look over a draft of your work as long as it is not at the eleventh hour. I encourage you to send a draft of your work to me over e-mail (remember to send the attachment as a Microsoft Word or as a text file). Please use standard style (refer to URSI Style Sheets, available at the bookstore).

You may use any resource for your coursework, as long as you identify your sources. (Failure to do so is plagiarism and could result in an F for the course). While you may work on an assignment with classmates, you may not turn in identical (or essentially the same) reports unless the project is specifically identified as a "group project."

Every attempt will be made to accommodate qualified students with disabilities. If you area student with a documented disability, please contact me as early in the semester as possible to discuss the necessary accommodations, and/or contact the Disability Services Office at 507-389-2825 (V) or 1-800-627-3529 (MRS/TTY).

Course Calendar







Intro to Course


AICP Exam - Topics and AICP Exam--Readings

Auxiliary Readings

Green Book, Ch. 1

Pre-test (Go to Quizzes sect.)


Planning History

Thinking in Time (Skill I)

Planning Theory (PT), Chs. 2-4



Planning History (cont.)


New Urbanist Lexicon


Report on “Thinking in Time”


Values-Roles, Regimes, & Legislation

Values Negotiation (Skill II)

PT, Chs. 7-9

Ethics Challenge (EC), Chs. 1-4

Values Survey


Values—Personal Ethics and Code of Conduct

Planning Ethics Case Study See Case I

PT, Chs. 6 & 26; EC, Chs. 5-7

AICP Rulings, AICP Code , APA Principles

Ethics Questionnaire (Go to Survey sect.)


Values—Ethical Agencies


EC, Chs. 8-10

Agency Audit (Go to Survey sect.)


Values-Politics & Doing Good


Green Book, Chs. 17 & 18

PT, Ch. 10 & 12





PT, Chs. 13-16

Barclay Hudson (1979)



Theory-Other Approaches


PT, Chs. 20-25

Michael Brooks (1988)




Telling the Story

PT, Chs. 11 & 28

Story of Planning


Election Day


No Classes



Application-Management of Planning


PT, Chs. 17, & 19

Green Book, Chapter 6



Application-Managing Change


PT, Ch. 27

Case Study due


Application—Scope of Planning





Models of Planning

Case Study (Case II)

PT, Ch. 1

Essay due


Final Exam (Go to Examinations sect.)

AICP study test


Course evaluation

Good Reads

ADDAMS, J. (1910, 1990) Twenty Years at Hull-House. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

ALEXANDER, C., et alii. (1977) A Pattern Language. NY: Oxford University Press.

ALINSKY, S. (1971) Rules for Radicals. NY: Random House.

BACON, E. (1974) Design of Cities, rev. ed. NY: Viking Press.

BANFIELD, E. (1974) The Unheavenly City Revisited. Boston: Little, Brown.

BENVENISTE, G. (1989) Mastering the Politics of Planning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

BIERMAN, A.K. (1973) The Philosophy of Urban Existence. Ohio University Press.

FORESTER, J. (1989) Planning in the Face of Power. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

FREIRE, P. (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. NY: Continuum.

FREIDMANN, J. (1973) Retracking America. NY: Doubleday.

FRIEDMANN, J. (1979) The Good Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

FRIEDMANN, J. (1987) Planning in the Public Domain: From Knowledge to Action. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

GANS, H. (1968) People and Plans. NY: Basic Books.

HARVEY, D. (1975) Social Justice and the City. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins Press.

HAWORTH, L. (1963) The Good City. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

HAYDEN, D. (1981) The Grand Domestic Revolution. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

HAYDEN, D. (1984) Redesigning the American Dream. NY: W.W. Norton

HOWARD, E. (1898) Garden Cities of To-Morrow. London: Faber & Faber.

ILLICH, I. (1973) Tools for Conviviality. NY: Harper and Row.

JACOBS, J. (1961) The Death and Life of Great American Cities. NY: Random House.

KAISER, E.J., D.R. GODSCHALK, & F.S. CHAPIN. (1995) Urban Land Use Planning, 4th Ed.. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

KENT, T.J., JR. (1964) The Urban General Plan. San Francisco: Chandler.

KRUMHOLZ, N. & J. FORESTER. (1990) Making Equity Planning Work. Philadelphia, PA: Temple Univ. Press.

LAPPE, F.M & P.M. DUBOIS. (1994) The Quickening of America. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

LYNCH, K. (1960) The Image of the City. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

LYNCH, K. (1971) Site Planning, 2nd Ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

LYNCH, K. (1981) A Theory of Good City Form. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

MANNHEIM, K. (1950) Freedom, Power, and Democratic Planning. NY: Oxford University Press.

MAYER, R. (1972) Social Planning and Social Change. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

MCCLENDON, B.W. & R. QUAY (1988) Mastering Change. Washington, DC: Planners Press.

MCHARG, I. (1969) Design with Nature. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co.

MUMFORD, L. (1938) The Culture of Cities. NY: Harcourt Brace.

PERIN, C. (1971) With Man in Mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

PLATO. (1968) The Republic, tr. Allan Bloom. NY: Basic Books.

RIIS, J.A. (1890) How the Other Half Lives. NY: Charles Scribners Sons.

SCHUMACHER, E.F. (1973) Small Is Beautiful. NY: Harper and Row.

SENNETT, R. (1970) The Uses of Disorder. NY: Random House.

STEFFENS, L. (1904) The Shame of the Cities.

See http://www.planning.org/pathways/timebook.htm for Albert Guttenberg’s choices for landmark books, articles, reports and research.

See http://www.planning.org/resources-k/essentiallibrary.htm for Stuart Meck’s “essential planning library”


2002 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 22 August 2002