History and Theory of Planning

URPL-GP.2660, 3 points.

Semester: Fall


This course examines key ideas in the history and theory of planning. We start with some challenges of 21st-century urbanism to activate our conversations about the history and theory of planning. Does the historical and theoretical apparatus of planning equip us to deal with 21st-century urban formations and problems? Are the forms of contemporary urbanism categorically different from those of the past? Are the techniques and methods of planning bound to the American context, or are they also suitable for other social and political contexts?

The syllabus is organized in part as a great books course. We will read a series of classic books in the history and theory of planning by major thinkers whose ideas have had a significant impact on urban form, theory, and planning. They include: Daniel Burnham on the metropolitan idea; Le Corbusier on the modernist city; Jane Jacobs on pedestrian-centered urbanism; and Ian McHarg on environmental planning, among others.

Another set of readings and class sessions will focus on the techniques of planning on which planners have grounded their claims of professional expertise. Our goal is to understand the history, use and abuse of the planner’s toolkit. Our topics include: data surveys and the framing of planning as a social science; advocacy planning; building codes; and zoning.

Prerequisites: none

Semester Instructor Syllabus Link
Fall 2015Alexis PerrottaSyllabus
Fall 2015Lauren Ames FischerSyllabus
Spring 2015Hilary BallonSyllabus
Spring 2015John WestSyllabus
Fall 2012Daniel SteinbergSyllabus
Fall 2011Shlomo AngelSyllabus
Fall 2011Hilary BallonSyllabus
Fall 2010Shlomo AngelSyllabus
Fall 2009Shlomo AngelSyllabus
Fall 2008Shlomo AngelSyllabus
Spring 2008Hilary BallonSyllabus
Fall 2008Shlomo AngelSyllabus
Semester Instructor Evaluation Link
Spring 2015John WestEvaluation
Spring 2015Hilary BallonEvaluation
Fall 2013Daniel SteinbergEvaluation
Fall 2013Hilary BallonEvaluation
Fall 2011Ballon, HilaryEvaluation
Fall 2011Angel, SollyEvaluation
Spring 2011Ballon, HilaryEvaluation
Spring 2011Trilling, JuliaEvaluation
Fall 2010Angel, ShlomoEvaluation
Spring 2010Ballon, HilaryEvaluation
Fall 2009Angel, ShlomoEvaluation
Fall 2008Angel, ShlomoEvaluation
Spring 2008Ballon, HilaryEvaluation
Puck with Street Sign

Fischer, Lauren Ames

Weekly Schedule:
Mon - 2:00 pm to 3:40 pm

Session Dates:
09/02/2015 to 12/15/2015

Bldg:WAVE Room:433

Perrotta, Alexis

Weekly Schedule:
Thu - 6:45 pm to 8:25 pm

Session Dates:
09/02/2015 to 12/15/2015

Bldg:GCASL Room:269