Melissa Kaplan-Macey
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Urban Planning

Melissa Kaplan-Macey, AICP, PP is the founding principal of Collaborative Planning Studio. CPS' philosophy is centered on high quality and highly responsive project management, planning, community outreach and stakeholder engagement. The focus of her practice is on assisting communities in visioning and developing clear plans for the future, and then seeing those plans through to funding and implementation. Her recent work includes community capacity building in the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut and facilitation of a community planning process for infrastructure improvements and transit-oriented development around the Tarrytown train station. Melissa teaches as an adjunct professor in the Urban Planning program at New York University's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. She is also a registered Professional Planner in the State of New Jersey. She holds a Master in Urban Planning from New York University's Wagner School of Public Service and a Bachelor in Urban Studies from Brown University. Prior to launching Collaborative Planning Studio Melissa worked as a Senior Associate at BFJ Planning in New York City.

Semester Course
Spring 2016 URPL-GP.1603.001 Urban Planning: Methods and Practice

The course will introduce students to the planning process by reviewing commonly used planning practices and tools. As an intermediate level course, broad overviews of each topic will be provided. The intention is to expose students to the many considerations that go into planning, while introducing them to skills that can be incorporated into their “planner toolkit” which can be further expanded upon through future coursework and work experience. Students will be expected to apply skills and concepts learned in class to a simulated planning project based on a real site in New York City. By the end of the course, students should be able to 1) identify and scope planning problems and issues; 2) determine the information required to address the issues; 3) collect, analyze, and synthesize planning information; and 4) concisely and effectively communicate findings and recommendations.

Beyond the “toolkit,” students will be encouraged to identify and establish their own set of values and visions that underlie their work as planners. Through lectures, lab sections, and group project work, students will be expected to think critically about the tools being used by planners today – how are these tools useful (or not) to the planning process? Are these tools still relevant? What is missing from the planning process, as it currently exists? What can you, as future planners, do to improve the planning process?


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Spring 2016 URPL-GP.1603.001 Urban Planning: Methods and Practice

The course will introduce students to the planning process by reviewing commonly used planning practices and tools. As an intermediate level course, broad overviews of each topic will be provided. The intention is to expose students to the many considerations that go into planning, while introducing them to skills that can be incorporated into their “planner toolkit” which can be further expanded upon through future coursework and work experience. Students will be expected to apply skills and concepts learned in class to a simulated planning project based on a real site in New York City. By the end of the course, students should be able to 1) identify and scope planning problems and issues; 2) determine the information required to address the issues; 3) collect, analyze, and synthesize planning information; and 4) concisely and effectively communicate findings and recommendations.

Beyond the “toolkit,” students will be encouraged to identify and establish their own set of values and visions that underlie their work as planners. Through lectures, lab sections, and group project work, students will be expected to think critically about the tools being used by planners today – how are these tools useful (or not) to the planning process? Are these tools still relevant? What is missing from the planning process, as it currently exists? What can you, as future planners, do to improve the planning process?


Download Syllabus
Spring 2015 URPL-GP.4647.001 Workshop in Planning: Creating 21st Century Communities

This course is an advanced planning workshop that will provide students with an understanding of how plans are created and implemented. Students will learn about plan development at various scales regional, municipal and neighborhood- and explore techniques for effective community engagement in the planning process. The course examines the ways in which different types of plans can address the complex land use, environmental, health and social issues that confront today’s communities. This workshop includes a hands-on case study where students will develop a plan and test their ideas with a municipal Planning Board.


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