History of UEP

The Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning has experienced three stages of development. It began in 1973 as a fledgling interdisciplinary program called the Program in Urban, Social and Environmental Policy (PUSEP) situated within the Political Science Department in the School of Arts, Science and Engineering at Tufts University. In 1980 PUSEP was elevated to departmental status and became the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy (UEP) and in 2000 the department's name was changed to reflect its growing orientation to the field of planning. In 2004 UEP became an accredited planning program, with that designation granted by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). PAB is a standalone 501(c)(3) organization jointly sponsored by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners. The founder of the original program was the visionary planner-architect Hermann H. Field. Mr. Field had a distinguished career in urban planning before he envisioned a new master's degree program that responded to the needs of urban development, land use planning, architectural design, as well as social and environmental concerns.

Mr. Field was born in Zurich, Switzerland. He graduated from Harvard College, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute. He directed the urban development program of Cleveland College before becoming planning director at the Tufts School of Medicine from 1961 through 1972.

In 1972 Mr. Field taught a path breaking course in environmental planning and design at Tufts and developed the framework for a new master's program, which enrolled its first class in 1973. He taught and directed the program until his retirement in 1978. Mr. Field continued to provide guidance and vision to the program until his death at age 90 in 2001. He wrote in 1982 in the 50th anniversary report of his class at Harvard: "I was appalled by the mindless despoiling of the physical environment essential to any quality of life, urban or otherwise, in which my profession was a key participant." Mr. Field's vision of higher education for planners and policy makers embodied a holistic view of planning encompassing a sensitivity to community participation, social justice, and environmental concerns. This is the legacy that he has brought to Tufts and to UEP. Shortly before his death he was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Through the generous contributions of the friends and family of Hermann Field, the Hermann and Kate Field Education Fund was established to enhance the education goals of UEP.

Learn more about Hermann Field >