Teaching

As an instructor, I am interested in building student engagement with planning and policy. To me, this means creating classes that let students relate to planning and policy in multiple ways - as scholars, practitioners, and advocates. Currently, I am developing courses that include facilitation and dialogue training to highlight how planning for equity and engagement also happens in the classroom.

I teach courses in four areas:

Planning History and Theory, Civic Center Park, Denver, Fall 2015
Planning History and Theory
URPL 5000 Planning History and Theory (2012-17)

This is a core course in the Master of Urban Planning curriculum. It introduces students to foundational ideas and practices in city and regional planning, and how they have both shaped and responded to urban development over the past two hundred years. Through writing, discussion, presentations, lectures, and readings, the course highlights four areas: (1) why planning history and planning theory matter to planning practice and how they are related; (2) the history of planning and its critiques; (3) alternate futures for planning; and (4) social justice and planning.

The course calls attention to complex, real-world opportunities in planning, as well as its dilemmas. We will discuss the power and limits of planning, planning as a tool for urban problem solving, planning and social change, ideas about the city, the multiple roles in which planners find themselves, and the relationship between planning and built and natural environments. We focus on planning in the US, and place American planning practice in a global context.

Transportation Planning
URPL 6550 Transportation Planning and Policy (2012-2014)

In this seminar we examine how transportation system design, as well as political and institutional contexts, shape transportation decision-making. The course highlights the interrelationship between transportation systems and urban form, the natural environment, economic development, population health, and equity.

The first part of the course covers transportation policy, planning, and finance. We learn about the actors, institutions, and constraints that shape current debates in transportation and system design. The second part of the course introduces planning and design considerations for private automobile use, public transit systems, walking, bicycling, and freight. The third part of the course focuses on issues such as energy, environment, safety, health, economic development, and social factors in transportation. The fourth part of the course is about transportation planning practice, including evaluation, ethics, and public participation.

URPL 6555 Transportation and Land Use Planning (2013-17)

This course is an introduction to transportation and land use as an integrated system. It covers the theories, methods, and practices of contemporary transportation and land use planning.

The first part of the course locates transportation and land use planning in current debates about urban development, sprawl, and resource consumption. It examines contemporary political and institutional dilemmas in transportation and land use planning, including "smart growth" and regional governance.

The second part of the course traces the history of urban development and transportation systems, and presents theories about the relationship between travel behavior and urban form. The third part of the course examines options for influencing land development and travel (and the limitations of such options), including land use controls and pricing. The final part of the course shifts focus from the regional to the local scale, and focuses on improving accessibility and reducing the negative externalities of motorized traffic in neighborhoods.

Public Health and Planning
URPL 6300 Planning Healthy Communities (2014-17)

This is an interdisciplinary course about creating healthier places and reducing health disparities. The course contextualizes issues at the intersection of planning and public health such as physical activity, food systems, housing affordability, and social inclusion, and it raises questions about how policy and planning influence the distribution of hazardous and protective environments.

The first part of the course focuses on social determinants of health (e.g. conditions such as poverty, segregation, social networks) and how they relate to place. In this part of the course we employ ideas about geography of risk and the social-ecological model of health behavior to examine differences in health status across populations.

The second part of the course focuses on the relationship between place and health outcomes, and considers the both the methods for and the evidence linking built and social environments to chronic disease, injury, violence, and mental health.

The third part of the course presents emerging ideas in policy and practice, including methods of community health assessment, comparative effectiveness, participatory planning, and cultural competence.

Urban and Regional Economics
URPL 6450 Urban Economic Analysis (2016)

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of urban, land, and environmental economics, covering topics such as the value of land, environmental regulation, infrastructure and service finance, impact fees, land value capture, pricing incentives, decision analysis, and cost-benefit analysis. In addition to covering core concepts in economics that relate to urban and regional planning, the course offers training in analysis of economic data.

URPL 6615 Small Town, Rural, and Resort Planning (2017)

This course emphasizes the diversity of rural people and places in regions in U.S., Colorado, and tribal lands. We apply perspectives from multiple disciplines such as landscape architecture, geography, economics, public health, and sociology to understand critical issues for planning and design in rural, small, and low-density (RSLD) places. A core premise of the course is that we should not assume that planning and design for RSLD places is equivalent to applying urban planning and design tools to a different context. This is because RSLD places often engage different substantive problems and institutional contexts, as well as different values that matter for planning, policy, and design processes. The first part of the course provides training in the fundamental issues at stake (e.g., institutional context, histories, land use conflicts, gentrification). In the second part of the class, we apply this learning to a case study in Colorado, blending ideas from planning, design, and cultural landscape studies.