I have developed and currently teach classes on planning, urban design and heritage conservation at the University of Southern California. In the Sol Price School of Public Policy, I teach a large introductory class for first year planning students, as well as the planning program’s gateway urban design course. In the School of Architecture, I regularly teach Heritage Conservation Policy and Planning.
Ideas about planning are drawn from a number of traditions including political, social, economic, geographic, cultural and urban theory. The goal of this course is to acquaint students with a rich body of literature and to link readings to everyday practice so that our work as planners has the potential to be both more effective and critically engaged. In a few short weeks, we read a lot, and talk even more, about scholars and practitioners who have contributed to our understanding of planning as a field of inquiry and as a profession. As we think through the effects of planning in the United States, we also have an opportunity to reflect on our personal values as future planners and as citizens of a global, interconnected world.
Urban design shapes the appearance, layout, and organization of the built environment. Use of the term implies a deliberate process to create functional, efficient, just, and aesthetically appealing places. This course introduces students to important concepts and foundational literature in urban design and physical planning. Ideas and methods are presented, interrogated, and discussed in class in a seminar format. Students are encouraged to apply the ideas and methods in the documentation and analysis of a particular site from an historical, spatial, and social perspective.
Heritage conservation is a social practice. Its goal is to create vibrant places that honor the history of diverse communities while simultaneously facilitating the development of inclusive and equitable futures for all. This course provides an overview of the ways that the profession works in the context of urban planning and policy. In particular, we discuss how heritage mediates conflicts between preservation, social forces, economic interests, and politics.