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Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning

Mission, Values, and Commitment to Diversity

UEP faculty, students and staff

Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Mission Statement

The mission of UEP is to educate a new generation of leaders – "practical visionaries" – who will contribute to the development and nurturing of more inclusive, just, participatory, and sustainable communities, regions, and ecosystems.

We strive to turn our vision for social, economic, and environmental justice into practice through innovative approaches to research, teaching, and long-term community partnerships.

UEP is committed to helping students integrate inter-disciplinary knowledge and practical skills to prepare them for influential professional careers in policy and planning in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.

Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Core Values

  • The inextricable linkages between social, economic and environmental issues and the ability to make policy and planning recommendations accordingly.
  • The role of values in public policy and planning formation, and the ethical/social responsibility of policy and planning professionals uphold these values.
  • The deeply embedded nature of race, class, gender and culture in all aspects of public policy and planning, and a commitment to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming culture.
  • The centrality of spatial, social, and environmental justice to all aspects of public policy and planning.
  • The role of individual and community rights and responsibilities in public policy and planning.
  • The development of sustainable communities by aligning the goals for a high quality of human life with respect for the limits of supporting ecosystems.
  • The influential roles of government, nonprofit, other civil society and market sector actors and the potential of cross-sector collaboration.
  • The commitment to meaningful and empowered community engagement in knowledge production, public policy and planning design, implementation, and evaluation.
  • The commitment to constructive, respectful, and compassionate dialogue across differences in terms of culture, discipline, professional affiliation, ideology, and other life experience, and the value of active listening with empathy and doing so with humility.
  • The commitment to integrity and honesty in public policy and planning analysis and knowledge production.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning is committed to diversity and recognizes the need to equip public policy and planning professionals with the understanding and skills needed to face an increasingly diverse world.  

All of this makes a UEP education relevant in the 21st century.

  • Our student body is increasingly diverse in terms of race and ethnicity, nationality, age, socio-economic status, and sexual identity. We believe this diversity strengthens the education we provide and embodies our commitment to educate the next generation of public policy and planning professionals.
  • Our curriculum analyzes public problems in terms of their racial, ethnic, class, and gender dimensions. We acknowledge that groups who are marginalized because of their identity and the historical legacy of exclusion and oppression often bear the greatest burden of public problems including: environmental degradation, poverty, and inadequate access to social and environmental resources.
  • Our faculty is diverse, which promotes a range of perspectives in our teaching, advising and research.
  • We encourage all students to engage these issues of equity and justice in class discussions and projects, internships, thesis or capstone exams, other independent projects, and in formal and informal dialogue with students, faculty, community partners, and others in the UEP community.