The list below includes descriptions of all undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning though some courses may be taught more often than others. Descriptions for special topics seminars are updated each semester.
Visit the undergraduate and graduate pages for course requirements for specific programs. For up-to-date information on course offerings, schedules, room locations, and registration, please visit the Student Information System (SIS).
UEP 0250-01 Foundations of Public Policy and Planning. (3 Credits) (Required core course for MA UEPP and MS EPP students only) A conceptual and critical overview of public policy and planning theory, process, and practice. Provides an introduction to basic elements of public policy formation and application involving a range of environmental, social policy, and planning issues. This includes methods for analyzing policy and planning decisions, strategies for developing alternatives, examination of the role of values and empirical knowledge in setting policy agendas, and implementation.
UEP 0251-01/UEP 0251-02/UEP 0251-03 Economics for Planning and Policy Analysis. (01 – General, 02 –Environmental, 03 – Saturday section) (3 Credits) (Required core course for all degree programs) Economic concepts and tools of analysis for graduate students interested in public policy and planning. The emphasis of this course will be on microeconomic policy tools, although some macroeconomic topics will also be covered. The course will discuss the economic theories and techniques that can inform current policy debates such as global climate change, health care, employment, and economic inequality. The class will also demonstrate the limitations of economic analysis in guiding policy making. Although prior coursework in economics is not required, students are required to have a solid understanding of college-level algebra. Waiver permitted for students with an undergraduate major or substantial work-related experience in economics subject to faculty approval. Optional lab (UEP 0294-LA).
UEP 0252-01 Cities in Space, Place, and Time. (3 Credits) (Required core course for MA UEPP and MS EPP students only) Introduces students to the history and theory of cities and metropolitan regions focusing specifically on the actions of planners and policy-makers and how these actions shape our communities, neighborhoods, cities, regions, and world. The focus will be on the US, but the course will include comparisons to other systems (e.g., UK, Western Europe, Latin America, and China). The course will examine the urban and metropolitan fabric through the lens of work, family, transport and communications, energy, environmental conditions, physical structure, economics and trade. Race, class, gender, immigration, and culture change will serve as cross-cutting themes throughout the readings, lectures, and discussions. Particular attention will be paid to institutional actors and their responses – governments, business leaders, and community leaders.
UEP 0254-01/UEP 0254-02/UEP 0254-03 Quantitative Reasoning for Policy and Planning. (3 Credits) (Required core course for all degree programs) Planners and policy analysts encounter, produce, or work with quantitative data throughout their professional careers. Some professionals analyze, summarize, and present original data they have collected or secondary data obtained from another source; others review, evaluate, and assess existing quantitative analyses. In both cases, they are interested in the validity of the arguments presented. This course is designed to prepare students to critically read and interpret statistical analyses produced by others, as well as to conduct basic statistical analyses of data on your own. The focus is on becoming intelligent consumers and producers of quantitative information. The course emphasizes quantitative reasoning, which involves research design and the development of sound arguments so that students appreciate both the power and limits of quantitative analysis in argumentation. Using real examples from planning and policy issues, students will become familiar with a variety of analytical tools used to describe data, generate estimates, and test hypotheses. In addition, students will learn how to use statistical software and existing data sources to conduct quantitative analyses. Although prior coursework in statistics is not required, students are required to have a solid understanding of college-level algebra. Waiver permitted for students with an undergraduate major or substantial work-related experience in statistics subject to faculty approval. Prerequisite: College-level algebra. Optional lab (UEP 0293-LA/UEP 0293-LB).
UEP 0255-01 Field Projects: Planning and Practice. (4 Credits) (Required core course for MA UEPP, MS EPP, and MS Sustainability students only) This course strives to integrate theory and practice by providing students the opportunity to work on real-world challenges, while offering community and nonprofit organizations, cities and towns, private firms and public agencies research, analysis, and advice that enhances insight into priority issues and advances strategic objectives. The Field Projects course combines research, practical planning, and problem-solving, accompanied by the development of skills integrally connected to the projects themselves. Learning is supported through discussion and reflection among students, TAs, and instructors and skills workshops.
UEP 0288-01 Reflections on Public Policy Practice. (2 Credits) (For MPP students only) Required core course for students in MPP program. Seminar serves as the focal point for the integration of public policy issues with students' existing professional knowledge and skills. Includes readings and discussion of current literature on organizational development and leadership, as well as several "classics" in public policy. Core faculty members in UEP serve as guest lecturers presenting their public policy research and practice.
UEP 0289-01 Integrative Seminar. (1 Credit) (For MPP students only) Challenges students to examine their academic learning, to demonstrate mastery of specific skills, and to examine the implications of policy development and implementation in complex and politically charged settings.
UEP 0293-10 Socio-Ecological Systems Thinking for Sustainability. (3 Credits) (Required core course for MS Sustainability) Systems thinking for sustainability investigates the complex interactions among coupled social and ecological systems and reflects on the role of policy and planning in supporting equitable system-wide transformations to sustainability. The course introduces and unpacks a range of programs, policies, and analytical tools that aim to help decision makers and other key actors identify and implement sustainable practices. Exercises and case studies are used to help students develop skills in identifying and understanding basic system features and explore equitable system interventions. Available as an elective to students in other programs.
UEP 0173-01 Transportation Planning. (3 Credits) Course looks at major passenger transportation modes including walking, bicycling, transit and automobiles. Focus on the skills and tools needed to effectively plan transportation projects- both directly through planning skills and indirectly through managing consultants. Course is presented within the context of how transportation intersects with communities, including how transportation impacts neighborhoods, the elderly and disabled, the price of affordable housing, economic development and overall quality of life. "Hands-on" approach with many guest speakers and a final project that will integrate course-work with student's professional interests.
UEP/CSHD 0188-01 Seminar on Government and the Family. (3 Credits) Government's role in promoting family development and well-being. Analysis of how various policies such as welfare, housing, community development, child support, and education impact children and families. Prerequisite: CD 182 or consent.
UEP/CEE-0189-01 Introduction to Remote Sensing. (3 Credits) Satellite remote sensing technology and its applications to a variety of fields including urban and land use planning, natural resources monitoring and management, and environmental sciences. Physical processes in remote sensing; optical, thermal and microwave based sensors; image analysis to derive desired information, and applications for geo-environmental studies. Laboratory exercises in remote sensing.
UEP 0191-B Philanthropy and Fundraising. (3 Credits) Overview of history and practice of organized philanthropy and fundraising concepts. Examination of opportunities and constraints of the various philanthropic sectors and the role of private philanthropic support in healthy nonprofit organizations. Strategic models and specific fundraising tools for planning and managing a sustainable nonprofit organization. Topics include funding strategy and research proposal development, private foundations, public foundations, corporate foundations and corporate giving and individual donors.
UEP 0194-01 Urban Design and the Changing Suburbs. (3 Credits) This course complements the urban orientation of other design courses at UEP by addressing the planning challenges posed by suburbs, in both their physical and social dimensions. Students develop urban design projects on real sites to explore how car-dependent, low-density, and use-segregated suburban environments can be transformed into sustainable communities.
UEP 0194-02 The Gap Between Law and Justice. (3 Credits) The class will look closely at the roles of some of the players in the justice system; the presence or absence of power; prosecutorial misconduct; the psychological impact of wrongful accusation and the relationship between law enforcement and the media. Together we will consider issues of race, class, gender and religion as we make connections between these issues, fundamental fairness, societal costs and freedom.
UEP 0194-xx GMOs and Sustainable Agriculture. (3 Credits) Since the mid-1990s an agricultural revolution has taken place through a new form of crop development known as “molecular breeding.” This course will explore the differences between traditional breeding and molecular breeding, the promises and realities of genetically modified crops (GMOs), the science, international politics, economics, and regulation of agricultural biotechnology, the theories and practices of sustainable agriculture, and the extent to which GMOs have been favorable or unfavorable to sustainable agriculture. Topics include: genetically engineered seeds (insect resistant, disease resistant, herbicide tolerant), the glyphosate controversy, GM cotton, Golden Rice, labeling of GMOs, principles or sustainable agriculture and their interpretations for practice.
UEP 0194-03 Real Estate Development and Planning. (3 Credits) This class provides an introduction to the major components of real estate development and its connection to urban planning. The course will convey key technical and substantive knowledge, as well as situating real estate within a broader political, economic, and social context. Reviewing basic real estate finance, site selection, site improvement, architecture, landscape architecture, site planning, construction, and evaluation, the class explores key theories and methods of professional practice. The story of real estate development and planning will be told through a multi-level lens, where the systemic factors that govern (and are governed by) the real estate process will be closely examined and interrogated, allowing students to understand how topics like gentrification, affordable housing, inequality, and homelessness are intertwined with the business of real estate development and planning. Through the use of real-world examples and sample exercises, students will become familiar with the nomenclature and skills needed to influence and impact the physical shaping of human settlements, while understanding social, economic, and political dimensions of that work.
UEP 0194-04 American Indian Law and Policy. (3 Credits) Survey course of the policies and laws influencing American Indians in the United States today. We will review the tortured history of the relationship between Indians and the United States government and discuss complex legal and planning issues surrounding civil and criminal jurisdiction and environmental and land use issues on and off the Reservation. We will focus on the powers of the respective players in each of these fields, including local and state government, the federal government and tribal governments.
UEP 0194-AB Cities and Urban Design. (3 Credits) Are there still cities to be planned and designed? Two thirds of the world population will live in cities by 2050 (UN). Rural to urban migration continues to enlarge mega-cities in parts of the world, while in others, suburban sprawl devours land and fossil fuels. Resilience against climate change and public health crises increasingly challenges cities and nations. New settlements will be needed for climate refugees. New solutions are needed to end homelessness. How are urban designers and planners addressing these needs? Do past concepts hold lessons? What will cities and settlements of the future look like? The course explores answers to these questions. We examine how cities evolved over time, the legacy of 19th and 20th c. city planning movements, today’s evolving concepts in urban design, and emerging ideas for the future. Contemporary topics include: megacities and informal settlements; new urbanism, tactical urbanism, and agrarian urbanism; mobility planning; missing middle housing and responses to homelessness; and green infrastructure, biophilia, and resilience planning.
UEP 0194-AA Sustainability & the Food Industry. (3 Credits) This course examines the "middle" of the food system, poised between food producers and consumers, where the vast majority of food profits are made and spent. This is where food distributors, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers transform the very nature of what we eat and establish the economic, social and environmental terms that shape much of the food system. By studying the dominant food system, we learn how established companies are adopting new policies and practices to become socially and environmentally responsible. We also explore the growing number of alternative programs and businesses that seek fundamental change by building a new, more reliable, equitable, and sustainable food system.
UEP 0200-01 Land Use Planning I: Nonregulatory Tools and Techniques. (3 Credits) Public and private attempts to manage and control land use without resorting to traditional regulatory options such as zoning, subdivision control and other government-imposed restrictions on private property. (Regulatory controls are the focus of Land Use Planning II - UEP 201.) Non-regulatory techniques include, but are not limited to: deed restrictions, easements, reverter clauses, bargain sales, and "limited development" projects. Graduate standing or consent.
UEP 0201-01 Land Use Planning II. (3 Credits) Overview of land use planning methods, growth dynamics, and land development controls. Comparison of different approaches to land use planning and decision making. Impact of recent environmental legislation on land use. Techniques of mapping, site analysis, subdivision regulation, development controls, and fiscal incentives.
UEP 0206-01 Planning for Low Impact Development. (3 Credits)The course is designed to present a comprehensive approach to site planning and development that incorporates low-impact development approaches and techniques. Also known as green infrastructure, low-impact development is a conservation-based site planning and design process that sets aside critical open space buffers, reduces impervious surfaces and concentrates development into appropriate "building envelopes". It also includes a broad range of best management practices including green roofs, bioretention, rain gardens, vegetated swales, constructed wetlands, infiltration systems and alternative wastewater management systems.
UEP 0207-01/ENV 0187-01 Environmental Law. (3 Credits) Analysis of environmental law and natural resource management at the federal, Tribal, state and local levels of government. The course is designed for those planning careers in environmental science, land use planning and environmental management and should be of value to others interested in learning about the structure of the nation's primary pollution statutes and mechanisms for managing and protecting natural resources.
UEP 0213-01/0113-01 Housing Policy. (3 Credits) This course will provide a review of the history of US housing policy in the 20th and 21st Centuries with a focus on understanding the systems and structures that created and reinforce our current settlement patterns characterized by racial, ethnic, and income sorting. As a learning community we will develop frameworks to support critical analysis of housing policies and programs. Students will develop programs or policies to address community-based housing issues or concerns.
UEP 0221-01 Climate Change Policy and Planning. (3 Credits) Examination of the climate change problem from the perspective of scientific evidence, policy responses and media coverage. Sources of greenhouse gas emissions and a wide range of mitigation and adaptation measures are explored and assessed. Overview of climate change solutions being taken or planned by governments, communities, and institutions (both for profit and nonprofit) and for major systems, e.g., transportation, buildings, and energy.
UEP 0223-01/NUTR 0215-01 Fundamentals of U.S. Agriculture. (3 Credits) This course covers the major social, political, and economic aspects of the U.S. agricultural system, both as it exists today as well as its historical development. After consideration of agricultural systems in general, we explore some of the key historical forces that have made U.S. agriculture what it is today and the major role of the federal government, both past and present. This includes an explicit focus on policy, power, and the role that systems of oppression (e.g., slavery and racism, genocide of Indigenous peoples) have played and continue to play in determining who farms, who labors, and who has access to agricultural resources. The final portion of the course focuses on the people who grow and harvest our food, the communities in which they live and work, and the development of alternative food systems (i.e., local and regional) as potential mechanisms to transform relationships between agriculture and society. Graduate standing or consent.
UEP 0224-01/CH 0190-01 Public Health and the Built Environment. (Online) (3 Credits)The epidemics of asthma, diabetes, and obesity have focused new attention on the role played by suburban sprawl, transportation, and other built environment features on public health. This course will explore the linkages between the built environment and public health from a policy and planning perspective. Students will develop analytical skills to evaluate modern day public health and built environment challenges, including mapping tools, health impact assessments, and healthy planning and design.
UEP 0225-01 Community Engagement. (Online) (3 Credits) The best planning projects and public policies succeed when the communities they are intended for are engaged in shaping them. This course explores ways to create active, positive community participation in different settings. We examine the goals and practice of community engagement, from theory and history to methods and techniques. Using case studies of engagement in Cambridge and Boston, we discuss with guest speakers the characteristics and effectiveness of the process they are facilitating. Students are given the tools to design a community engagement process in a setting and about an issue of their choice.
UEP 0226-01 Social Justice and Sustainability. (Online) (3 Credits) This course engages students in a wide-ranging exploration of the theories, practices, and opportunities for enhancing social justice and sustainability in the domains of public policy and urban planning. The course will be a forum for students to draw on their work experiences and educational experiences to more fully understand, articulate, and advocate for social justice and sustainability in policy and planning. Only students in the Urban Justice and Sustainability Certificate may register. Non-Urban Justice and Sustainability Certificate students may register with permission from instructor.
UEP 0227-01 Reflections on Urban Justice and Sustainability. (2 Credits) Reflections on Urban Justice & Sustainability Intensive, five-day summer course at the beginning of program introduces students to key ideas, frameworks, and debates to help understand and explain the adoption, implementation, and evaluation of urban justice and sustainability policy and planning. The course provides a foundation for students to reflect on and further explore specific public policies related to their professional experiences and interests. Students are introduced to various sources of data and to scholarly work that transforms data into research findings about a range of public policies. Only students in the Urban Justice and Sustainability Certificate may register.
UEP 0228-01 Integrative Seminar in Urban Justice and Sustainability. (1 Credit) Integrative Seminar in Urban Justice & Sustainability Intensive, five-day summer course at the conclusion of the program continues building the foundation for understanding how public policy and planning for urban justice and sustainability is developed, implemented, and discussed/debated in various contexts. Students will have opportunities both in class and through assignments to continue to integrate their learning and policy interests identified in throughout the year-long certificate program. The culminating activity of the seminar is a final project based on their year-long independent research. Only students in the Urban Justice and Sustainability Certificate may register.
UEP 0230-01/0230-A Negotiation, Meditation and Conflict Resolution. (3 Credits) Techniques of negotiation and mediation applied to a broad range of conflict situations from interpersonal differences to labor relations, environmental disputes, and international relations. Combines practice in basic methods with theoretical and applied aspects of conflict resolution. Graduate students only.
UEP 0232-01/0232-A Introduction to Geographic Information Systems. (3 Credits) This course will set up the broad foundation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) theory capabilities, technology, and applications. Topics will include data structures and database management, geodesy and map projections, principles of cartographic visualization and spatial analysis tools for raster and vector spatial data. Students will work on weekly laboratory exercises to apply conceptual learning. The course will include a final individual or group project to apply the concepts from the course. The course is for Graduate students. Juniors and seniors with an interest in Urban Studies may register with permission. Cross-listed as GIS 0101-A and ENV 0107-A in the Summer Term. No Prerequisites.
UEP 0233-01 Regional Planning: Tools and Techniques. (3 Credits) As professionals addressing the most pressing urban, social, and environmental problems in society, planners and policy analysts are often faced with a paradox of scale: "local" is too narrow, "global" is too broad, and "national" is politically challenging. It is at the regional scale that some of the most innovative, exciting, and effective planning and public policy occurs. In this course, we explore the tools and techniques used in the professions of planning and public policy to address a wide range of issues where regionalism works: land use and development, transportation, energy, waste, and natural resources. Drawing on the state-of-the-art from practice, this course will help students to develop the knowledge and skills to be effective in their chosen planning and public policy careers.
UEP 0235-01 Advanced GIS. (3 Credits) This course is intended to be for students from any discipline with an interest in advanced geospatial modeling and spatial analysis. It explores topics in Database Management such as SQL and UML and work with a variety of spatial data formats. It will also build on previous knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications. Students will learn spatial analysis methods including raster analysis, suitability analysis, spatiotemporal statistics, Geostatistics and network analysis. The lab component will focus on the use of ArcGIS. Automation using ArcPy and/ or Model Builder will be an essential component of many of the lab exercises. Students will work on a either group or individual projects based on their own interests. Prerequisites:A full semester introductory GIS course or its equivalent.
UEP 0236-01 Spatial Statistics. (3 Credits) This is a first course on spatial data analysis. Students will learn about global and local spatial autocorrelation statistics, cluster analysis, principal component analysis, point patterns, interpolation, hotspot analysis and space time analysis. They will also learn to use a variety of regression techniques for spatial data including spatial, autologistic and geographically weighted regressions. Several open source software will be introduced including: Geoda and R. The course will have weekly lab exercises and a final individual or group project based on student interests. Prerequisite: Introduction to Statistics or equivalent. An introductory course in GIS is useful but not required.
UEP 0237-07 Urban Analytics & Visualization. (3 Credits) With rapid urbanization, the development of data science, machine learning, and the emergence of ubiquitous sensing technologies, cities have become the foci of multidisciplinary investigations. This course is designed to equip future planners, data scientists, and policymakers with computational methods and tools to acquire new urban data from social media, crowdsourcing, and sensor networks, and use them to represent, understand, and visualize complex urban environments in comprehensive and scientific ways, to make informed decisions to design, plan and manage smart, sustainable and resilient cities. Optional lab (UEP 0293-LC/UEP 0293-LD). Prerequisites: (1) Intro to GIS; (2) UEP Coding Bootcamp (offered in Su/Fall/Spring) or an equivalent Data Lab Workshop.
UEP 0238-01 Data Science for Urban Sustainability. (3 Credits) This course is the second half of a one-year series of spatial data science for solving urban challenges. Building upon the toolkits and technical skills that students learned in "Urban Analytics and Visualization" or other introductory level data science courses, this course is composed of two modules. The first module will introduce students advanced topics, methods, and tools in spatial data science and visualization. The second module will provide several open-ended projects for students to work in pairs/teams. These real-world projects are developed with research collaborators including local planning agencies, cities, or international organizations whose decision-making impacts development of communities and cities. Students will be given open-ended questions, and apply methods learned in the course to collect, manage, and analyze new and traditional data to develop plans to measure the impact of urban development on the natural and built environment and the society. Each team will present their project findings and solutions to the research collaborators at the end of the class. This course can also be useful for students to work in conjunction with their thesis or capstone projects. Prerequisites: (a) Urban Analytics and Visualization, or introductory level data science courses. (b) For students who do not meet the prerequisites listed in (a), they are required to take Data Lab workshops on GIS and Python programming.
UEP 0253-01 Financial Analysis and Management. (3 Credits) Tools and terminology needed by staff of public and nonprofit organizations to effectively manage financial resources. Emphasis on how to create tools and systems needed to analyze fiscal data and how to use the data to answer fundamental questions facing financial managers. Topics include budgeting, construction of cash flow projections, reading and analyzing financial statements, internal and external reporting requirements, internal controls, and borrowing and investment decisions.
UEP 0256-01/CSHD 0247-01/DLS 0265-01 Program Evaluation. (3 Credits) Purposes for, and types and techniques of, program evaluation. Study of the evaluation process, including design, implementation, and dissemination, with focus on development of relevant data collection, analysis, and report writing skills. Emphasis on learning to match individual programs with particular models of evaluation. Graduate standing.
UEP 0264-01 Green Urban Design. (3 Credits)This course applies sustainable design principles to selected urban sites with the objective of creating meaningful places of residence, work, shopping and entertainment for current and future communities. Student teams select a site and work on its redevelopment. Students learn to do urban design analysis, research relevant history, demographics, and the market environment, develop a program of uses, propose a design using SketchUp, apply LEED for Neighborhood Development criteria, present their project to the class, and produce a final planning report. Lectures, readings and assigned papers are designed to inform the planning and design process.
UEP/CEE/ENV 0265-01/DHP P257-01 Corporate Management of Environmental Issues. (3 Credits) Explores companies' responses to pressure from stockholders, regulatory agencies, community and non-governmental organizations to exercise greater responsibility toward the environment. Topics included strategy, staffing and organization, decision making, codes of conduct, resources, program development, product responsibility, pollution prevention, trade associations, and foreign operations. Graduate standing/Seniors with permission.
UEP 0267-01 Sustainability Metrics and Decision Tools. (3 Credits) Governments, companies, institutions, and non-government organizations are making both internal and public commitments to greenhouse gas reduction and sustainability. Whether driven by regulatory or voluntary efforts, operationalizing these commitments effectively and consistently can be challenging. This course examines how sustainability targets are established, metrics are identified and tracked, and progress is reported and communicated in order to continue to inform decision-making for sustainable management. A range of topics and metrics will be covered, including greenhouse gas emissions, clean energy, waste, food systems, health outcomes, land use, transportation, resilience, and economic indicators, among others, as well as systems and tools for assessing and managing them. Students will learn how sustainability is measured by a variety of stakeholders, consider how progress is communicated, and how sustainability data inform their decision-making processes. This course will also begin to explore how ecological, environmental quality, and sustainability data combined with spatial data can provide important insights for understanding local economies, human health, climate risks, and resource consumption, and how approaches to data visualization can be used to address multi-faceted sustainability challenges.
UEP 0271-01 Community Economic Development. (3 Credits) Goals, strategies, and issues for community economic development. Analysis of the national, regional, and local economic environment. Alternative strategies; planning, development, implementation, and financial models; and social and economic criteria for project selection and evaluation. Graduate standing or consent. Prerequisite: UEP 251 or consent.
UEP 0275-01 Policy Implementation and Innovation. (3 Credits) The seminar explores how to translate visions for urban, environmental, and social policies, plans, programs, and other initiatives into practice. The first sessions equip students with frameworks for understanding implementation challenges and threats to accountable processes and equitable outcomes. The remainder of the course moves from pessimism to possibility as we apply a tool kit of creative problem-solving strategies to real world case studies, including those selected by each student. Throughout, we consider how we can leverage implementation processes to revise organizational missions and reconstruct policy and planning fields so they more purposefully promote anti-racism, social justice, environmental sustainability.
UEP 0276-01 Leadership & Organizational Development & Change. (3 Credits) Equips students with key concepts and strategies for participating effectively in organizations, especially mission-driven organizations dedicated to policy, planning, and other social change efforts. Explores of how organizations enable people to coordinate and sustain their efforts to impact complex social, environmental, and urban problems, with particular attention to diversity, inclusion, and equity. Examines how organizations – despite their stabilizing and change resistant tendencies – can adapt to external and internal pressures to remain effective and potentially transformational.
UEP 0278-01 Environmental Justice, Security, and Sustainability. (3 Credits) Examines the concept of social and environmental justice; the history and development of the U.S. environmental justice movement; racism, resource colonization, and the destruction of indigenous and First People's cultures; the shape of environmental justice in different parts of the world; the specter of environmental insecurity; and the role of a "just sustainability" in shaping new sustainability discourses, ethics, policies, and plans for the twenty-first century. Graduate standing or consent.
UEP 0279-01 Water Resources Policy and Planning and Watershed Management. (3 Credits) This course is designed to present a comprehensive approach to water resources management by integrating environmental science (geology, soils, hydrology) and policy (planning and regulatory analysis). It is intended for both students with and without technical backgrounds. I utilize numerous case studies from my own real-world experience as a consultant to USEPA, state and local governments, industry and NGOs. The course is organized into a series of technical/foundation classes, followed by several resource and issue-specific focused sessions, and completed with discussions about possible management strategies/techniques and adaptive management approaches.
UEP 0282-01/CSHD 0182-01 – Social Policy for Children and Families. (3 Credits)Intersection of child development and social policy. Case studies of processes through which social problems are defined, policies formulated and implemented. Models for analyzing existing and proposed policies and for interpreting program evaluation results. Topics may include child abuse and neglect, family leave, maternal and child public health policy, child care, early childhood education. Special attention to policies affecting disadvantaged and minority populations.
UEP 0284-01 Developing Sustainable Communities. (3 Credits) This course explores the many challenges of achieving 'just sustainabilities' through a critical, coherent and thought provoking overview of moves towards developing sustainable communities. The course focuses on: improving our quality of life and wellbeing; meeting the needs of both present and future generations (intra-generational and intergenerational equity); justice and equity in terms of recognition, process, procedure, and outcome; living within ecosystem limits (also called ‘one planet living’). It investigates the theories of sustainable development and the tools and techniques and in what contexts we can move towards the ecological integrity, economic security, empowerment, responsibility and social well-being characteristic of sustainable communities. Case studies are drawn from around the world.
UEP/NUTR 0285-01 Food Justice: Critical Approaches in Policy and Planning. (3 Credits) This class offers students different lenses, such as critical race theory to see how the intersectionality of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and citizenship play out in the development of systemic structural and socio-spatial inequities and injustices in food systems. It develops an understanding and contextualization of the role of food justice activism within the broader narrative of the alternative food movement and offers emerging ideas about how policymakers and planners can take a role in increasing food justice beyond the more mainstream and ultimately contested notions of what is 'local' and 'sustainable.' The course will help participants chart their role(s) in advocating for 'just sustainability' as a defining factor in becoming food systems planners and policymakers.
UEP/ENV 0286-01/PHIL 0191-04/CVS 0210-01 Environmental Ethics. (3 Credits) Explores the values, rights, responsibilities and status of entities underlying alternative constructions of environmental issues. Subjects include: anthropocentric vs. biocentric approaches to natural resource protection, precautionary principle, ethics of cost-benefit analysis, equity and risk management, status of "rights" of non-human species and future generations, ethics of sustainable development and energy use, genetically modified crops, transgenic animals, deep ecology, and economic and non-economic value of wilderness and sacred lands.
UEP 0287-01 Community Practice. (2 Credits) This course introduces students to theoretical frameworks and methodologies for community-driven policy and planning practice. What is community, and what does it mean to work in or with communities? Communities are not homogeneous, but complex entities where power is exercised and built. Students will be introduced to literature covering citizen participation, democratic practice, community organizing, social movements, and community action research. Case studies will be interwoven throughout to provide practical examples of methodologies at work. Special attention will be paid to the intercultural aspects of community practice, particularly looking at race, class, and gender.
UEP 0293-04 Designing a Thesis. (2 Credits) The course, directed at UEP master’s candidates, will guide students through the stages of the thesis process including: selecting a topic; narrowing the focus; turning a topic into a problem; framing researchable questions; choosing a method (qualitative or quantitative) of inquiry; developing a systematic literature review; citation analysis; writing styles; using figures and tables; incorporating cases; embedding the thesis questions into a theoretical framework; developing the policy implications of your findings; preparing the prospectus. (full semester)
UEP 0293-05 Legalized Marijuana: Planning, Policy & The Law. (2 Credits) This two credit module will review the United States' tortured history of regulating Cannabis sativa (marijuana) and current efforts of the respective states, in defiance of federal law and the supremacy doctrine, to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. We will discuss the federal government's current and past "marijuana policy", the economic benefits and impacts of legalization and the approaches taken by other countries, most notably Canada, to foster a regulated marijuana industry. We will discuss the relationship between "recreational marijuana" and "medical marijuana" and review relevant provisions of the Controlled Substances Act (e.g., 21 U.S.C §812) wherein marijuana is classified as having a "high potential for abuse" and "has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States" on par with heroin and LSD.
UEP 0293-07 Revisioning Cities: Ethnography for Urban Policy and Planning. (3 Credits) This research seminar introduces students to the craft of ethnography and explores how qualitative, embedded, and socially committed research can critically and constructively intervene in contemporary urban problems. We read both classic and cutting-edge ethnographic texts on topics like addiction, eviction, violence, insecurity, informal markets, participatory planning, and urban social movements. At the same time, students will experiment with different ethnographic and qualitative research methods – including ethnographic and participant observation, in-depth interviewing, material culture analysis, and archival, discourse and media analysis – as they design and execute their own original research projects. Ultimately, our goal in this class is to use ethnographic methods and modes of analysis to attend to the world differently, and to theorize how these new vantages and alternative perspectives might contribute to creating more just policies and urban spaces. This elective will also serve as valuable preparation for students planning to conduct qualitative thesis research.
UEP 0293-09 Practicum. (3 Credits) The Community Practicum brings graduate students and community practitioners together to learn and conduct joint projects on critical issues to advance more just, democratic, and sustainable cities. Each Practicum is co-designed with UEP's Co-Education/Co-Research (CORE) community partners. The Fall 2019 Practicum's overall theme is Building Community Controlled Economies in Boston. It will work with community partners to learn about and advance strategies for community control over land, housing, commercial development, and the food economy. While some of the Practicum will be in the classroom, there will also be sessions in community locations (possibly at alternate times).
UEP 0293-11 Digital Design Skills for Urban Planners. (1 Credit) The fall Digital Design Skills is a one credit course that will help you to learn, practice and refine digital drawing and design skills using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. The class meets four times and finishes roughly halfway through the semester. (The Spring offering of the course covers InDesign and SketchUp.) The fall course requires you to examine a missing link in the regional active transportation network. Students will gain skills that can be applied in UEP's design oriented classes, including, but not limited to, Transportation Policy and Planning, Bicycle Pedestrian Planning and Design, Green Urban Design, and Urban Design and the Changing Suburb.
UEP 0293-14 Energy Policy and the Transformation to Zero Carbon. Energy policies reflect vital social goals including national and regional security, physical and environmental health, poverty alleviation, employment creation, manufacturing competitiveness, mobility of people and goods, and increased social justice. This course examines energy from several policy perspectives including the role of energy in community economic development, opportunities associated with technology and policy innovation, and explores programs and policies designed to de-couple economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions.
UEP 0293-15 Corporate Social Responsibility. What is the behavior that we—as consumers, community members, employees, and future leaders—expect from corporations, and how do we hold them accountable? What is it like work in the field of CSR? Students will take on various perspectives, from consumer to CSR professional, to examine the impact of corporations on issues such as water, energy, pollution, waste, human rights, and worker wellbeing. Throughout the semester, we will explore corporate structures and emerging business models, codes of conduct, transparency & accountability, the social & environmental impact of global supply chains, regulatory & voluntary frameworks, reporting, strategy & communication, and technology as a driver for change. Projects and assignments will mimic the tasks a CSR professional would take on in a corporate or consulting context. Material will often pull from the apparel industry, but students will have the flexibility to explore the issues and industries that most interest them.
UEP 0293-17 Greenhouse Gas Management. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of GHG accounting, including scopes frameworks, inventory approaches and protocols, reporting, forecasting, and target-setting. It will also look at emerging methods of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), consumption-based accounting, and embodied carbon assessment. It will also explore best practices for GHG reduction/mitigation and tracking progress over time. Importantly, students will also reflect on limitations of current modeling and methodologies and challenges of accounting for GHG emissions from local to national and global scales, and implications in policy and planning space as well as the financial sector.
UEP 0293-xx Solidarity Economy Movements Rising in Boston and Beyond. This course explores how solidarity economy movements are emerging and building towards post-capitalist futures in Boston, Massachusetts, and beyond. Solidarity economy (SE) is a set of theories and practices that aspire towards a more democratic, just, and sustainable world. SE frames economy broadly, as all the ways that humans meet our material needs and care for each other. SE can describe a coherent alternative economic system that would replace capitalism or refer to cooperative economic practices that already and always have existed. SE movements exist throughout the world but are most well established in Latin America, Canada, and Europe. SE practices include cooperatives of all kinds, participatory budgeting, fair trade, community land trusts (CLTs), mutual associations, community banks, alternative currencies, time banks, and more. Students will engage with SE movement organizations and practitioners in class projects. Various sessions of the course will also be open to practitioners and community partners.
UEP 0294-xx Effective Organizations. (2 Credits) Course introduces skills for being an effective change agent in organizations dedicated to urban, environmental, and/or social issues. Case studies and hands-on exercises introduce ways of thinking and strategies for acting within public and nonprofit organizations. Topics to include: aligning organizational mission with external pressures and developments in the field; sustaining motivation and commitment; tapping the power of routines; learning from and with others; communication techniques; teamwork; and cultivating leadership and followership among staff, board, volunteers, and constituents. (The course may be taken in tandem with "Collaboration and Partnerships in Policy and Planning" but also works as a stand-alone module.)
UEP 0294-02 Communication & Media. (1 Credit) This module introduces communications and media theory and tools for policy and planning practitioners. Readings will cover various theories of communication and media and their roles in public policy and planning and formation of ideologies. Tools that will be introduced include strategic communications planning, narrative power analysis, messaging and framing, media relations, and social media strategy. Students will analyze current news and communications strategies of policy and planning practitioners. Students will have ample opportunities in class to practice and role play communications and media strategies (such as mock media interviews and writing press releases).
UEP 0294-05 Planning for Pedestrians and Bicycles. (3 Credits) Students will use data analysis and apply design guidelines from the US and abroad to better serve pedestrians and cyclists in our communities while making safer streets for all modes. Visual tools such as desire line analysis as well as photography and web based design applications will be used to characterize and address bicycle / pedestrian challenges. Teams will be formed to assess and redesign a roadway segment and apply course concepts. Students will come away with an analytical framework for identifying problems and opportunities in developing communities that are low-stress, safe, and comfortable for walking and biking.
UEP 0294-07 Teaching Democracy. (1 Credit) The Teaching Democracy popular education training is being offered in spring 2021 (1 credit-hour) as a virtual class. This course includes community practitioners and is geared for students who have already had experiences in popular and community-based education or who plan to be using these methods in the near future. Due to limited capacity, participation in the class is through an application process and requires the approval of the faculty. Any interested students must apply by Monday, January 4, 2021 through this online form. You will know by Monday, January 11, 2021 if you have been accepted into the class. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the instructor, May Louie (email@example.com). Teaching Democracy (TD) provides an introduction to the purposes, uses and methods of participatory and popular education. It combines participatory classroom learning, reading, journaling, and practical experience. It is an apt and relevant offering during these turbulent times. During the four half-day Saturday sessions, participants will draw on their own experiences to identify effective practices in teaching and learning, and to compare traditional and popular education. They will explore some of the ways that popular education has been / can be applied in different settings. They will practice designing and facilitating a popular education session. After the four-session group training, participants will choose from a reading list to build their theoretical and applied knowledge. They will also select a placement based on their own interests for 10-15 hours of practice / observation of participatory education in action. In addition, they will submit three journal reflections to draw out insights and challenges related to the three course components (classes, readings, practicum). A final group session will pull everything together. This course is open to, and enriched by, community members from diverse backgrounds. For more information, see the Teaching Democracy web platform: teachingdemocracyblog.wordpress.com. As space is limited, students will be selected based on an application process and the extent to which they will be likely to use these methods in the near term. Time: Four Saturdays: Feb. 27, March 6, March 13, March 20, 2021: 9:30am - 12:30pm & Thursday May 6, 2021: 1 - 4pm
UEP 0294-09 Local Government Finance. (3 Credits) A survey course on the financial operations of local government. Focus on the concepts, techniques and law relating to municipal finance. Detailed analysis of the tools available to local governments as they seek to raise revenues for the provision of traditional services, including the property tax and fees (user and regulatory), but with emphasis on "new" strategies such as impact fees and development agreements. Discussion of trends toward "privatization" and the legal implications of transferring traditional municipal obligations to the private sector. Discussion of the policy implications found in "tax cap" states such as California and Massachusetts.
UEP 0294-14 Sharing Cities, Smart Cities, and Social Innovation. (3 Credits) How can cities, where the majority of the world’s people now live, become more socially just, more environmentally sustainable, smarter and more socially innovative? This class will look into the reinvention and revival of one of our most basic human traits: sharing. It will look at the growth of the sharing economy as a largely transactional activity while presenting a more relational (social, cultural, and political) alternative through communal models of sharing that build solidarity and spread trust. Focusing on the role of cities in urban policy and planning, it will demonstrate how, with smart technologies and social innovation, the intersection of urban space and cyberspace can provide an unrivaled platform for more just, inclusive, and environmentally efficient economies and societies rooted in a rediscovery of the urban commons and a sharing culture. Case studies will be drawn from around the world.
UEP 0294-18 Jobs that Work. (3 Credits) Why is it that people either have too little work to make a living or too much work to have a life? And why is it so rare for that work to be part of a gratifying life for individual workers, their families, and their communities? This course will investigate these questions and interventions to address them by drawing from two fields that are typically considered separately. The workforce development field tends to focus on low-wage workers and government sponsored policies. In contrast, those concerned about the challenges of work-life balance tend to focus on salaried, professional workers and interventions generally consist of practices adopted in private sector firms for their employees. The current economic crisis is an opportune setting for this inquiry. On the one hand, it exacerbates the social, urban, and environmental impact of ongoing trends in employment and wages, the organization of labor and corporations, and frictions between work life and home and civic life. It also highlights the limitations of contemporary policy and planning strategies for contending with these challenges. On the other hand, the crisis presents an opportunity to entertain new questions and new solutions – the intended product of this course.
UEP 0294-19 Equity and Inequity and Inclusion. (3 Credits) Research shows that more diverse and inclusive workplaces consistently out-perform their counterparts that do not have such a focus. In this two-credit seminar, students will learn why making space for diversity, equity and inclusion in the culture of their organizations is a just imperative with many organizational benefits. Materials and case studies will help to create a framework which leads with equity which will enable students to create their own strategies for making a way for this important focus in their organizations.
UEP 0294-24 Housing and Inequality. (3 Credits) This course explores the multidimensional relationship between housing and inequality in the United States. It begins by providing a conceptual framework for understanding inequality and evidence on recent trends. Next, we will examine the various ways that inequality is manifest through housing, including issues related to affordability, neighborhood conditions, and segregation. Finally, we will study government interventions to address housing inequality for low-income groups and critically analyze their successes and failures.
UEP 0294-26 Global Slums. (3 Credits) This course investigates “the slum” as a social product, an icon of disorder, and a setting for diverse cultures and modes of sociality. Drawing on critical urban theory and ethnographic case studies of “mega slums” from around the world, we explore how “slums” emerge at the intersection of global inequalities, state planning, and the insurgent practices of the poor. Topics we cover include: migration and displacement, housing, spatial segregation, informal markets, infrastructure, environmental challenges, the rise of refugee camp cities, and emerging forms of urban governance and social mobilization. By the end of this course, students will understand cities of the Global South not as exceptions to the rule of orderly urbanism in the US and Europe, but as vibrant products of diverse forms of social life that, when analyzed on their own terms, may reveal novel ways to respond to the urban and environmental crises of our times.
UEP 0294-28 Qualitative GIS. (3 Credits) Mixed-method, critical, and qualitative approaches and applications of GIS will be considered through readings, seminar discussions, and applied laboratory activities. Topics include participatory GIS, critical GIS, sketch-mapping, and augmenting qualitative analysis with GIS approaches. This class is appropriate for students with and without prior GIS experience; relevant GIS onboarding will be provided to new GIS users.
UEP 0294-xx Sustainability Analytics. (1-2 Credits) Provides an introduction to sources of data and approaches to data visualization that can be used to address multi-faceted sustainability challenges such as reducing motor vehicle congestion in urban areas and operating reliable electricity systems using renewable energy. Ecological and environmental quality data combined with spatial data can provide important insights for understanding local economies, human health and resource consumption. Focuses on urban sustainability examples.
UEP 0294-31/CEE 0293-01 Advanced Remote Sensing. (3 Credits) Project oriented course with hands-on activities. Students will learn advanced techniques to extract meaningful information from remote sensing imagery: monitoring and assessing land change, time-series analysis, target detection, spectral mixture analysis, decision support tools, change detection, disaster monitoring, advanced classification algorithms. Prior coursework in Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing or statistics is recommended.
UEP 0294-32 Community Resilience in the Age of Anthropocene. (3 Credits) In an age of accelerating social, economic, and environmental changes and uncertainties, resilience has emerged as a key goal in long range development and planning. But what does it mean to be resilient? How can we achieve it in a range of contexts and systems? And who benefits and who loses from resilience planning? In this course, we will explore the concept of resilience and study many of the hazards and shocks that disrupt the current functioning of our cities and communities. Using a range of diverse perspectives, we will also unpack some of the key policies, plans, and practices used to build resilience, with a focus on navigating towards more just and sustainable futures.
UEP 0294-33 Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities. (3 Credits) This course explores conceptions and theories of environmental justice, just sustainabilities, and sustainable communities. It will examine the history and development of the U.S. environmental justice movement, racism, resource colonization, and the destruction of indigenous and First People's cultures. It will investigate tools and techniques of sustainable development and the contexts for simultaneously advancing ecological integrity, economic security, and social well-being. Case studies are drawn from the U.S. and around the world.
UEP 0294-xx Climate Justice. (3 Credits) In this course, students will analyze the root causes and current impacts of climate injustice—including links between redlining and heat island effect, policies surrounding floodplain development, and more recent climate displacement and gentrification—as well as patterns of disenfranchisement from decision-making. Students will then examine emerging community-driven municipal- and neighborhood-level strategies and solutions. They will incorporate learning from models such as participatory and human rights budgeting, community land trusts and city as commons, energy cooperatives and municipally-owned energy utilities, and justice-centered climate action planning. Finally, they will explore the role of social movements, shifting cultural norms, popular education, and law and organizing as drivers of systems change on a local level.
For information on how to complete the Thesis or Capstone, please see the Thesis/Capstone Guidelines on the UEP Community Resources Canvas site for current students.
UEP 0295-01 Thesis. (3 Credits) Sign up under faculty member's name.
UEP 0296-01 Thesis. (3 Credits) Sign up under faculty member's name.
UEP 0297-01 Capstone. (3 Credits) Sign up under faculty member's name.
These non-credit bearing courses are for students who have already enrolled in all of the required courses for the degree. Register for them for each semester you are matriculating. International students and others who need documentation of full-time status should register for Full-Time Continuation.
UEP 0401-PT. Part-time master's degree continuation.
UEP 0402-FT. Full-time master's degree continuation.
UEP 0298 Internship. (MS Sustainability) The UEP internship enhances professional skills, allows the student to explore career options, broadens professional contacts, and provides a meaningful opportunity to work in a community. The student arranges the internship with an employing agency for a minimum of 150 hours of work. Additional requirements: completion of an internship agreement with the employing agency prior to beginning work; the supervisor's evaluation; the student's assessment of the experience. The internship for Sustainability UEP 298 requires an additional written product (see program description for details).
UEP 0299 Internship. (MA UEP, MS EPP) The UEP internship enhances professional skills, allows the student to explore career options, broadens professional contacts, and provides a meaningful opportunity to work in a community. The student arranges the internship with an employing agency for a minimum of 150 hours of work. Additional requirements: completion of an internship agreement with the employing agency prior to beginning work; the supervisor's evaluation; the student's assessment of the experience.
UEP 0011-01 Introduction to Urban Studies. (3 Credits) This course provides an introduction to the topics of cities and urbanization. Through contemporary scholarly readings on some of the most pressing problems and opportunities in U.S. cities, students will explore the intellectual foundations of the urban studies field (including anthropology, sociology, economics, history, political science, urban planning, and public policy). The course will engage with key topics like gentrification, social justice, racism, housing affordability, neuro-architecture, immigration, and big data. Students will complete assignments where they reflect on their own life experiences in urban environments and conduct literature searches and short research papers on urban studies sub-topics. No prerequisites. Note: This course counts towards the Urban Studies Minor.
UEP/ENV 0094-01 Environmental Policy, Planning and Politics. (3 Credits) This course introduces students to the concepts and techniques central to environmental policy, including the important roles played by politics and planning. Serves as a foundation for further work in Environmental Studies or as a broad overview of the issues key in the field. Structured around four varied case studies involving simulated environmental conflicts, each culminating in a "policy forum" consisting of presentations by student teams who represent specific interests (e.g., environmental advocates, legislators, agencies and corporations). Course also features guest presentations by other faculty from the graduate Department of Urban and Environmental policy and Planning.
GIS 0101-01/ENV 0107-01 Introduction to GIS. (3 Credits) Broad foundation of Geographic Information Systems theory, capabilities, technology, and applications. Topics include GIS data discovery, data structure and management; principles of cartographic visualization; and basic spatial analysis and modeling. Assignments concentrate on applying concepts covered in lectures and class exercises to term projects in each student's fields of interest.
GIS-0102-01 Advanced GIS. (3 Credits) This course is intended to be for students from any discipline with an interest in advanced geospatial modeling and spatial analysis. It explores topics in Database Management such as SQL and UML and work with a variety of spatial data formats. It will also build on previous knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications. Students will learn spatial analysis methods including raster analysis, suitability analysis, spatiotemporal statistics, Geostatistics and network analysis. The lab component will focus on the use of ArcGIS. Automation using ArcPy and/ or Model Builder will be an essential component of many of the lab exercises. Students will work on a either group or individual projects based on their own interests. Prerequisites: A full semester introductory GIS course or its equivalent.
UEP 0130-01 Negotiation, Mediation, and Conflict Resolution. (3 Credits) Techniques of negotiation and mediation applied to a broad range of conflict situations from interpersonal differences to labor relations, environmental disputes, and international relations. Combines practice in basic methods with theoretical and applied aspects of conflict resolution.
UEP 0181-01/CSHD 0186-01/SOC 0094-14 Homelessness in America. (3 Credits) This multi-disciplinary course explores the complex and inter-related causes and consequences of homelessness in the United States. We examine why homelessness persists in one of the world’s most affluent societies and analyze a variety of solutions to contend with both root causes and pernicious effects at the individual, community, and societal level. Students acquire conceptual frameworks and skills to address other complex social issues and policy responses in other courses and in future careers and social activism. A variety of types of readings, writing assignments, discussions, and interactive exercises inform our learning. Students also develop “exploratory projects” to address issues raised by local community partners.
UEP 0195-01 Urban Studies Capstone. (1-3 Credits) Urban studies capstone project on an urban studies topic such as a research paper, an oral presentation, a video, a photographic exhibit, a fictional narrative, or other forms of study. Between one and three course credits will be given at the discretion of a project committee consisting of two faculty members. Undergraduates students only.