Recent Courses

For updated versions of CP 101, Introduction to Urban Data Analytics, please see

Spring 2017: CP 101: Introduction to Urban Data Analytics
Spring 2016: CP 228: Sustainable Economic Development Studio
Fall 2016: CP 220: The Urban and Regional Economy
Fall 2014: CP 220: The Urban and Regional Economy
Fall 2014: CP 228 Workshop in Regional Analysis: Understanding Transit Investment-Induced Displacement
Fall 2014: CP 290A: Workshop for Professional Report and Thesis
Fall 2013: CP 204B: CP 204B: Survey Research for Planners
Fall 2012: CP 228: Sustainable Economic Development Studio: The Role of Anchor Institutions and Nonprofits in the Oakland Economy
Fall 2011: CP 228: Sustainable Economic Development Studio

Students’ Final Projects

Residential Displacement in the Bay Area: A Regional Perspective (Spring 2014)
Redevelopment in the Central Market and Tenderloin (Spring 2014)
Oakland’s Wellness Economy (Fall 2012)
Leveraging LBNL’s Second Campus for Regional Economic Development (Fall 2011)

CP101: Introduction to Urban Data Analytics

Spring 2017 Syllabus
CP 101 introduces students to the systematic analysis of urban data in its institutional context, with a special focus on the smart cities movement. Recognizing that defining this context relies on critical thinking with regard to economic, social, and environmental outcomes, this course explores what, precisely, stakeholders value in conceptualizing “smart” urbanity. Fundamentally we will place the smart cities construct at the intersection of data and governance. Accordingly, this course will give students a foundation in systematic approaches to collecting, analyzing, modeling, and interpreting quantitative data used to inform robust research, and, ultimately, urban planning practice and policymaking. Beyond instruction in urban data science and analytics, students will be introduced to theory and critical discourses on topics such as big data, open data and e-governance. Instructors will expect students to engage with technical and theoretical – with particular focus placed on ethical – considerations associated with these subjects in lecture and laboratory sections.
The course will be structured following 3 modules:
Module 1: Introduction to Data Science for Planners
During this module students will be introduced to the smart cities construct and associated topics, and will explore fundamental data applications in urban planning. They will be instructed on sourcing data, analyzing data via statistical testing, and presenting data through written reports and visualizations. In Module 1, students will gain skills in working with Census and economic data, statistical testing, and static data visualization. The deliverable for this module will be a descriptive profile of a Bay Area neighborhood.
Module 2: Mapping the City
In the course’s second module, students will learn different tools to make maps. We will gain an understanding of the basic elements of maps, how to map with online programs and geographic information systems software (ArcGIS), and how to construct story maps. Students will produce a story map as the product for this module.
CP 101 Urban Data Analytics | Page 1
Module 3: Big Data and Smart Cities
In the course’s final module, students will use knowledge acquired in earlier modules to explore urban data science in the context of smart cities. Classes will cover topics such as big data, open data, and smart cities, and civic hacking; and students will gain skills in real-time and crowd-sourced data collection and use, as well as in interactive data visualization. As the final project for the class, students will use novel sources of data to answer a research question of their choice.

CP220: The Urban and Regional Economy

Fall 2014 Syllabus
Fal 2016 Syllabus

This course provides a rigorous foundation in theories of regional economic development, linked to various techniques of analysis and implementation, and in theories of metropolitan economic structure, focusing on patterns of inequality within regions. A core economics class in City and Regional Planning, it helps planners in a variety of subfields—from transportation to urban design to community development—understand how the regional economy works. It also serves as an essential basis for further work in the housing, community and economic development specialization.

The regional economic development portion of the course will cover the classic single-region and multiple-region theories of development. We start with the definition of region, a short intellectual history of regional planning, and the roles of industrial location and industrial structure in regional development. We next turn to theories and evidence on uneven development and the interregional distribution of economic activity; the differential impact of international trade on regional development; the role of labor in development; debates about the organization of production and the nature of innovation; and the role of social capital in regions.

The remainder of the course focuses on metropolitan structure, or intraregional theories. We begin by examining the literature on metropolitan structure, in particular the relationship between economic/racial segregation and regional economic growth. We next turn to the growing literature on the relationship between cities and suburbs and the debate over how economic growth and poverty are related. Next, we look at the impact of urban decline on metropolitan regions, specifically the effects of suburban employment growth and urban decay. The course concludes with a critical assessment of the new regionalism and the politics of metropolitan governance.

This is a lecture/seminar class with heavy reading. The first session of each week will focus on theory, while the second session will engage implementation and practice. All students will be expected to read the required reading ahead of time and join the class discussion. Students are also required to complete a midterm and a final exam or paper.

CP228 Workshop in Regional Analysis: Understanding Transit Investment-Induced Displacement

Fall 2014 Syllabus
Spring 2016 Syllabus

Skyrocketing rents. Foreclosures. Evictions. These are just a few of the many faces of the residential displacement that is being experienced by people around the Bay Area as a result of the changing physical, social and economic environments of their neighborhoods. With the growing emphasis on transit-oriented development (TOD) in local and regional sustainability planning, low-income communities across the Bay Area are concerned about the potential impacts of increased investments in their communities. While the lived reality of displacement is acute and well documented, the magnitude, dynamics and determinants of residential displacement are still poorly understood. In this graduate studio students will explore the phenomenon of neighborhood change and residential displacement to better understand and predict the impacts of the Bay Area’s regional TOD planning efforts. Will efforts to increase densities in core, transit-accessible neighborhoods by 2040 end up benefiting the Bay Area’s two million newcomers at the expense of existing residents?

This studio is designed to help students develop skills to collect and analyze neighborhood-level primary and secondary data, collaboratively design and carry out research projects with community based organizations, and understand the complex processes influencing neighborhood change with a specific focus on gentrification and displacement. In collaboration with the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), we will be conducting community-based participatory research with 6-8 community based organizations (CBOs) across the Bay Area to better understand gentrification and displacement in their neighborhoods. This project is part of the Regional Early Warning System for Displacement that MTC and ABAG are developing for their HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative grant, the Regional Prosperity Plan.

Working in teams and in close collaboration and coordination with CBO partners, students will (1) learn about the forces and nature of neighborhood change, (2) collaboratively establish research goals, questions, plans and protocols, (3) interpret existing data, maps and information on the case study neighborhood, (4) ground truth aggregate-level data (e.g., Census block or tract level) with field work in the case study neighborhood (i.e. observations, basic counts, surveys, interviews, etc.), (5) analyze data and come up with insights, and (6) present findings and recommendations to CBO partners, MTC, ABAG and other stakeholders with brief oral presentations and conference style posters.

CP 290A: Workshop for Professional Report and Thesis

Fall 2014 Syllabus

This workshop is designed for Masters students in the Department of City and Regional Planning who are working on their professional paper or thesis. It is a required core course for all MCP students who are graduating Dec 2014 or May 2015, or concurrent students who will leave the program this year. Waivers will be granted if the student has completed a draft of the PR/CR in the summer and the advisor or committee chair approves.

There will be four tracks, or groups: students who are just starting to select a topic; students who have a topic and are doing research; students who are starting to write; and students with writing well underway (most likely those who intend to graduate or complete the PR by December 2014).

Although there will be periodic lectures throughout the semester for the first two groups, the workshop is designed to be informal to meet the diversity of topics and approaches that characterize DCRP final papers and projects. There will be in-class writing and brainstorming exercises for those in early stages. Advising appointments are available for more individual attention.

CP 204B: Survey Research for Planners

Fall 2013 Syllabus

Most planners will need to conduct surveys at some point in their careers, but the conventional survey methods don’t always apply to tricky planning problems, and changing technology is rendering some conventional methods obsolete. This short course is designed to acquaint students with the theory and practice of survey research as a primary means of data collection. It covers all of the steps in conceptualizing, designing, conducting, and analyzing a survey, through lectures, readings, discussions, exercises, and individual student projects covering the basics of the major stages of survey research. Throughout the semester, the class will discuss examples of surveys for a variety of different groups: households, entire communities, parks and community facility users, workers, firms, commuters, and so forth. The course is not intended to train you to be an expert survey researcher, but you will understand the essentials and be prepared as a planner to enter the rapidly changing world of survey research.

Survey Research for Planners is a two-credit applied methods course. The class will involve weekly assignments building towards the final project (a survey analysis and write-up). Students complete all the assignments based on either their own independent project or a group survey research project. Some students bring surveys with thousands of respondents, while others are doing just a few in-depth interviews. This class is designed to help students think systematically about any kind of survey or interviewing project. Given the amount of time it takes to complete a survey, it will not be possible to finish survey research during the 10 weeks of class. However, it is expected that students will have made significant progress on their individual projects.

CP 228: Sustainable Economic Development Studio: The Role of Anchor Institutions and Nonprofits in the Oakland Economy

Fall 2012 Syllabus

The Oakland economy has struggled to recover from the recent recession. Yet, Oakland has developed its own distinct and diversified economy, with existing strengths ranging from health care to trade and logistics. Although emergent niches in life sciences, clean/green economy, and digital media/information technology garner much attention, arguably the sectors that are currently sustaining the Oakland economy are local-serving: health, education, and a wide variety of smaller nonprofit organizations.

Although the conventional wisdom is that cities and regions need export businesses in order to grow, regional economists have long debated the chicken-and-the-egg question of whether to focus first on these traded sectors or the so-called residentiary industries. The vibrancy of Oakland’s nonprofit ecosystem suggests the potential to develop a more sustainable economic development plan that builds on these strengths.

This graduate studio will examine Oakland’s ecosystem of anchor institutions (such as Kaiser Permanente Health and the University of California ) and smaller related nonprofits – including the arts, environmental advocacy groups, social service providers, and others — identifying their myriad contributions to the local economy. We will focus on the health care sector, broadly defined to include not only major hospitals, community clinics, and medical research, but also wellness-related services and retail (such as yoga studios and farmer’s markets). If enrollment and student interest permits, we will also look at one or more other sectors.

Using economic impact analysis, we will identify the multiplier effects of each sector under study. But for most of the semester, we will explore all the different ways, from the readily quantifiable to the intangible, that these nonprofits support the local economy. Surveys will help to document the types of revenues nonprofits generate, the skills and capacities they help build, and the nature of their supply chains, including the extent of local purchasing. Complementing these will be in-depth interviews of lead organizations in these sectors to determine the extent and role of the ecosystem in the larger Oakland economy.

The client for this studio will be the City of Oakland’s Economic and Workforce Development division, managed by Aliza Gallo and staffed by Margot Lederer Prado, under Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell. The class is intended for MCP students in their final year, but others may be admitted with permission of the instructor. There are no course prerequisites; however, students will benefit from prior exposure to economic datasets, as in CP 204a.

CP 228: Sustainable Economic Development Studio

Fall 2011 Syllabus

The Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) is proposing to locate its new campus in the East Bay, at one of six potential sites (Richmond Field Station, Golden Gate Fields in Albany/Berkeley, Berkeley Aquatic Park West, Emeryville/West Berkeley, Brooklyn Basin in Oakland, and Alameda Point). The Lab is planning to make its final selection in late November, 2011. (For more information, see

This studio class will investigate how East Bay cities can maximize the economic development potential of this new campus. How might local communities best align their resources to integrate LBNL into the existing innovation ecosystem and localize the benefits of its relocation? What would be the additional policy, planning, and legal tools needed at the local, regional and state levels, especially given the demise of redevelopment?

The clients for this studio will be the City of Berkeley, the City of Richmond, and the East Bay Green Corridor Partnership, a collaboration including UC Berkeley, California State University East Bay, Peralta Community College District, LBNL, and the cities of Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond, Emeryville, Alameda, Albany, El Cerrito and San Leandro. We will also work closely with CP 238, the Development-Design Studio taught by Prof. Michael Smith-Heimer, on the real estate analysis.

Depending on class enrollment, we will work on multiple projects focusing on economic development, land use, and workforce development. The entire class will work on an initial study of LBNL’s existing and potential role in the economy. Then, the class will split into two, with one section (of students also enrolled in CP 238) focusing on market and financial feasibility of the two sites, and the other developing economic development policy and planning recommendations for the clients.

The economic development group will begin by analyzing the existing development trajectory from innovation to commercialization, from LBNL and UC-Berkeley to East Bay startups. How can we explain the historic “innovation drain” from the region, and what is its impact? What types of biosciences companies does the East Bay currently capture, how do they complement the local ecosystem, and what explains their success? What policy and planning tools, particularly related to industrial land and supply chain issues, have best supported their growth? What is the appropriate role for UC-Berkeley? Given this history, what might we expect the LBNL’s economic impact to be on the cities and region, and which of the multiplier effects might be best captured locally? What types of spinoffs and employment opportunities might be expected? What are the likely displacement effects and opportunity costs?

A land use group, working in tandem with CP 238, will analyze the potential impacts of the LBL relocation on two different sites, most likely the Richmond Field Station and one of the West Berkeley sites. The first stage of this project (coordinated with CP 238) will be to investigate land use and real estate market conditions in the vicinity of the sites. Then, the group will conduct a financial feasibility analysis, either of the proposed sites or sites in the adjacent neighborhood.

The policy group will then explore how to rethink the region’s current economic development, focusing in particular on how to best take advantage of existing cluster strengths (e.g., by rezoning adjacent areas), leverage the resources of local anchor institutions, work with redevelopment programs (or their successor), and refine business assistance tools (e.g., by streamlining the business permitting process). Students focusing on workforce development might look at the workforce needs of LBL-related companies likely to grow or spin off in the East Bay. This group will inventory existing workforce development and community college programs focused on opportunities in high-tech and biotech, and profile model programs such as the Biotech Academy. Another group might develop recommendations for a community benefits agreement — policy mechanisms and funding sources to maximize the benefit of LBNL’s relocation to local disadvantaged residents.