University of Virginia: School of Architecture

Urban and Environmental Planning

Chair: Timothy Beatley

Message from the Chair

Dear Incoming (and Returning) Planning Students:

I hope this message finds you well and that your summer is turning out to be both productive and restful.

We are looking forward to your arrival in August, and before we know it, the fall semester will be here and we will be starting a new academic year.  I wanted to send you a quick message to let you know about some of the exciting events we are planning and visitors we will be hosting in the upcoming year. I also want to tell you a little about very impressive work our faculty is doing this summer (and fall).

We Have a Busy and Stimulating Year Ahead!

Here are a few highlights of activities and functions to look forward to in fall and spring:

--Randall Arendt and PLAN 6010: For many of you this is a required first course in the Planning program and we will be organizing it a bit differently this year. I will be coordinating this class and the content will span the substantive interests and research areas of the fulltime faculty.  Several visiting lecturers will make appearances in the class, and we are most excited that Randall Arendt will be teaching two weeks of the class (as well as giving at least one School-wide lecture). We will be assigning his groundbreaking book, Growing Greener, as one of the required texts for the course.

--Ann Forsyth, who runs the Planning masters program at Harvard’s GSD, and who is a world authority on healthy cities, will be with us for some of the spring semester, as the Harry Porter Distinguished Visiting Lecturer. She will be meeting with and working with students, giving several lectures, and participating in a spring conference we are organizing around the topic of health and the built environment.  

--Biophilic Cities Launch Event. This will occur from October 17-20, and represents the culmination of two years of research about ways in which cities are planning for and celebrate nature. Funded in part through a grant from the Washington-based Summit Foundation, the meeting will bring together representatives from partner cities around the U.S. and the world, including: Singapore, San Francisco, Wellington (NZ), Phoenix, Milwaukee, Rio de Janeiro, Portland, Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain), Oslo, Montreal, Perth, and Birmingham (UK), among others.  For more about this important event, please see our Biophilic Cities Project webpage: http://biophiliccities.org/. You can also follow the project on twitter: @BiophilicCities

--Jennifer Wolch and Stephen Kellert will keynote addresses for the Biophilic Cities Launch. Wolch is currently the Dean of the School of Architecture at UC-Berkeley and coined the term “Zoöpolis,” as a compelling vision for how cities might accommodate and celebrate animals and biodiversity; Kellert is a professor emeritus at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Affairs, and a major force behind the concept of biophilic design.

--Friday evening, October 18 we will be screening Kellert’s film Biophilic Design (watch a trailer of the film here:  http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/biod.html).

--All-School Design Charrette, or simply “The Vortex”: While we are still deciding as a School what the focus will be this year, the so-called “Vortex,” will indeed happen again this January. This is a chance for Planning students to work together on interdisciplinary teams, developing creative design solutions, focused on an important community issue or problem.  Last January, some 30 teams tackled the question of how to reconnect City and County residents to a segment of the Rivanna River.

--Design and Health Search. The coming year will also see the continuation of our search for endowed chair in Design and Health, a committee chaired by our own Daphne Spain. As part of the search, we will be hosting a series of presenters and visitors, addressing healthy communities and health and design. 

We Are an Extremely Productive Faculty! Here’s a Bit of What Faculty Are Doing…

As usual, the faculty in Planning have been extremely productive this year, and have ambitious plans for this summer and fall. Here are just a few tidbits about faculty work planned or underway:

--Ellen Bassett:  Ellen is spending part of her summer in Morocco, where she is helping to develop a new School research initiative around the topic of resilient cities. She will also be spending some of her summer in Portland writing for two projects (equity in climate action planning and more Kenya slums research) as well as finishing a report for the Center for Design and Health on the principles of health neighborhoods. Then in August Ellen leaves for Nairobi , Kenya where she will be working and studying this fall, through a Fulbright grant. For fun this summer, she is enjoying the biking, music and food opportunities of Portland.

--Tim Beatley:  Much of Tim’s time of late has been spent working with  UVA to advance our Biophilic Cities Project and to get ready for our October Launch event. I am also writing a book called Blue Urbanism, for Island Press, due out next spring, and continue writing several blogs and my regular Ever Green column for Planning Magazine.  Follow me if you’d like on Twitter: @TimBeatley.

--Tanya Denckla Cobb:  Tanya will be working on a number of projects this summer in her capacity as Associate Director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN), collaborating with Frank Dukes (see below). She has been co-teaching a community food class at the Morven Summer Institute, and is working on a new fall offering on Food Heritage. Her book Reclaiming Our Food  continues to garner praise and she is frequently in demand as a lecturer on the topic of local and sustainable food systems.

--Frank Dukes: Tanya and Frank are co-facilitating the 3rd "Morven Dialogues" this summer, bringing together tobacco manufacturers and health advocates to discuss needs and ways of reducing the harm from tobacco use. The Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN), which Frank directs, will begin work in July on the Eastern Connector, facilitating a local diverse stakeholder group convened by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission to look at transportation needs for the Rt. 250 East entrance into Charlottesville and to suggest creative options including transit, biking and pedestrian options. Frank and Tanya are also developing a grant proposal for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Healthy Eating Research call for proposals, working across grounds and with UVA-Wise and with a focus on southwest Virginia. Frank and IEN will continue their work on many other projects, including the Clinch River Valley Initiative.

--Guoping Huang:  Guoping continues to work on his Agro-forestry Village in Mozambique project. The project team now includes six former and current MUEP students, and involves conducting spatial analyses on population, agriculture suitability, and accessibility. This summer, Huang is also planning to launch a project website that not only visualizes spatial data for planning decision-making, but will enable users to perform climate change impact analysis on the web.  Among his other projects, activities, Huang will be conducting a visual assessment project in Central Virginia which will, among other goals, seek to reveal the correlation of scenic views and traffic accidents along the Blue Ridge Parkway. He is also working on a NIH grant proposal with Prof. Pam DeGuzman from the Nursing School to study the effect of crime on health in low-income urban neighborhoods.

--William Lucy: Bill Lucy is working on several new papers this summer, building upon his new interest in the behavioral and psychological dimensions of Planning and Sustainability. He will also continue to work on several book manuscripts, including one on adaptive and sustainable infrastructure.

--Andrew Mondschein:  Andrew will be joining us this fall as a new Assistant Professor, teaching in the area of Transportation Planning.  As Andrew settles into Charlottesville, he is focused on projects addressing walking policy and providing multimodal access to neighborhoods.  He’s also expanding his research on social media and internet-based search services, and how they shape travel and may be used to encourage more sustainable, multimodal travel.  Of course, he’s exploring Charlottesville and expanding his cognitive map of transportation networks, local and regional transportation issues, and tasty places to eat.

--Suzanne Moomaw: Professor Moomaw has a busy summer planned, including leading a group of Planning students on a sustainable cities field study to Switzerland. This program is jointly offered with Virginia Tech, and now in its fourth year.  Among other research and writing projects, Suzanne is updating and expanding her book Smart Communities. She is also the director of the Community Design and Research Center at the School of Architecture. 

--Daphne Spain:  We had very good news this year, as Professor Spain won the University’s most prestigious teaching award: the Cavalier Distinguished Teaching Chair! This summer she will be completing two articles on gender and space, one for the International Encyclopedia of Behavioral and Social Science and the other for Annual Review of Sociology.  And she will also be preparing her new book Constructive Feminism for publication.

As you can tell, our faculty are energetic and tackling important research and policy questions. You will learn more about this work when you’re here, and will have the chance to be directly involved in many of these projects and initiatives. Should something sound interesting, don’t hesitate to reach out to a faculty member.

We look forward to your active participation in the life of the Department and School, and what looks to be an unusually stimulating and fruitful academic year!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely,

Tim Beatley 

Degrees Offered

The Department currently offers two degrees. In addition to a four-year Bachelor’s and a two-year Master’s of Urban and Environmental Planning, the Department offers a Minor for students throughout the University and a certificate in Historic Preservation. There are also a number of dual degree opportunities within the Master’s program.

A proposal to offer an interdisciplinary PhD is currently being developed.

Dual Degree Programs

These programs are available with the other departments in the School of Architecture and various departments throughout the University. Common dual degree arrangements are with law, business and engineering. These dual degree programs permit the joint use of credit to satisfy some of the requirements of each degree and shorten the time required for attaining both degrees. Interested students should consult the department chair and see Dual Degree Programs for more information.

Study Abroad

Planning students may, with approval, spend a semester in one of the programs abroad when offered. Please see the International Studies page for further details.

Student Life

Planning students are very active in the UVA and Charlottesville communities. A number of organizations are composed primarily of planners, although students from a number of disciplines add to the dynamism of these groups. Planning organizations include: Student Planning Association, Green Grounds, Developers Anonymous, and the UVA–Community Garden.

Every year the Student Planning Association (SPA) hosts a Department–wide Thanksgiving dinner in November, where planning students, faculty, family, friends come together to celebrate the department as community. Since 2006, this annual dinner has been a “100–mile Thanksgiving dinner” at which all dishes were to be prepared from foods grown within a 100–mile radius of Charlottesville. The idea was first proposed by Professor Tim Beatley to generate awareness of the importance of local food systems.

The Department also sends a number of students to a variety of professional conferences, including the American Planning Association’s national convention and the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association’s (VAPA) annual conference. Recently approximately twenty students traveled to Philadelphia for APA’s convention to attend three days of seminars, lectures, and social gatherings of planners from around the nation.

Urban + Environmental Planning Undergraduate Student Handbook 2012-2013

PAB Standards

The new PAB standards, approved in April 14, 2012, contain a new criterion 7D, Public Information which states the following:

The (UVA Department of Urban and Environmental Planning) program shall routinely provide reliable information to the public on its performance. Such information shall appear in easily accessible locations including program websites. Information shall include, but not be limited to:

1. Student achievement as determined by the program:

Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning (BUEP)

Students typically take courses in the social and natural sciences, the humanities, and in design fields that complement professional courses in planning practice and theory. Graduates either begin work in the public or private sectors or go on to graduate professional studies in a number of fields including Business, Law, and Public Administration.

The scope of the planner’s work encompasses present and future urban and environmental concerns, including such diverse issues as environmental impact, quality of life, and the public and private costs of development. Public sector planners work for all levels of government, formulating plans to redevelop or rehabilitate downtowns and neighborhoods, develop land aesthetically and profitably, and regulate private development to protect public interests. Although planners frame long-range designs, anticipating futures five to fifteen years away, they are also deeply involved in choosing among current projects. Private sector planners employed with land developers, utilities, banks, property management firms, industries, and other major corporations do similar work according to the particular concerns of each business. Many of these concerns are integrated with the department’s focus on sustainable community development.

Students must have a minimum of 122 credits, or 40 courses, with at least a 2.0 average in order to graduate with a Bachelor of Urban & Environmental Planning degree. Required planning courses make up 8 of these, with an additional 4 courses in professional electives and one planning application course elective. These core planning courses are supported by general skill and knowledge courses taken outside of the Department including statistics, economics, and other social sciences. The remainder of the courses are liberal arts courses, some of which are social or natural sciences and others of which are open electives. Electives provide frequent opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange with students in other programs and with graduate students in planning.

Master of Urban & Environmental Planning (MUEP)

The Master of Urban and Environmental Planning program prepares students to become responsible practitioners in a variety of public, private, and non-profit settings. Graduates are eligible for certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners after two years of professional practice.

The degree requires 50 credits: 23 in the core generalist courses, 15 in a special concentration, 6 in planning application courses (one of these courses must be in the area of concentration), and 6 in open electives. Courses are selected from those in the department and in other departments in the School and University. Students earning dual degrees or who have transferred from other planning programs may warrant advanced standing and be able to complete the planning program in less than two years. Students may take more than the minimum 50 credits if their schedules allow it.

A distinctive feature of our program is our commitment to community sustainability. Sustainability is addressed in specific courses with that title, but sustainability also provides the underlying framework for virtually all of the department’s courses. The title of our department is Urban and Environmental Planning. We believe it is necessary to consider both the urban and environmental aspects of a setting to address its issues, problems, and opportunities. We are as much concerned with the economy and issues of equity as we are with the environment and find it more useful to emphasize linkages than distinctions. We hope to inspire our students to share our enthusiasm for addressing the planning needs of sustainable communities.

2. The cost (tuition and fees) for a full-time student for one academic year:

Undergraduate

     

One Academic Year, Virginian

     

School

Full-time Tuition

Comprehensive Fees

Student Activity Fee

School Fee

Total

Architecture

$10,016.00

$2,392.00

$50.00

$66.00

   $12,524.00

      

Undergraduate

     

One Academic Year, Non-Virginian

     

School

Full-time Tuition

Comprehensive Fees

Student Activity Fee

School Fee

Total

Architecture

$36,720.00

$3,074.00

$50.00

$66.00

$39,910.00

      

Graduate, Credit Hours

     

One Academic Year, Non-Virginian

     

School

Full-time Tuition

Comprehensive Fees

Student Activity Fee

School Fee

Total

Architecture

$13,818.00

$2,392.00

$50.00

$66.00

$16,326.00

      

Graduate, Credit Hours

     

One Academic Year, Non-Virginian

     

School

Full-time Tuition

Comprehensive Fees

Student Activity Fee

School Fee

Total

Architecture

$23,142.00

$3,074.00

$50.00

$66.00

$26,332.00


3. Student retention and graduation rates, including the number of degrees produced each year, the percentage of master’s students graduating within 4 years.

The percentage of master’s students graduating within four years:  98%

The number of degrees produced each year from 2007 to the present:

2007

UGRAD

13

GRAD

20

TOTAL

33

  
  

2008

UGRAD

17

GRAD

29

TOTAL

46

  
  

2009

UGRAD

19

GRAD

18

TOTAL

37

  
  

2010

UGRAD

20

GRAD

20

TOTAL

40

  
  

2011

UGRAD

23

GRAD

26

TOTAL

49

  
  

2012

UGRAD

13

GRAD

32

TOTAL

45

2013

UGRAD

13

GRAD

14

TOTAL

27

 

4. The percentage of bachelor’s graduates who pass the AICP exam within 5 years of graduation:

67%

5. The employment rate of fulltime graduates in a professional planning or planning-related job within 1 year of graduation:

73%

Fellowships

See Fellowships page

 

Associated Faculty