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MUP Courses + Syllabi


The Department’s Two Year Plan features course offerings for two academic years.

Two Year Plan 2022-2024

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. Credit/no-credit only.

URBDP 480 Syllabus

Explores foundational concepts and logics of planning as a professional activity. Course examines the evolution of guiding ideas in relation to changing social, economic, and environmental conditions within the American political framework; major procedures used by planners; and critical appraisal of contemporary planning practices.

URBDP 500 Syllabus

Introduces comprehensive planning as a core method for shaping and managing metropolitan growth. Examines federal and state statutes affecting local comprehensive plans, and reviews local government land use regulations and development processes. Concentrates on tools to shape land use and development patterns and their effectiveness in creating outcomes specified in comprehensive plans.

URBDP 501 Syllabus

A lecture and lab-based course designed to provide students with introductory practical knowledge of Geographical Information Systems and Science for current and future coursework in urban planning. At the end of this course, all students should be functional in basic GIS skills in the ArcGIS software Package. URBDP 504 is the graduate level section for this course; URBDP 404 is the undergraduate section.

URBDP 404/504 Syllabus

Introduces students to the planning studio and plan-making process, with an emphasis on group collaboration, background research, issue identification, public involvement, and preliminary analysis.

URBDP 506 Syllabus

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. URBDP 522 is the graduate level section for this course; URBDP 405 is the undergraduate section.

URBDP 422/522 Syllabus

Studio/field project in applied professional planning. Draws on a local study area to examine the realities of problem solving in situations of functional and normative disagreement. Includes the analysis, programming, implementation, and presentation phases of the planning process.

URBDP 507 A | Scenario Planning for Post-COVID Downtown Seattle Studio

URBDP 507 B | City of Seattle Comprehensive Plan Update Studio

URBDP 507 C | Post COVID Recovery Plan for Downtown Seattle

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.

URBDP 508 | Community Engagement for Coastal Resilience

URBDP 508 | The Nehemiah Studio

Survey of the philosophy, methods, and analytical techniques used in planning, public actions, and policies, with an emphasis on the logic and assumptions upon which these are based.

URBDP 510 A Syllabus

Introduces techniques and approaches to planning, designing, and undertaking applied research in an urban setting, including how to frame, critically assess, manage, and present research. Reviews conceptual modeling of causal relationships, choice among experimental and quasi-experimental designs, and ethical and political implications of urban research. Exercises lead to a complete research design appropriate for the thesis requirement of the MUP degree.

URBDP 512 Syllabus

Explores concepts of race, gender, racism, class, social justice, and untangle their connections between design, planning, policy, and cities.

URBDP 514 Syllabus

Introduces students to the urban land market in which sites and properties are embedded Covers five areas: basic economic concepts critical in the understanding of real estate markets; urban economy; land rent theory; locational analysis and decision making; and market analysis. Offered: jointly with R E 516

URBDP 516 Syllabus

Qualitative research methods covering both the theoretical foundations and practical methodologies of traditional and contemporary approaches, including cognitive mapping, open-ended interviews, ethnographic observation, hermeneutics, phenomenology, critical theory, communicative action, grass-roots empowerment, post-structuralism, and self organization.

URBDP 519 Syllabus

Methods of statistical and mathematical analysis in design and planning. Emphasizes the use of computer packages for analyzing urban data, through regression analysis, matrix methods, cohort-survival population models, or other standard forms of quantitative data analysis.

URBDP 520 Syllabus

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. Includes overview of siting, environmental evaluation and inventories, and modeling techniques.

URBDP 422/522 Syllabus

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. URBDP 523 is the graduate level section for this course; URBDP 423 is the undergraduate section.

URBDP 423/523 Syllabus

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. URBDP 524 is the graduate level section for this course; URBDP 423 is the undergraduate section.

URBDP 424/524 Syllabus

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. Offered: jointly with ENV H 536.

URBDP 536 Syllabus

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. Offered: jointly with ENV H 538.

URBDP 538 Syllabus

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.

URBDP 549 Syllabus

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.

URBDP 550 Syllabus

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). Offered: jointly with R E 517

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. Offered: jointly with R E 510

URBDP 552A/ RE510 Syllabus

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. Offered: jointly with R E 553

URBDP 553 Syllabus

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. Prerequisite: R E 552/URBDP 552. Offered: jointly with R E 513

URBDP 554 Syllabus

Discusses valuation theory and the mechanics underlying real estate appraisal practices. Explores the unique market within which property interests are created, allocated or transferred, the dynamic nature of real estate values, and the valuation impacts of various external factors. Offered: jointly with R E 511

URBDP 555 Syllabus

Focuses on direct real estate investment based on the productive capacity of the total property, debt, and equity components and their impact on the cash returns in the form of positive returns to the property, tax savings potential, alternative leverage effects, and the gains at sale. Offered as URBDP 516, jointly with R E 516

Focuses on the legal principles and issues essential to understanding the workings of the real estate industry, including the fundamentals of real estate transactions and development projects. Offered: jointly with R E 515

Prepares students to conduct and interpret market studies to cover a range of real estate decisions. Exposes students to the market analysis process and various tools and techniques that can be used to analyze and forecast supply, demand, and rental rates. Offered: jointly with R E 558

Students develop formal portfolio management strategies that draw on their in-depth understanding of real estate fundamentals, strategic planning and portfolio theory. Working in teams, students prepare cutting-edge portfolio strategies including the policies and procedures for implementation and portfolio management. Offered: jointly with R E 569

Examines the rationale for and consequences of public intervention in urban land, housing, and transportation markets through land use regulations such as zoning and urban growth boundaries, infrastructure investments, and fiscal policies to manage urban development and traffic. Prerequisite: PB AF 516 or equivalent. Offered: jointly with PB AF 561.

URBDP 561/PUBPOL 561 Syllabus

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.

URBDP 562 Syllabus

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).

URBDP 564 Syllabus

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.

URBDP 565 Syllabus

This course is focused on infrastructure planning and finance and, more generally, on the relationship between planning and budgeting. We explore basic concepts, legal frameworks, politics, and processes used in the systems studied, including techniques in infrastructure planning aimed at estimating demand and predicting the effects of infrastructure projects on land use. URBDP 566 is the graduate level section; URBDP 466 is the undergraduate section.

URBDP 466/566 Syllabus

Applies critical thinking needed to understand the drivers of value of the major property types which covers the “user in search of a site” and “investor in search of involvement’ feasibility questions. Applies a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis to target markets. Offered: jointly with R E 560

Studies capital markets, investigating the agents and institutions that channel money from the array of sources of savings to investment projects. Identifies the sources of available capital and uses investment and portfolio tools employed by conduits and intermediaries matches the capital to projects and asset classes. Offered: jointly with R E 561

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

URBDP 573 Syllabus

Introduces financing real property projects developed by public, community, and private entities with a primary emphasis on interim (acquisition/development/construction) and take-out lending for new real estate projects. Offered: jointly with R E 570

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. Prerequisite: R E 552/URBDP 552. Offered: jointly with R E 550

Analyses capital flows (global and national) and emerging capital market trends that affect the industry. Pays special attention to securitized real estate, including Real Estate Investment Trusts, and Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities. Offered: jointly with R E 541

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.

URBDP 580 Syllabus

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.

URBDP 585 Syllabus

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.

URBDP 586 Syllabus

Provides an opportunity for students to learn about the interdisciplinary nature of real estate from industry leaders. Discusses current issues and opportunities in the industry as well as what it takes to develop a sustainable career path. Offered: jointly with R E 590

Researchable issues and research methodology. Discussion and critique of selected pieces of recent research work. Presentation and critique of research proposed by members of the seminar. Prerequisite: master’s degree or equivalent in a planning discipline.

URBDP 591 Syllabus

Researchable issues and research methodology. Discussion and critique of selected pieces of recent research work. Presentation and critique of research proposed by members of the seminar. Prerequisite: master’s degree or equivalent in a planning discipline.

Researchable issues and research methodology. Discussion and critique of selected pieces of recent research work. Presentation and critique of research proposed by members of the seminar. Prerequisite: master’s degree or equivalent in a planning discipline.

Systematic study of specialized subject matter. Topics vary for each quarter, depending upon current interest and needs, and are announced in the preceding quarter. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.