Teaching

Unless otherwise noted, all classes taught at University of Colorado Denver.

Urban Design Studio I (sample syllabus)
Advanced interdisciplinary design studio intended to advance student’s comprehensive understanding, capability and technical skill across ecological, social, economic and aesthetic variables. Students engage landscape and design issues of various scales and complexities. In this offering, students explored storm water infrastructure solutions and established a program plan for a more sustainable, amenity-driven, multi-functional storm water system in Downtown Denver. Taught with Bill Wenk of Wenk Associates, Todd Wenskoski of RNL Design and Peter Park, Planning Director, City of Denver.

Student work example: .

Planning Methods I (sample syllabus)
Course centered on qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis and communication in a planning context. Recent projects include Denver Urban Inventory, Planter Analysis (examples 1, 2, 3, 4) for client Downtown Denver Partnership, Peer Cities Analysis (client: Downtown Denver Partnership), and a physical assessment of all bus stops in the Westside Transit Enhancement Project (client: Denver Public Works Department).

Planning Studio II (sample syllabus)
Advanced urban planning studio working with real client on real project to produce a design and management scheme for the public plaza fronting Denver Union Station. The studio won the Colorado-APA Award for best student project of 2008.

City Design Policy (sample syllabus)
City Design Policy focuses on the historical and current production of the built environment. At its core this seminar analyzes the creation of standards and codes in the city building process. We will trace the evolution of zoning and land use regulation and explore the relationship between public and private actors in this complex and often convoluted place making process. We will examine how and why certain design codes were established and how they continue to shape the built environment. Students will assess the benefits and drawbacks of a number of design codes and some of their more recent form- and place-based alternatives. Specifically, we will look at how streets, sidewalks and subdivisions are sites of social relations and, therefore, should reflect a more localized human experience. Students will recognize how social, economic, political and cultural forces affect urban built form and will examine the interrelations between physical design, urban morphology, land use regulations and market trends shaping the urban environment. Most importantly, we will examine the crucial and controversial links between urban form and society, looking particularly at built and natural elements that can create or sustain diversity and interaction. This discussion-based course will be organized in three interrelated sections. First, we will examine the history of standards and regulation of the built environment, focusing mostly on the U.S. experience. Second, we will look at how the various components, or layers, of the urban landscape are produced and regulated. Third, we will look at the future of design standards, outlining and assessing the viability of non-traditional regulatory methods such as form-based codes and hybrid landscapes. Throughout the semester we will examine real cases in real contexts in an attempt to elucidate the shifting roles of the planner, urban designer and policy maker in the regulatory process.

City Building (sample syllabus)
Planning, Zoning, Real Estate Development, development control, design guidelines,providing an understanding of how and why certain policies, politics and powerful interests produce cities and built environments in a particular image. But it moves beyond a singular focus on urban politics and asks what role(s) the planner can play in this production. The course outlines the building blocks of cities and uses extensive case studies to tease out which mechanisms are necessary for building “the good city”. City Building is fundamentally important for those planning to enter careers in the private sector (e.g. real estate development, market analysis, planning consultancy) or public sector (e.g. zoning officer, long-range planner, city politics).

Urban Form Theory (sample syllabus)
Urban Form Theory focuses on the historical and current production of the built environment and centers on realizing the position of urban design within the broader fields of urban development. In this course, we will look less at the practice of urban form production and more toward theories of urban form and design. We will analyze whether and how urban space is shaped by human relations, and in turn, shapes these same relations for future generations. Students will recognize how social, economic, political and cultural forces shape urban built form. We will also examine the crucial links between design and society, looking particularly at how formal elements can create or sustain diversity and interaction.

Planning Public Space – Rutgers University
This intensive three-credit seminar course is geared toward graduate students in the Urban Planning and Policy Development program specializing in physical planning and social geography. As urban public spaces have become sites of conflict and controversy among city planners, policymakers and citizens, student work focuses predominantly on solving problems associated with the provision, design and management of public spaces. A major objective of the course is for students to develop a critical understanding of the various factors influencing public space planning such as privatization, corporate interests and urban design standards, while tackling difficult but topical issues of discrimination, the homeless, and urban social movements.


UNDERGRADUATE

People and Places – Temple University
This three-credit course is the initial required course in the undergraduate program in Community and Regional Planning. The core curriculum also satisfies the university-wide “American Cultures” requirement. The course introduces students to the major debates on the form and formation of cities. Students investigate communities and regions from physical, economic, statistical, political and social perspectives using a variety of materials, including scholarly articles, books, films, guest speakers and field trips. One major objective of the course is to develop interest in the community and regional planning field, as well as a basic understanding of how men and women are shaped by, and in turn, tend to shape the built environment.

Principles of Urban Planning – Rutgers University
Three-credit required course in the Urban Studies major in which students develop a theoretical, practical and political understanding of the urban planning process. The course surveys several topics, including: the historical development of cities, urban society and culture, the history of urban planning, and several substantive planning areas such as housing, zoning, transportation and environmental sustainability. Guest speakers and field trips help connect theories of urban planning to professional practice. The major objectives of the course are: (a) to describe how cities developed and how they work; (b) to provide a working knowledge of the concepts and theories used by planners in deciding how to plan contemporary urban areas; and (c) to survey substantive areas of planning such as community economic development, housing, and transportation planning.

Urban Design and Redevelopment – Rutgers University
This three-credit seminar course is cross-listed as an undergraduate and graduate course in the Planning and Public Policy program. Through guest speakers and case studies, the course discusses the principles and practice of physical planning and design, while introducing important factors influencing urban redevelopment such as community participation, historic preservation, and eminent domain. A major objective of the course is to help students develop the practical tools necessary for creating innovative and successful urban design projects. A critical examination of local and international case studies also enables students to acquire a systematic understanding of the various design and planning elements involved in urban redevelopment.

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