Environmental Analysis and Policy


Environmental Analysis and Policy


The natural environment is both the context within which all human activities take place and a social product of those activities. Environmental analysis and planning begins with the study of the physical, biotic, socio-economic, political and cultural context in which environmental interactions and conflicts occur. An array of analytic tools ranging from cultural to socio-economic and ecological approaches is then applied to specific questions. Some of these are locality specific, but many involve larger scale regional, national and global processes and social movements. Under current dynamics of global change and globalization, students must be able to interpret environmental issues in terms of patterns, processes and scale. Since the hinterlands and environmental/ecological footprints of cities regularly transcend the built environment, so do the analytics of this concentration.


In addition to the EAP urbanization course, students complete five courses for this AOC: a governance course; an assessment course; an applied studio; a skills course (GIS is strongly recommended); and one elective. These courses will provide students with a conceptual understanding of the nature, magnitude and causes of environmental processes and problems; an understanding of the various environmental policy and planning approaches; and a set of professional skills useful for effective practice. All students will be able to complete the requirements of this AOC within two years. The assessment course and applied studio will be offered annually, the urbanization and governance courses will be offered biannually, and the skills courses and electives will vary depending on instructor availability. In addition to the courses offered within the Urban Planning department, students are encouraged to take courses from other departments (see cross listed courses below).

Urbanization Course (departmental requirement):

265A            Urban Environments and Socio-Ecologies

Governance Course (required):

C265B               Environmentalisms:  The Foundations of Political Ecology

Assessment Course (required):  

260A               Environmental Assessment

Applied Studio* (required):  

260B               Green Urban Studio 

Skills Course (choose one of the following)**:

218                  Graphics and Urban Information
273                  Site Planning
274                  Introduction to Physical Planning
M159               Lifecycle Analysis (Environmental Science)
M206A            Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
M206B            Advanced Geographic Information Systems 

Electives (choose at least ONE from ANY of the lists below)***:          

214               Neighborhood Analysis            
232               Disaster Management and Response
236A            Economic Regional Development
236B            Globalization
239               Special Topics in RID: Sustainable Urban Development in China
262               Urban Environmental Problems: Water Resources      
269               Special Topics in EAP: Climate Change and Sustainable Cities
265C            Food Systems
269               Special Topics in EAP: Environmental Justice
269               Special Topics in EAP: Climate Change and Health
269               Special Topics in EAP: Political Ecology and Global Development
291               Introduction to Sustainable Architecture and Community Planning
M250           Transportation and Land Use: Urban Form
M258           Transportation and Environmental Issues
M263           Introduction to Environmental Policy

*Students interested in environmental issues at the international or rural scale may also complete an independent studies course (UP 596) with a faculty member on an applied project.

**There will be emergent courses in this area that will be added as they develop. This list is especially dynamic and is subject to change and/or additions.  Design and Development students have priority enrollment in UP 218, UP 274, and UP 273.

*** Additional studio and skills courses may be taken to fulfill the elective requirement.

Sample EAP Curriculum

Joint Degrees

The EAP concentration has well-developed collaborations with other departments both through certificate programs as well as joint degree programs. These options allow students to develop more advanced expertise and rigorous training in specialty areas. While the time until degree completion usually increases, the dual degree is not only intellectually satisfying, but also highly marketable. The following joint degree programs are especially well paired with the EAP concentration: Law, Architecture, Latin American Studies, and Public Health.