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Urban Design & Planning

News | April 12, 2016

10 Parks that Changed America Premieres Tonight on PBS (KCTS9)

Tune into KCTS9 at 8:00pm to see the premier of 10 Parks that Changed America. Two of Seattle’s great parks made the list for this interesting look at the influence parks and public spaces have had on America. A packed house at Architecture Hall saw a preview a few weeks ago and it’s great! Our…


News | May 2, 2023

2023 PhD Symposium: Place, Space, and Belonging

The College of Built Environments has announced that the 2023 PhD Symposium will be held on May 19.  Titled “Place, Space, and Belonging,” the symposium will feature research from scholars around the world on topics such as phenomenology, environment, transportation, housing, and trauma-informed design. Attendees are invited to attend in person in Gould Court, or…


News | October 10, 2019

A space-strapped city gets an unusual opportunity: A brand-new neighborhood

As apartment high-rises and office skyscrapers have filled and reshaped Seattle, there’s one long, thin strip of relatively untouched land that stands in sharp contrast to all the development around it. The 25-acre plot of land next to the Queen Anne neighborhood and near the shore of Elliott Bay—surrounded by a golf course, rail yard,…


News | May 29, 2021

Acknowledging AAPI Heritage Month

Originally written by Adela Mu, Masters of Urban Planning Candidate ’22. Note: This was written with a UDP and Seattle audience in mind. It represents only the partial perspective of the author, not that of any other person in UDP or UDP as a whole. There is far too much to say on this topic…


News | July 1, 2021

Ahead of Pride, UW’s Manish Chalana describes the changing neighborhood of Capitol Hill

As an urban historian, Manish Chalana studies how cities, and neighborhoods within cities, retain their character in the face of change. How, he says, “neighborhoods remember themselves.” Manish Chalana Kiyomi Taguchi / UW News An associate professor of urban design and planning at the University of Washington, Chalana has researched cities around the world, how development can alter…


Scholar

Al Levine

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Alan Borning

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Course | HSTAA 508, URBDP 565

American Urban History

Intensive lecture/seminar designed to provide students the opportunity for immersion in historical scholarship that addresses social, economic, political, technological, and cultural forces that have shaped the development of American cities.

Course | URBDP 565

American Urban History

Intensive lecture/seminar designed to provide students the opportunity for immersion in historical scholarship that addresses social, economic, political, technological, and cultural forces that have shaped the development of American cities.

Scholar

Andy Dannenberg

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Anne Vernez-Moudon

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Course | IPM 504

Applied Geo Spatial Analysis

Provides the theoretical and practical skills needed to use a Geographic Information System (GIS) for analyzing spatial phenomena on the urban and regional scale. Focuses on principles and methods of spatial analysis and their application to strategic planning, risk management, and hazard mitigation.

News | February 23, 2023

As Downtown recovers, Seattle reimagines what it could be

Office-to-residential conversion has its share of skeptics in the real estate world. It is expensive, in part because office interiors are so much deeper than apartment interiors, meaning it’s hard to get natural light. It’s also expensive to retrofit HVAC systems and other residential necessities that offices don’t need. Not all office buildings are created…


News | September 2, 2016

August Sees New Grants, Project Launches, and Original Research and Writing

August was a busy month at the University of Washington and the Seattle region when it comes to urban research, writing, and project launches. Take a look at what’s been happening. Urban@UW will be running a half-day workshop as part of the Eighth International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2016.) Our workshop seeks to bring…


News | April 30, 2019

Bellingham considers expanding city limits eastward

Students from the University of Washington are helping conduct an annexation study in Bellingham. The City of Bellingham is partnering with a team of student researchers from UW’s Master of Urban Planning program to assess the interest of residents in Bellingham’s eastern Urban Growth Areas regarding possible annexation to the City. The plan is to provide community…


News | July 25, 2017

Birds versus buildings: Rural structures pose greater relative threat than urban ones

About one billion birds are killed every year when they unwittingly fly into human-made objects such as buildings with reflective windows. Such collisions are the largest unintended human cause of bird deaths worldwide — and they are a serious concern for conservationists. A new paper published in June in the journal Biological Conservation finds that,…


Scholar

Bob Freitag

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Branden Born

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News | January 23, 2024

Building community resilience: A $2 million NSF grant will transform disaster response

Amy Sprague January 16, 2024 “Our advantage of being an interdisciplinary project at the University of Washington is that we are drawing from an excellent corps of researchers with complementary expertise at a University whose mission includes working for the greater good across the state of Washington and has excellent ties into our communities.” Professor…


Degree Program

Built Environment (PhD)

Three fundamental areas of specialization in built environment knowledge and practice are offered within the BE Built Environment Doctoral Program: 1) sustainable systems and prototypes; 2) technology and project design/delivery; 3) history, theory, and representation studies. Each student will select one of these areas, within which she or he will take their advanced and specialized…

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News | October 18, 2016

Cars vs health: UW’s Moudon, Dannenberg contribute to Lancet series on urban planning, public health

Automobiles — and the planning and infrastructure to support them — are making our cities sick, says an international group of researchers now publishing a three-part series in the British medical journal The Lancet. University of Washington professors Anne Vernez Moudon and Andrew Dannenberg are co-authors of the first of this series that explores these…


News | August 31, 2022

CBE Research Team Measures Health and Happiness at Dune Peninsula

On a little peninsula in Tacoma, Washington, a native prairie grows on a remediated toxic waste site. Paths loop around the 11-acre property, known these days as Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park, giving visitors up-close and personal experiences with a variety of wildlife species, from eagles, hawks and heron to deer, sea lions and orcas….


Scholar

Charles Wolfe

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Christine Bae

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Christopher Campbell

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News | March 23, 2018

City of Bellevue selected as 2018-2019 UW Livable City Year partner

The University of Washington Livable City Year program has selected the City of Bellevue to be the community partner for the 2018-2019 academic year. The year-long partnership connects city staff with students and faculty who will collaborate on projects to advance the Bellevue City Council Vision Priorities, specifically around livability and sustainability. In the upcoming…


News | August 4, 2022

College of Built Environments students help historically Black churches survive gentrification

Rev. George Davenport Jr. had a vision of using real estate to sustain his church community in its historically Black Central District neighborhood. But while the streets around the church gentrified, he struggled through the complex landscape of zoning laws, building codes and speculative funding options. Then he stumbled upon the Nehemiah Initiative and the…


News | May 18, 2022

College of Built Environments students help historically Black churches survive gentrification.

Rev. George Davenport Jr. had a vision of using real estate to sustain his church community in its historically Black Central District neighborhood. But while the streets around the church gentrified, he struggled through the complex landscape of zoning laws, building codes and speculative funding options. Then he stumbled upon the Nehemiah Initiative and the…


News | June 8, 2022

College of Built Environments’ unique Inspire Fund aims to foster research momentum in underfunded pursuits college-wide. And it’s working.

“For a small college, CBE has a broad range of research paradigms, from history and arts, to social science and engineering.” — Carrie Sturts Dossick, Associate Dean of Research Upon taking on the role of Associate Dean of Research, Carrie Sturts Dossick, professor in the Department of Construction Management, undertook listening sessions to learn about…


Course | URBDP 596

Community Resilience

Introduction to resilience thinking. Students apply resilience concepts to real world communities and infrastructures impacted by real events, and gain practice in supporting policies, programs, and projects that enhance overall resilience.

Course | URBDP 501

Comprehensive Planning and Implementation

Reviews the comprehensive planning process as a part of managing metropolitan growth. Examines federal/state statutes affecting local government comprehensive plans. Includes local government land use regulations and reviews development process. Concentrates on tools to shape land use and development patterns and their effectiveness in creating outcomes specified in comprehensive plans.

Course | URBDP 532

Current Topics in Transportation Planning and Policy

Provides an opportunity to advance the student's knowledge by examining selected topics in depth and gaining critical insights about the interconnectivity of various planning and policy approaches. Gives a broad exposure to urban transportation problems and introduces different ideas and practices aimed at addressing these problems, along with important concepts and analytical frameworks

Scholar

Dan Abramson

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News | July 7, 2016

Data Science for Social Good 2016

This summer we are thrilled to be supporting the eScience Institute’s Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) program. Modeled after similar programs at the University of Chicago and Georgia Tech, with elements from eScience’s own Data Science Incubator, sixteen DSSG Student Fellows have been working with academic researchers, data scientists, and public stakeholder groups on…


Scholar

David Blum

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Course | URBDP 567

Democracy, Citizenship, and Participation in the City

Graduate seminar on democracy in cities. Focuses on contemporary ideas, debates, and initiatives.

News | May 31, 2019

Designing for resilience

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the country– a hub of innovation with a thriving economy. Yet this rapid growth challenges the capacity of the city to adapt without damaging its current communities. Students from The University of Washington’s College of Built Environments responded to these and other challenges through the Winter…


News | June 26, 2015

Designing Healthy Cities by Andrew Dannenberg

Presented at the June 1st Urban@UW Launch


Course | CEP 473 / URBDP 573

Digital Design Practicum

Uses digital technologies for mapping, drafting, modeling, and communication. Includes real-world case study projects that focus on urban design and planning issues.

Scholar

Donald H. Miller

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News | February 24, 2023

Downtown Dreams: Leaders Share 10 Ideas to Make Seattle’s Core More Vibrant

In his “State of the City” address on Tuesday, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said the word “downtown” more than 30 times and dedicated a quarter of his annual speech to revitalizing the city’s core. There are some examples of success. New York City transformed lower Manhattan into a 24-7 community with more residents and a…


News | April 17, 2024

E-bike fires are sparking trouble in Seattle. Here’s how to use them safely.

Written by Gustavo Sagrero Álvarez for KUOW. Seattle’s streets have become home to hundreds of electronic bikes and scooters in recent years, with a growing number of commuters and hobbyists relying on them to get around. As usage of these lithium-ion battery powered devices grows, so has the number of fires in connection with them….


News | April 8, 2024

Earthquake showed Taiwan was well prepared for a big one — more so than parts of U.S.

Originally reported by Evan Bush  for NBC News. The powerful earthquake in Taiwan on Wednesday shook an island that was well prepared for a seismic catastrophe — likely more so than some regions of the U.S., several experts said. Nine people have been reported dead, though Taiwanese officials said the death toll could rise in…


News | June 26, 2015

Environmental Change – Local Impacts and Response by Himanshu Grover

Presented at the June 1st Urban@UW Launch


Course | URBDP 525

Evaluation in Urban Planning

Methods and techniques for a priori assessment of physical improvement plans, program designs, public policies. Includes cost effectiveness and matrix or goal achievement, as well as more conventional cost-benefit and cost-revenue forms of analysis. Emphasis on understanding the reasoning and issues in evaluation, and gaining a working competence in at least one of the methods treated.

News | February 11, 2020

Everyday Commuting in Seattle

There are many different ways for Liz MacGahan to get to work.  Most mornings, she walks.“I feel like a farmer walking the fields, looking for what has changed … and what is different,” she said. The walk energizes here for work and takes around 40 minuets. On another morning, the weather was bad, so she…


News | June 4, 2021

Fast food, supermarkets, other aspects of built environments don’t play expected role in weight gain

People don’t gain or lose weight because they live near a fast-food restaurant or supermarket, according to a new study led by the University of Washington. And, living in a more “walkable”, dense neighborhood likely only has a small impact on weight. These “built-environment” amenities have been seen in past research as essential contributors to losing weight or tending…


News | October 5, 2016

First Livable City Year projects underway; kickoff event Oct. 6

Not even a week has passed since the start of the quarter, and already a group of University of Washington public health students is deep into discovering the cultural flavor and identity of each neighborhood in a nearby city. The project is a sizeable challenge: Students will pour over census and public health data, interview…


News | March 16, 2017

First UW Livable City Year project reports delivered to the City of Auburn

Teams of University of Washington students have been working throughout this academic year on livability and sustainability projects in the City of Auburn. The yearlong Livable City Year partnership has given students a chance to work on real-world challenges identified by Auburn, while providing Auburn with tens of thousands of hours of study and student…


Course | URBDP 526

Floodplain Management and Planning for Coastal and River Communities

Focuses on ways to live with and cope with flooding.Examines coastal and riverine floodplain services, values and assets within the context of ecosystem services; determine risks and opportunities associated with flooding and floodplains; advance identified strategies and explore benefits and adverse impacts resulting from these strategies; and gain a better appreciation for coastal and riverine floodplains.

News | July 6, 2023

From Vacant Storefronts to Vibrant Hubs: Revisiting ‘Third Places’ for Urban Resilience

In Seattle, city government and the Downtown Seattle Association continue to build on the “Amazon Great Return” through a variety of strategies to reactivate downtown. While attempts to maintain safety and deter drug trafficking remain forefront in the news, increased foot traffic, intriguing office-to-residence retrofit proposals and trends toward park and retail reopening suggest a spirit…


Course | URBDP 507

General Urban Planning Laboratory

Studio/field project in applied professional planning of a comprehensive nature, utilizing a local study area to examine the realities of problem solving in situations of functional and normative conflict. Integration of analysis, programming, implementation, and presentation phases of the planning process.

News | February 14, 2023

Google’s exit from big Seattle-area project shows fleeting relationship between tech and communities

The City of Kirkland was counting on Google to be the “catalyst project” in its proposed Station Area Plan, a reimagining of the area around a planned rapid transit bus station into a higher density community of housing and businesses. But suddenly and without warning, the plans evaporated last month. The City of Kirkland issued…


News | April 26, 2021

Gridlock is coming back. Noise doesn’t have to.

What does a city sound like? Asked that question, do you think of the dull roar of traffic, the staccato yelp of a horn, the wobbling screech of an alarm? In other words, do you think of cars? Automobiles are such a fixture of the urban landscape that it’s easy to overlook just how much…


News | March 17, 2016

HALA Studio Publishes Research and Proposals About Housing in Wallingford

Seattle’s recent transformations have meant big changes throughout the city. In Autumn Quarter of 2015, The HALA Studio explored how to productively engage with Seattle’s single family zoning and neighborhood development in the Wallingford neighborhood. Led by University of Washington instructor, Rick Mohler, students explored “an expansion of housing types, ownership models, and community engagement.”…


News | April 22, 2024

Has the US finally figured out how to do high-speed rail?

Written by Jeremy Hsu for NewScientist. Construction began today on the first true high-speed rail line in the US, which will connect Los Angeles suburbanites to the bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada. Not only should the project enable people in the US to finally experience European and Asian standards of speedy passenger trains, it…


Course | URBDP 549

Hazard Mitigation Planning

A survey of the field of planning for managing risks of natural hazards-earthquakes, floods, coastal/meteorological hazards, and human-caused technological hazards/terrorism. Covers pre-event mitigation through building and land-use controls; disaster preparedness; post-even response, recovery, and mitigation of future hazards. Emphasizes hazard mitigation as a long-term strategy for achieving sustainability of communities.

Course | ENV H 536, URBDP 536

Health Impact Assessment

Examines the use of Health Impact Assessment as a public health tool for informing decision-makers about the potential health impacts of proposed projects and policies. Students learn the steps for conducting HIAs, review case studies, and conduct an HIA of a current local proposed project.

Scholar

Himanshu Grover

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Course | L ARCH 451

History of Environmental Design on the West Coast

Development of the environmental arts of landscape architecture, architecture, and urban planning from the eighteenth century to the present, with major emphasis on the twentieth century.

News | February 1, 2024

History uncovered: UW research finds thousands of past racial restrictions in Kitsap

Reported in The Kitsap Sun By Peiyu Lin It’s not a secret that Kitsap County possesses a history of segregation, where some areas of the peninsula were only allowed to sell or rent to white people in the early and mid-20th century. But a specific geographic distribution of the over 2,300 properties that carry racial…


News | December 7, 2022

Homelessness Research Initiative convenes homelessness scholars from across the UW

Last Tuesday, faculty, staff, and students from across the University of Washington met in the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health for a convening of the Homelessness Research Initiative. Led by faculty co-chairs Rachel Fyall, associate professor in the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, and Gregg Colburn, assistant professor in the College of…


News | March 8, 2017

Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting just some of UW’s brilliant female professors, scholars, and and change-makers with whom Urban@UW is proud to collaborate. Click on their names to explore their work.   Leadership: Thaisa Way, Executive Director, Urban@UW; Department of Landscape Architecture Executive Committee: Margaret O’Mara, Department of History Susan P….


Course | URBDP 451

Housing

Survey of housing and redevelopment problems, theories, standards, and practice. Development of public policies, finance, technological considerations, social factors, and priorities.

Course | URBDP 457

Housing in Developing Countries

Emphasis on role of the design and planning professional in housing delivery in developing countries. Exploration of issues of culture, political environment, social context, economic circumstances, and other factors which define and limit the manner in which the professional planner and designer can and should function.

News | January 7, 2022

How Crowds Run When Bulls Charge

People walking alone walk relatively quickly. A crowd walks slowly. But how does a crowd move when there is, say, a massive bull charging at them? To answer this, scientists analyzed the movement of a crowd of runners during the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, in 2019. The San Fermín festival in Pamplona,…


News | March 25, 2024

How e-bikes are helping ease package delivery clogs

Originally reported by Kristin Schwab for Marketplace. It’s a rainy evening in New York City, as in flash flood warning kind of rain. But it’s nothing Michael Singh hasn’t seen. “Yes, rain, snow, high winds, all of it,” said Singh, who’s been a bike messenger for seven years and started with Amazon a few months ago….


News | April 12, 2024

How Washington’s local governments have moved to allow for denser housing

Originally reported by Laurel Demkovich in the Washington State Standard. Washington lawmakers in recent years have passed laws to require local governments to allow for more housing density with duplexes, triplexes or attached dwelling units. But before lawmakers required these changes, they looked at ways to incentivize local governments to do this on their own….


News | September 29, 2022

How Will Downtowns across America Change in the Next Decade?

There is nothing quite like the hustle and bustle of a city. No matter where you are, you know when you’ve made it downtown. Since downtowns have changed so much in the past, what will they look like in the next decade? Well, in order to predict the future, we must go back to the…


News | June 19, 2018

If you want to get to know Seattle, walk through it

Walking is ordinary. It is so ordinary, most of us do it without thinking: You put one foot in front of the other to get to the bus, to walk from your car to the office, to pick up something from the store. It requires only shoes — and, because we live in Seattle, some…


Course | URBDP 586

Implementation in Preservation Planning

Practical experience in identifying, documenting, evaluating and developing strategies for protection of historic resources, building on introductory theories, methods, and practices. Develops skills critical to preservation planning via research, fieldwork, and writing. Prerequisite: introductory course in preservation.

News | January 27, 2022

Incorporating Ride-Sourcing Service into ADA Paratransit

In early December 2021, PacTrans PI and Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington, Qing Shen, and a Graduate Research Assistant in the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Urban Design and Planning at the Uni246 versity of Washington, Lamis Ashour, delivered a webinar titled, Incorporating Ride-Sourcing Service into ADA Paratransit: Opportunities and Challenges…


Course | PUBPOL 560, URBDP 560

Inequality, Governance, and Policy in the Metropolitan Region

Explores national/local urban policy concerning the major problems confronting cities and metropolitan regions today. Economic globalization, income inequality, and metropolitan decentralization shape the urban agenda, the context for urban policy, and the analytic focus of the course. A project allows the exploration of strategies for intervention.

Course | URBDP 466

Infrastructure and Community Facilities

Issues and methods associated with planning for parks, schools, drainage, sewerage, utilities, libraries, solid waste, and transportation. Covers their relationship to comprehensive plans, project permitting, and impact assessment. Financing, regulating, and relationships to social, environmental, and economic goals are discussed.

Course | URBDP 566

Infrastructure and Community Facilities

Issues and methods associated with planning for parks, schools, drainage, sewerage, utilities, libraries, solid waste, and transportation. Covers their relationship to comprehensive plans, project permitting, and impact assessment. Financing, regulating, and relationships to social, environmental, and economic goals are discussed.

Course | IPM 503

Infrastructure Finance

Covers how to pay for infrastructure, including planning, budgeting, and public/private partnerships. Examines the relationships between infrastructure finance, urban form, and sustainability; local government finance, budget accountability, and equity issues; and infrastructure investments in changing economic climates, forms of finance available for infrastructure, collective decision-making, and alternative forms of project delivery.

Degree Program

Infrastructure Planning & Management

Well-planned infrastructure strengthens the sustainability and livability of our cities and communities. University of Washington's online Master of Infrastructure Planning & Management degree prepares you to lead the development of the next generation of critical infrastructure systems ­­— resilient, secure and accessible.

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News | July 19, 2021

Integrating solutions to adapt cities for climate change

A new article explores how record climate extremes are reducing urban livability, compounding inequality, and threatening infrastructure. Co-authored by Marina Alberti, Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington; Brenda B Lin, Alessandro Ossola, Erik Andersson, Xuemei Bai, Cynnamon Dobbs, Thomas Elmqvist, Karl L Evans, Niki Frantzeskaki, Richard A Fuller, Kevin J Gaston,…


News | September 21, 2021

Interdisciplinary course helps empower the local community

Professors in the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments have created an interdisciplinary, graduate-level course, the McKinley Futures Nehemiah Studio, that combines architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and design, and real estate principles into a groundbreaking opportunity for the local African American community as well as the students who participate in it. The studio…


Course | URBDP 404 / URBDP 504

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Provides students with introductory practical knowledge of Geographical Information Systems and Science for current and future coursework in urban planning.

Course | URBDP 585

Introduction to Historic Preservation Planning

Theories, methods, and practices associated with historic preservation planning. Overview of preservation planning programs at federal, state, and local levels. Introduction to tools and methods needed to identify, document, evaluate, and plan for protection of historic properties. Provides opportunity to learn fundamentals of preservation planning through practical experience.

Course | URBDP 539

Introduction to Indigenous Planning

Introduces key concepts within Indigenous Planning, and the logistical challenges in conducting planning activities by both tribal and non-tribal governments in the U.S. Examines case studies to understand how planning projects and policies impact housing, tribal economics, and the environment.

Course | URBDP 450

Introduction to Land Use, Growth Management, and Environmental Planning

Provides an understanding of contemporary land use issues (including sprawl, smart growth, new urbanism, transit-oriented development, and Washington's Growth Management Act) and examines their environmental impact and social welfare implications. Analyzes best-practice techniques of growth management.

Course | URBDP 562

Introduction to Neighborhood Planning and Community Development

Provides introduction to basic practices in neighborhood planning and community development, including theoretical/historical bases; developing neighborhood plans/projects; indicators and evaluation of neighborhood quality; community participation; institutional framework, ethical dilemmas, and professional roles. Addresses current issues, including Seattle's experience, NIMBYism, security, neighborhood character, housing segregation, etc.

Course | URBDP 552 / R E 510

Introduction to Real Estate

Provides a basic overview of the participants, processes, workings of different components of the real estate industry (including a variety of uses spanning from residential, office, retail and industrial to specialized) as well as the quantitative components of the real estate decision-making. Additionally, students are introduced to an overview of construction management, sustainability, corporate services, property law and ethics.

Course | URBDP 423 / URBDP 523

Introduction to Urban Design

Definitions and examples of urban design; heritage of urban design; theories of city building; the role of urban design in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning. Offered: Sp.

Course | URBDP 300

Introduction to Urban Planning

Principles and theories of urban structure and institutions. Concepts and logic of planning as a community process and a professional activity. Evolution of planning ideas in response to changing social, economic, and environmental conditions within the American political framework. Complementary nature of public and private responsibilities. Major procedures used by planners.

Course | URBDP 200

Introduction to Urbanization: Planning and Designing Alternative Urban Futures

Introduces how cities work and explores alternative ways of planning and designing urban futures. Explores the economic, cultural, political, and social aspects of cities and how we might change them for the better. Also examines numerous case studies from the Global North and South.

News | May 13, 2024

Is Seattle a walkable city? Pedestrian death rates show otherwise

Written by Jadenne Radoc Cabahug for Crosscut. Washington was the first state to commit to zero traffic fatalities. But 24 years later, deaths are at an all-time high and officials are reevaluating. Twenty-four years after Washington became the first state to commit to decreasing pedestrian traffic deaths to zero, the numbers continue to move in…


Scholar

Jan Whittington

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Jeffrey Karl Ochsner

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Jill Sterrett

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Keith Harris

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Ken Yocom

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Course | URBDP 550

Land Use, Growth Management and Environmental Planning

Provides an understanding of contemporary land use issues (including sprawl, smart growth, new urbanism, transit-oriented development, and Washington's Growth Management Act) and examines their environmental and social welfare implications. Analyzes best practice techniques of growth management.

Course | URBDP 580

Legal and Administrative Framework for Planning

Political, legal, and administrative institutions closely related to the planning process. Issues of devolution of authority and public representation and participation. Legal basis for planning and associated regulation.

News | August 16, 2021

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy honors UW College of Built Environments faculty, Nehemiah Studio for curriculum on mitigating gentrification

The Nehemiah Studio, a UW class on mitigating gentrification in Seattle’s Central District designed by Rachel Berney, Donald King and Al Levine with support from College of Built Environments Dean Renée Cheng, has been honored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The course supports joint efforts by the college and the Nehemiah Initiative Seattle to train graduate students to help mitigate displacement in…


News | June 13, 2019

Livable City Year celebrates partnership with City of Bellevue

This year’s Livable City Year partnership with the City of Bellevue mobilized 285 students from a variety of schools and colleges, representing all three UW campuses, to work on 30 projects in the city. The students’ research, findings and recommendations were on display at a celebration at Bellevue City Hall on Monday, June 3. The Bellevue City…


News | November 14, 2019

Livable City Year: Jennifer Otten & Branden Born

Food brings people together. In the case of the academic collaboration between Jennifer Otten and Branden Born, so did food policy. Otten, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and core faculty in the Nutritional Sciences Program within the School of Public Health, met Born, an associate professor in Urban Design and Planning…


News | January 19, 2024

Longevity without vitality: Americans live longer but endure declining health

From KEPR TV By Janae Bowens WASHINGTON (TND) – Americans are living longer, but are also sick for more of their lives. Analysis from the Wall Street Journal‘s Alex Janin shows the estimated average of life spent in good health declined to 83.6% in 2021, which is down from 85.8% in 1990. This is all…


Scholar

Manish Chalana

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Marina Alberti

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Mark Purcell

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Course | URBDP 481

Metropolitan Planning and Development in Developing Countries

Examination of the nature and causes of urban planning and management problems in developing countries and exploration of alternative approaches to solve some of these problems.

News | January 31, 2016

Monthly Wrap up January 2016

It’s been a great start to 2016. UW Alumni association and History Department put together a woderful history lecture series: Excavating Seattle’s histories: Peoples, politics, and place check out details and videos here> The CBE also hosted a number of great speakers and events including SUSTAINING JAPAN: 3.11 FIVE YEARS ON lecture and panel discussion…


News | August 25, 2016

NEH Awards $179,000 for Urban-Nature Summer Institute at UW

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded nearly $180,000 for a new summer institute on the urban environment at the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington. The institute, City/Nature: Urban Environmental Humanities, examines how Western cultures have historically viewed city and nature as separate—and how a more integrative understanding can…


News | March 15, 2024

Neighborhood Poverty May Impact Women’s Ovarian Reserves

Reported by Lori Solomon at Health Day News FRIDAY, March 15, 2024 — Living in a neighborhood with greater poverty in adulthood is tied to lower ovarian reserve, according to a study published online March 5 in Menopause. Anwesha Pan, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues aimed to examine the association between…


News | March 10, 2020

New Bill that May Pave the Way for Seattle Seismic Upgrades

Public officials for decades have promised to deal with the old brick buildings in Seattle that could crumble with deadly consequences when a major earthquake hits — and have produced nothing but paper plans. Now some advocates hope a new attempt could at last lead to action. A state bill that could help building owners finance…


News | August 15, 2016

New book ‘Cities that Think Like Planets’ imagines urban regions resilient to change

Marina Alberti is a professor in the Department of Urban Design and Planning, which is part of the University of Washington College of Built Environments. Alberti directs the college’s Urban Ecology Research Laboratory and the Graduate School’s interdisciplinary doctoral program in urban design and planning. She answered some questions about her new book, “Cities that…


News | January 11, 2018

New book ‘City Unsilenced’ explores protest and public space

Jeff Hou is a professor of landscape architecture and adjunct professor of urban design and planning in the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments. His research, teaching and practice focus on community design, design activism, cross-cultural learning and engaging marginalized communities in planning and design. Hou has written extensively on the agency of citizens…


News | November 20, 2020

New report by UDP PhD Candidate Katie Idziorek: Toward Universal Access

Urban Design & Planning PhD candidate Katie Idziorek is a co-author on a significant new report published this month: Toward Universal Access: A Case Study in the Los Angeles and Puget Sound Regions. Read an excerpt below:   Approximately 61 million U.S. adults—one quarter of the adult population—live with some form of disability. The Americans with Disabilities…


News | May 7, 2019

New study finds Seattle is even less prepared for mega quakes than previously thought

Scientists have found that the shaking likely to be generated by a massive earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone is worse than previously thought—and Seattle’s current building codes aren’t equipped to handle it. The study, which was presented at the 2019 Seismological Society of America Annual Meeting last month, is based on the work of…


News | August 11, 2021

New UW collaboratory to support equitable and just climate action

An interdisciplinary group of University of Washington researchers has teamed with Front and Centered to create an innovative Collaboratory to promote just and equitable climate action. The Collaboratory aims to respond to climate change impacts with attention to equitable mitigation and adaptation solutions. It will feature three linked platforms to achieve this goal through a…


News | May 2, 2024

New York cities plagued by blackouts due to climate change, study finds

Written by Saul Elbein for The Hill. Climate change is pushing some New York City neighborhoods into dozens of nearly daylong blackouts per year, a new study has found. Large swaths of the state’s principal towns and cities faced repeated, protracted and dangerous weather-driven power outages between 2017 and 2020, according to findings published Wednesday in…


News | January 19, 2024

Northwest innovators chase the dream of greener concrete

From The Seattle Times By Mike Lindblom PULLMAN — From a onetime speakeasy in North Seattle to a modern lab in the Palouse, inventors are testing recipes that make concrete less lethal to Earth’s climate. Most people understand that the world’s 1.4 billion fossil-fueled cars and trucks spew carbon dioxide, trapping heat in the atmosphere….


News | May 18, 2016

Office Hours with Britton Shephard

Britton Shepard is a Masters student in Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington, and will be graduating this June. He is currently wrapping up his thesis project, Site 1121: Field Notes, a public site exhibition of an abandoned lot that explored the history and identity of a landscape in an urban setting. The week-long…


News | July 16, 2020

Opportunities to engage UW faculty and students to address COVID-19

In recognition of the intense needs of local governments around COVID-19 response and recovery, the LCY program has compiled a list of existing UW courses whose faculty and students are seeking to assist local communities in COVID-related projects. Most projects can start in Autumn 2020 — some as early as Summer 2020. The list of…


News | August 2, 2021

Paratransit services for people with disabilities in the Seattle region during the COVID-19 pandemic: Lessons for recovery planning

A new journal article titled, “Paratransit services for people with disabilities in the Seattle region during the COVID-19 pandemic: Lessons for recovery planning” co-written by Urban Design & Planning PhD students Lamis Abu Ashour, Xun Fang, and Yiyuan Wang; as well as Andrew Dannenberg, Affiliate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and Urban Design…


Course | URBDP 576 / CET 586

Pedestrian Travel, Land Use, and Urban Form

Seminar concentrating on walking as a mode of transportation in cities and city-regions, including social, cognitive, and perceptual dimensions of pedestrian movement and behavior theory.

Scholar

Phil Hurvitz

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Course | URBDP 480

Planning as a Profession

Provides students interested in the planning profession an opportunity to understand the different pathways and career choices within the profession. Introduces students to guest professionals in various planning careers and highlight key issues, skills used, and tips to entering the field. Focuses on professional practice rather than analytical methods or theory.

Course | URBDP 564

Planning History, Theory, and Ethics

Examines major historical landmarks since the Civil War (urban, suburban, and rural, physical and social-economic); theoretical alternatives (rationalism, pluralism-advocacy, critical theory, bio-regionalism, dissipative models); and ethical issues (such as distributive justice and principles of professional conduct).

News | July 28, 2023

Plans Develop for High-Speed Rail in the PNW

With a growing population in the Pacific Northwest, the call for better public transportation heightens. This March, Washington’s State Legislature signed off on a transportation milestone, allocating $150 million to a high-speed connection between Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Though this funding could reduce congestion, cut carbon emissions, and better connect these coastal cities, a…


News | May 5, 2020

Population Health Initiative announces award of 21 COVID-19 rapid response grants

The University of Washington Population Health Initiative announced the award of approximately $350,000 in COVID-19 rapid response grants to 21 different faculty-led teams. These teams are composed of individuals representing 10 different schools and colleges. Funding was partially matched by additional school, college and departmental funds, bringing the total value of these awards to roughly $820,000. “A…


Course | URBDP 446

Practical Experience

Off-campus internship under academic supervision in situations useful to the education of planners, such as public/private planning and design offices, projects related to the environment, cross-cultural matters, and decision making. Assistance in identifying appropriate projects.

Course | URBDP 587

Preservation and the Vernacular Environment

Exploration of theoretical, methodological, and practical issues related to the preservation of vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes in the United States.

Course | ENV H 538, URBDP 538

Public Health and the Built Environment

Examines how the design of communities and land use and transportation decision have positive and adverse effects on health. Considers built environment impacts on physical activity, obesity, air quality, injuries, mental health, social capital, and environmental justice; and explores interventions to promote healthy community design.

Course | URBDP 538 / ENV H 538

Public Health and the Built Environment

Examines how the design of communities and land use and transportation decision have positive and adverse effects on health. Considers built environment impacts on physical activity, obesity, air quality, injuries, mental health, social capital, and environmental justice; and explores interventions to promote healthy community design.

News | September 21, 2022

Q&A: Exploring How the Design of the Built Environment Affects Our Health and Well-Being

How does the design of the built environment – such as houses, schools, workplaces, streets, parks, transportation systems, and urban form – affect our health and well-being? To explore these issues, editors Nisha D. Botchwey, Andrew Dannenberg, and Howard Frumkin, recently published the second edition of “Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Well-being, Equity,…


Scholar

Qing Shen

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Course | URBDP 520

Quantitative Methods in Urban Design and Planning

Methods of statistical and mathematical analysis in design and planning. Emphasizes the use of computer packages for analyzing urban data. Regression, matrix methods, cohort-survival populations models with examples solved on microcomputers. Prerequisite: college mathematics and basic course in probability and statistics.

News | April 17, 2024

Quiet! Our Loud World Is Making Us Sick

Written by Joanne Silberner for Scientific America. Ten years ago Jamie Banks started working from her home in the town of ­Lincoln, Mass. After a couple of months, the continuing racket from landscaping machines began to feel unendurable, even when she was inside her home. “This horrible noise was going on for hours every day, every…


Course | URBDP 514

Race and Social Justice Seminar

This course will explore concepts of race, racism, class, social justice, and make explicit their connections between design and planning. It does so to build student understanding about how, and the degree to which, these disciplines have historically addressed these topics, and where they stand currently. This exploration will include progress made, challenges, and overt actions that have and may continue to work in racist and unjust ways.

Scholar

Rachel Berney

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News | April 6, 2016

Reading List for Edgar Pieterse Visit 4/12

In anticipation of Edgar Pieterse’s visit we thought you might enjoy a video lecture and in-depth examination to get a feel for Pieterse’s research and thinking. How can we transcend slum urbanism in Africa? – Edgar Pieterse, University of Cape Town – This short video delivered by Edgar Pieterse and UN-Habitat offers a very accessible…


Course | URBDP 370

Reading the City

Comprehending cities as reflection of individual reader and social/cultural context. Skills for analyzing everyday, visible evidence of the city. Topics include self-identity with place, city, image and perception, visual design analysis; and place as representation of culture. Extensive writing, multiple texts, collaborative work in groups and fieldwork.

Course | URBDP 551 / R E 517

Real Estate Asset Management

Focuses on the fundamentals and structure of asset management from a value improvement perspective. Students are educated on the proactive manner asset managers need to respond to changing tenant needs and competitive market condition, while focusing on the asset appreciation throughout the ownership cycle (acquisition, leasing and disposition).

Course | R E 550 / URBDP 578

Real Estate Development

Introduction and survey of processes and people involved in developing real estate, including issues of site control, public/private approvals, feasibility analysis, project financing, design/construction, marketing, and asset management.

Course | URBDP 513 / R E 551

Real Estate Development Studio

The Real Estate Development studio is a required for the MSRE option in RE Development. The focus of the course has been traditionally on competitions. The course will continue to focus in commercial real estate competitions (NAIOP) and projects in the autumn quarter, however a focus on affordable housing will be the emphasis while pursuing the Bank of America's affordable Housing Challenge in the winter and spring quarter.

Course | URBDP 554 / R E 513

Real Estate Finance and Investment

Introduces students to basic real estate finance and institutional analysis allowing them to quantify the financial implications of real estate decisions. Topics include: basic time value of money, financial leverage, discounted cash flow analysis (properties and institutional portfolios), assessment of various real estate investment classes and distribution of proceeds to investors

Course | URBDP 557 / R E 515

Real Estate Law

Provides overview of legal frameworks applicable to the real estate industry with specific focus on three principal types of real estate transactions: (1) buying and selling real estate; (2) commercial leases; and (3) financing secured by real estate. Includes discussion of governmental regulation of real estate (land use controls, environmental concerns, and housing regulation).

News | December 20, 2016

Reflections on Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change

On November 7th and 8th Urban@UW, in collaboration with the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group (CIG), hosted a symposium to begin transdisciplinary conversation on the multifaceted dynamics and consequences of Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change (UEJ). Below are some reflections from this event, and a sample of the resources we’ll…


News | June 5, 2021

Regional survey reveals work, leisure habits during the pandemic

No commute, fewer interruptions from co-workers, and the ability to work longer hours — all were factors that boosted feelings of productivity among people who worked from home during the first several months of the pandemic. At the same time, according to new data from the University of Washington, those who felt less productive while…


Course | URBDP 512

Research Seminar

Planning, designing, and undertaking applied research in an urban setting. Framing, critically assessing, managing, and presenting research used in urban planning and design. Conceptual modeling of causal relationships, choice among experimental and quasi-experimental designs, and ethical and political implications of research undertakings. Exercises leading to a complete research design.

Course | URBDP 509

Resources for Urban Planning

Provides an opportunity for students to explore and discuss issues of professional practice with practicing planners in an informal context. Questions posed by the participants usually emphasize practical aspects of working as planners.

Scholar

Rob Corser

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Scholar

Ronald J. Kasprisin

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News | April 8, 2024

Seattle Civic Poet Shin Yu Pai launches new public poetry project on April 1

Originally reported in Northwest Asian Weekly by Kai Curry. National Poetry Month takes place every year in April. Its purpose is to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry nationwide. This year, Seattle residents will have the privilege and pleasure of discovering, installed throughout various parts of the city, poems by local poets on topics of…


News | January 9, 2024

Seattle now has highest minimum wage of any major city in the United States

As of Jan. 1, Seattle hiked its minimum wage to $19.97 an hour for workers at larger companies like Starbucks. That’s the highest minimum wage of any major city in the U.S. Former labor leader David Rolf, who drove the original push for a higher minimum wage law in Seattle and SeaTac around a decade…


News | May 7, 2024

Seattle-area housing market picks up, but buyers feel the squeeze

Written by Heidi Grover for The Seattle Times The Seattle area’s spring housing market continued to heat up in April, with more activity and higher home prices across the region, particularly in King County. The number of new listings and home sales climbed throughout the Puget Sound region in April, a typical seasonal uptick. But…


News | October 24, 2019

Seattle’s treasured P-Patch community gardens face uncertain future

Have you stumbled on a P-Patch community garden in your neighborhood? These beehives of gardening and community populate every corner of Seattle. Both the gardens and the people are as diverse as the neighborhoods they serve. From sprawling production farms to tiny lots, each provides a green respite, an open and interactive space. To those…


News | April 26, 2024

Seattle’s troubled past and present suggest a new approach to mental health

Written by Will James, Sydney Brownstone, and Esme Jimenez as part of the series “Lost Patients” for KUOW, an NPR Station. Edward Moore, a 32-year-old sailor, was discovered, near freezing and living in a tattered tent on the shore near current day Seattle in 1854. At the time, Washington was still a territory and Seattle…


News | February 1, 2024

Should social media pay for addicting kids? Seattle schools lawsuit gains steam

Reported by KUOW Written by Sami West A year into Seattle Public Schools’ lawsuit against social media companies, the case is gaining traction. More than 50 school districts in Washington state — and dozens more across the country — have joined Seattle’s lawsuit. Seattle became the first district to sue social media platforms last January,…


Course | URBDP 424

Site Planning: Issues and Techniques

Introduction to site planning; how it is regulated; why it is important to know; and how to carry out its key tasks, including residential subdivision and mixed-use development layout; basic topographical and hydrological analysis and manipulation; roadways, parking and hierarchies of circulation, and site design detail.

News | April 22, 2024

Skip the Traffic: Commuters Turn to Ferries to Get Around

Written by Linda Baker for The New York Times. As remote work reshapes the way people live and travel around cities, Americans are taking to the waterways not only as part of their commute but also as part of their daily lives. Some coastal cities are seeing ferry ridership bounce back after a decline during…


Scholar

Sofia Dermisi

Visit scholar website

News | January 4, 2022

Solar energy faces supply chain issues, policy woes

More companies and families are looking to solar power for electricity. But, like with many industries, supply chain issues are prominent. The U.S. Solar Market Insight report released this month by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood MacKenzie claims policy uncertainty and supply chain issues are driving solar price increases. This resulted in a…


News | July 19, 2018

Sound Transit rail stations could help solve our housing crisis

All of Sound Transit’s LINK light-rail stations offer opportunities to create vibrant, walkable mixed-use communities with significant amounts of new housing and reduced dependence on automobiles. We need a bold, regional approach to housing affordability, says Rick Mohler, Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture, and  Al Levine, Associate Faculty at the Department of Urban Design…


Course | URBDP 508

Specialized Planning Laboratory

Studio/field project on a specialized planning problem. Several options are offered each year, such as regional-environmental planning, housing, metropolitan planning, and urban design.

News | February 16, 2024

Student Housing Has a New Mantra: Bigger Is Better

Written by Kevin Williams for The New York Times Off-campus complexes are getting larger, with some being home to more than 1,500 students, and being built on prime parcels of land as close to campus as possible. When the Standard, an off-campus student housing complex, opened in the fall in Bloomington, Ind., welcoming its first…


Course | URBDP 500

Survey of Urban Planning

Concepts and logic of planning as a professional activity. Evolution of guiding ideas in relation to changing social, economic, and environmental conditions within the American political framework. Major procedures used by planners. Critical appraisal.

Course | URBDP 533

Sustainable Transportation and the Environment

Investigates impacts of transportation on the natural and the built environment. Topics may include analysis of bicyclists' and pedestrians' exposure to air/noise pollution and mitigation options, policy incentives to accelerate vehicle electrification to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and successful model cases.

News | December 16, 2019

The Central District has lost over a dozen of its Black churches. The rest may still be saved

There’s little doubt that The Nehemiah Initiative faces an immense challenge combating the displacement of African Americans from central Seattle. When you drive through the Central District today, you see gentrification in its stark reality. New market-rate buildings line the intersections of 23rd Avenue and East Union Street, as well as 23rd and South Jackson…


News | June 11, 2021

The holy grail for sustainability

Each year on Earth Day, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment presents the COTE Top Ten Awards, the industry’s best-known award program for sustainable design excellence. Now in its 25th year, this distinction is granted to projects across the nation — ranging from learning centers and university buildings to houses of…


News | November 18, 2020

The pandemic changed our daily routines. Here’s how that’s impacting mental health, productivity and the environment

Few people think about the impact their daily routine has on themselves, or even the planet. But the small actions — from what you eat for breakfast to how you commute to work — are having an effect. Urban Design and Planning doctoral student Xiao Shi has long been interested in the small and large impacts of people’s…


Course | URBDP 405 / URBDP 505

The Urban Form

Elements, patterns, and evolution of urban form. The forces that shaped cities in history. Contemporary trends. Methods of urban morphological analysis as related to urban design and planning practices. Required for MUP graduate students.

Course | URBDP 510

Theories and Methodologies of Planning I

Survey of the philosophy, methods, and analytical techniques used in planning public actions and policies, with emphasis on the logic and assumptions upon which these are based. Various planning surveys and methods. Open to graduate students in urban design and planning and to graduate students seeking the urban design certificate.

News | January 9, 2020

This is what Seattle’s new neighborhood could look like

Architecture and planning students love to wrestle with big ideas. And while their end-of-the-quarter presentations sometimes include out-of-the-box ideas, they usually don’t have the attention of public officials. But this time was different. Students with the University of Washington Built Environments Studio, taught by Rick Mohler (Architecture) and David Blum (Urban Design and Planning) in…


News | March 19, 2024

To report or not report ‘suspicious people’ near campus

Originally reported in The Daily by Shira Sur It took three encounters with a person threatening bypassers near the West Campus dorms for first-year student Hannah Whitemarsh to call 911. Whitemarsh’s call to UWPD, which was made in mid-October of 2023, was transferred to the Seattle Police Department (SPD). After she was asked whether the…


Course | CEP 470 / URBDP 502

Tools for Sustainable Cities

Examines specific tools used for planning sustainable cities, including hands-on learning, speakers, case studies, and site tours to enrich students' knowledge and experience.

Course | URBDP 502

Tools for Sustainable Cities

Examines specific tools used for planning sustainable cities, including hands-on learning, speakers, case studies, and site tours to enrich students' knowledge and experience.

News | March 31, 2016

Towards a Speculative Politics for African Cities with Edgar Pieterse – 4/12

Join us April 12 at Kane Hall (Room 120) for Visiting Scholar Edgar Pieterse, Please Register for this Public Event Towards a Speculative Politics for African Cities The available frames to understand and reimagine contemporary urban politics in the African context come down two divergent pathways: 1) build the institutional infrastructure to enact the deliberative…


News | February 16, 2024

Transit workers fight drugs on buses and trains

Written by Joseph Gallivan for Axios Oregon Transit companies are pushing to make it a Class A misdemeanor to use drugs on buses and trains in Oregon. TriMet, the Oregon Transit Association, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 testified yesterday to support amending Senate Bill 1553. The amendment would add the use of illicit drugs…


News | January 9, 2024

Univ. of Washington set to break ground on 69-acre redevelopment to create Seattle innovation hub

The University of Washington this year expects to break ground on a new building that will anchor an ambitious, innovation-focused redevelopment called Portage Bay Crossing. The project will cover 69 acres of the southwest portion of the Seattle campus, revitalizing and unifying an area of buildings that officials called old and underutilized. UW leaders recently…


News | August 30, 2016

University of Washington and City of Auburn launch first Livable City Year partnership

The University of Washington has begun a yearlong partnership with the City of Auburn, under the new Livable City Year program. UW students and professors will work with the City of Auburn to advance the city’s goals for livability and sustainability throughout the upcoming academic year. In this inaugural year, UW faculty will lead classes…


News | April 15, 2019

University of Washington researchers want to help Uber and Lyft protect data and share it with cities

Cities where Uber and Lyft operate have a data problem. The University of Washington wants to provide the solution. Companies such as Uber and Lyft are sitting on mounds of valuable data about where and when riders move around cities. Transportation officials are eager to get their hands on that information but the companies have…


Course | URBDP 422

Urban and Regional Geospatial Analysis

Principles of GIS applied to problems in urban design and planning, landscape architecture, and environmental and resource studies. Practical problem-solving approaches using contemporary desktop mapping packages and vector and raster GIS systems. Siting, environmental evaluation and inventories, and modeling. Prerequisite: either GEOG 317, GEOG 360, GEOG 461, GEOG 462, GEOG 465, FISH 452, or OCEAN 452.

News | April 22, 2019

Urban coyote evolution favors the bold

Coyotes become fearless around people in just a few generations—which isn’t good for their longterm co-existence with humans in cities. Coyotes are now common residents of many large urban areas. And while it doesn’t happen all that often, coyotes are increasingly coming into conflict with people and pets. “They’re these mid-sized carnivores, [though] most people…


Degree Program

Urban Design and Planning (Minor, Cert, MUP, dual MLA-MUP, PhD)

Our core mission is to develop a community of inquiry, learning, and practice that helps urban regions to become more livable, just, economically effective, and environmentally sound through a democratic process of urban design and planning.

Visit program website

Course | URBDP 561 / PUBPOL 561

Urban Economics and Public Policy

Examines the rationale for and consequences of public intervention in urban land, housing, and transportation markets through land use regulations such as zoning and growth management, infrastructure investments, and fiscal policies to manage urban development and traffic. Prerequisite: successful completion of an introductory microeconomics course or permission of the instructor.

Course | URBDP 527

Urban History, Ethics, Form, and Theory I

Introduces how urban form is shaped by economic, political, social, and technological forces. Focuses on different historical periods, starting with the native city/pre-colonial city. Students learn about formation and transformation of urban environments, and theoretical underpinnings and ethics related to those transformations. Includes experiences of non-elite groups.

Course | URBDP 528

Urban History, Ethics, Form, and Theory II

Introduces how cities are shaped by economic, political, social and technological forces. Focuses on historical periods, including the colonial, industrial, and post-industrial and global cities. Students learn about formation and transformation of urban environments, and theoretical underpinnings and ethics related to those transformations. Includes experiences of non-elite groups.

Course | R E 553, URBDP 553

Urban Land Economics

Introduces urban economics, land markets, and locational decision making; and examines urban spatial structure and the economic, political, social, technological, and historical forces that shape land values and uses. Uses applied spatial analytical tools including geographic information systems and geodemographic software.

Course | URBDP 553 / R E 553

Urban Land Economics

Introduces urban economics, land markets, and locational decision making; and examines urban spatial structure and the economic, political, social, technological, and historical forces that shape land values and uses. Uses applied spatial analytical tools including geographic information systems and geodemographic software.

News | May 5, 2016

Urban Planning and PhD Program Addresses ‘The Future City’ (5/5)

What kinds of cities shall we live in, and how can urban planners help make them a reality? What possible future scenarios lie ahead, and how will big data and new technologies affect science and decision-making in urban design? The University of Washington Graduate School’s Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Urban Design and Planning’s annual symposium…


Course | URBDP 467

Urban Planning Uses of Remote Sensing

Using aerial photographs and satellite image data in urban planning. Urban change analysis, land-use and land cover classification, and environmental planning applications. Scale and resolution considerations. Development of proficiency through laboratory exercises and use of image-processing software.

News | April 28, 2021

Urban Scholar Highlight: Jan Whittington

Jan Whittington is an Associate Professor of the Department of Urban Design and Planning, Director of the Urban Infrastructure Lab, Associate Director of the Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, and Affiliate Faculty at the Tech Policy Lab. Her research applies transaction cost economic theory to networked infrastructures, such as transportation, water, and communication systems,…


News | October 1, 2019

Urban Scholar Highlight: Rachel Berney

Rachel Berney is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Design and Planning, Adjunct Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture, an Urban@UW Fellow, and author of Learning from Bogotá: Pedagogical Urbanism and the Reshaping of Public Space. Her primary interests include community sustainable design, public space, and international development in the Americas, as well as…


News | April 17, 2023

Urban@UW Announces the 2023 Research to Action Collaboratory Inaugural Cohort

Urban@UW is excited to announce the project teams selected for the inaugural cohort of the Research to Action Collaboratory (RAC). Throughout the next 18 months, Urban@UW will work with these teams and provide seed funds, dedicated time to build team cohesion and collaboration skills, and foster opportunities for peer support and shared resources and learning….


News | May 18, 2021

Urban@UW Will Welcome New Faculty Director

Following a competitive, university-wide search process, Urban@UW is very pleased to announce that Rachel Berney, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the Seattle campus, will serve as the initiative’s next Faculty Director. Professor Berney is well positioned to collaboratively lead Urban@UW as a cross-disciplinary research initiative and learning community…


News | March 18, 2022

Urbanization is driving evolution of plants globally, study finds

Humans re-shape the environments where they live, with cities being among the most profoundly transformed environments on Earth. New research now shows that these urban environments are altering the way life evolves. A study led by evolutionary biologists at the University of Toronto Mississauga and including the University of Washington Urban Ecology Research Lab examines whether parallel…


News | December 6, 2022

UW Livable City Year program and Pacific County EDC launch new partnership

Every year, students at the University of Washington work with one or more local governments to help create solutions to challenging problems. This year, they’ll study Pacific County. Launching an exciting new partnership, the Livable City Year program and the Pacific County Economic Development Council (PCEDC) will connect UW courses with projects identified by PCEDC…


News | June 3, 2022

UW Ph.D. students hold symposium on the role of technology in urban environments into the future

Originally written by Mingming Cai, Ana Costa, Kristin Potterton & Salman Rashdi.  On May 20th, students in University of Washington’s Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Urban Design and Planning and Ph.D. Program in the Built Environment hosted the virtual 2022 annual research symposium. Based on the theme, Pathways toward the future: Assessing the digital dimensions of…


News | November 2, 2021

UW receives $2M from National Science Foundation to design an ‘adaptable society’

A team led by the University of Washington has received a nearly $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to further research into how urban societal systems can be organized to be both efficient and resilient. The Leading Engineering for America’s Prosperity, Health and Infrastructure (LEAP-HI) project, based in the UW College of Engineering, supports fundamental research to…


News | May 26, 2020

UW research team seeks campus input with survey on coronavirus mobility impacts

Three professors are teaming up for a study of the mobility impacts of the coronavirus — and they are inviting UW faculty, staff and students to complete a short online survey to assist the research. The research is being conducted by Anne Vernez Moudon, professor emerita of urban design and planning in the College of Built Environments, with Jeff…


News | September 1, 2020

UW researchers explore how urbanization changes Earth’s ecosystems in new paper

UW researchers Marina Alberti, Urban Design & Planning; Simone Des Roches, Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences; and Christopher Schell, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW Tacoma have published a new report titled “The Complexity of Urban Eco-evolutionary Dynamics”, examining how urbanization affects ecological and evolutionary processes over time, and how these changes affect nature’s contribution to people….


News | November 29, 2018

UW’s Marina Alberti to lead new NSF-funded research network to study impact of cities on Earth’s evolutionary dynamics

Here in what is called the Anthropocene era, humans and our urban environments appear to be driving accelerated evolutionary change in plants, animals, fungi, viruses and more — changes that could affect key ecosystem functions and thus human well-being. These interactions between evolution and ecology are called “eco-evolutionary feedback.” The National Science Foundation has awarded a five-year,…


News | October 25, 2022

Washed away, not today— Westport schools participate in tsunami drill

Crossing the bridge on Highway 105 over the oyster beds, Westport’s low spit of land is barely even a suggestion in the mist and fog. The smell of salt is heavy in the air, reminding us that the sea is always close, and on this Thursday morning, students in Westport practice what to do if…


News | August 7, 2017

What city ants can teach us about species evolution and climate change

Acorn ants are tiny. They’re not the ants you’d notice marching across your kitchen or swarming around sidewalk cracks, but the species is common across eastern North America. In particular, acorn ants live anywhere you find oak or hickory trees: both in forests and in the hearts of cities. That’s why they’re so interesting to…


News | January 23, 2024

What Happened to Seattle’s Relationship with Boeing?

The aftermath of the Alaska blowout reveals that the connection is slowly unraveling. From Seattle Met Written by Benjamin Cassidy IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH of the fuselage blowout on an Alaska Airlines flight earlier this month, Margaret O’Mara noticed something that would’ve once been unthinkable in Seattle. The University of Washington history professor observed that locals…


News | November 22, 2021

Why are the B.C. floods so bad? Blame the wildfires, at least in part

A few short months after the end of a devastating wildfire season, many B.C. communities are cleaning up after disastrous floods that have swept away highways, submerged homes, triggered deadly landslides, stranded hundreds of people and forced thousands more to evacuate. While climate change and (bad) luck each had some role to play, previous wildfires are known to boost the…