The best educations impart the ability to imagine new solutions, technical skills to develop and carry out those ideas, and the motivation to battle injustice in its many forms. I strive to do this in how I teach core planning classes and those focused on the challenges of climate change. Cornell students should explore the university course roster to see when courses are taught and find the most recent syllabi.
CRP 5130 Intro to Planning
History + Practice
This course, required for master’s in planning students, introduces the primary models of planning theory, history, and practice, and the tradeoff each presents in scale, equity, and human flourishing. The course emphasizes critical reading and writing.
CRP 3201/6201 Research Design + Qualitative Methods
Students apply concepts of research design and qualitative methods (interviews, case studies, participant observation) by developing a research proposal. Above all, students learn how to organize their thinking and writing for professional efficacy.
CRP 5660 Fall Field Trip
Each year, CRP takes master’s students on a 3-day field trip to a major city. In 2018, I had the joy of showing students the city where I grew up: Cleveland, Ohio. The trip included a boat ride down the industrial river, a Cleveland Orchestra performance, tour of historic buildings, and meetings with alumni and community groups.
Urban Adaptation to
This course critically engages with core concepts and strategies for climate adaptation. It emphasizes building students’ ability to communicate on climate change, for example through debates and posters. Students explore a project of their choosing in any medium. This has resulted in anything from rap, street plays, and children’s books to policy memos, comparative case studies, role play exercises, and traditional papers. (images courtesy of Bill Staffeld/Cornell AAP)
Environment + Land Use Workshop (2019)
My 2019 workshop explored the connections between land use planning, municipal budgeting, and sea-level rise. The Massachusetts Area Planning Council was the client, along with three towns near Boston (Hull, Hingham, and Cohasset). Students developed scenario models that demonstrated need for regional housing and integration strategies. The report won the national APA Student Project Award for 2020.
Global Climate Science & Policy
This course teaches students about the science of climate change, global UNFCCC climate change negotiations, and the politics behind negotiations. Students work in teams to support an NGO or government on their negotiations processes. Select students attend the annual conference of parties. Students must apply the previous semester to gain admittance to the course. (images courtesy of Bill Staffeld and Gerard Finin/Cornell AAP)