Learning Pathways - Land Use & Planning


This pathway concentrates your attention on understanding the many influences that decisions about the use of land have on social, environmental, and economic sustainability.  It focuses on the intersections between the built and natural environments and the social and political systems that shape decisions by individuals, organizations and society about land use. Students who pursue this pathway will be well suited for careers in urban planning, environmental policy, environmental management, environmental advocacy, and environmental research.


Stacey Swearingen White, Urban Planning - Lead Faculty Member, Land Use & Planning
Bonnie Johnson, Urban Planning
Ward Lyles, Urban Planning
Chris Brown, Environmental Studies and Geography
Dorothy Daley, Political Science and Environmental Studies


Suggested Courses

Environmental Studies

EVRN 347 Environmental History of North America
A survey of changes in the landscape and in people's perceptions of the natural world from 1500 to present. Topics include agroecology, water and energy, the impact of capitalism, industrialism, urbanization, and such technologies as the automobile and the origins of conservation. (Same as HIST 347.) LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

EVRN 410 Geospatial Analysis
Focuses on applications of geospatial technologies to environmental issues using case study examples and data, and provide students with a foundational skill-set in geographic information systems, remote sensing, and GPS techniques. Prerequisite: EVRN/GEOG 148/149; EVRN/HIST 103, EVRN/GEOG 150 or EVRN/HIST 347. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Nuckolls, Kathleen
T 02:20-05:00 PM SNOW 316 - LAWRENCE
3 16693
EVRN 510 Advanced Environmental Applications in Geospatial Techniques
This course focuses on applying advanced geospatial mapping and analysis techniques to "real-world" environmental issues. Course content may include lecture/lab time on advanced geospatial topics; a major class project, small-group projects, or individual projects; or half-semester internships with state agencies or campus entities that will culminate in an individual project. The specific nature of projects will be driven largely by student interest and ability, as well as agency/center needs. Prerequisite: EVRN 410 or equivalent course; or permission of the instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

EVRN 528 Environmental Justice and Public Policy
This course provides an overview of environmental justice, both as a social movement and as a public policy initiative. Environmental justice examines the distribution of environmental externalities across different socio-economic and racial groups. We will discuss several different public policy areas that have been impacted by the environmental justice movement: hazardous waste facility siting, urban redevelopment and Brownfields, transportation policy, and Native American sovereignty. We will also touch upon international environmental policy in an environmental justice context. Throughout the course we will evaluate empirical issues in studying environmental justice. (Same as POLS 528.) Prerequisite: POLS 306, or a statistics class, or consent of instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

EVRN 550 Environmental Economics
This course provides an overview of the theory and empirical practice of economic analysis as it applies to environmental issues. Topics include externalities (a type of market failure), the valuation of nonmarket goods, the practice of benefit-cost analysis, and the efficiency and cost effectiveness of pollution control policies. Most importantly, the course permits students to perform economic field research, using state-of-the-art techniques in a manner accessible to undergraduate students. (Same as ECON 550.) Prerequisite: ECON 104, ECON 140, or ECON 142. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Okao, Alfred
W 04:10-06:40 PM REGN 151 - EDWARDS
3 25901


GEOG 557 Cities and Development
An intermediate level course in urban geography, with an emphasis on cities in the developing world. Example cities in Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and/or Southeast Asia may be examined. The main focus is on the intersection between urbanization and economic development, but social, political, and cultural aspects of development in cities are considered. Other topics include the geographic impacts of European colonialism, urbanization and industrialization, rural-to-urban migration, urban structure and spatial dynamics, urban planning, and environmental sustainability. (Same as AAAS 557.) LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

Urban Planning

UBPL 200 Sustainability and Society
This course will introduce the concept of sustainability, examining its early iterations, recent applications, and possible future transformations. Critical analysis of sustainability as a concept and societal goal will be a course cornerstone. We will examine two contemporary social issues that are relevant to students at the University of Kansas. Social science perspectives will be emphasized, but, because sustainability necessitates an interdisciplinary perspective, the course will consider the contributions of a wide range of disciplines to these issues. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC White, Stacey
MW 03:00-04:15 PM ROB 252 - LAWRENCE
3 20064
UBPL 300 Planning the American City
A broad introduction to the field of urban planning as a technical profession, a process of decision-making, and a governmental function. The multi-disciplinary nature of planning as an area for professional practice in the geographical, socio-economic and political contexts of the U.S. is stressed. We will explore the promise and limitations of planning in the context of mitigating and adapting to climate change. The course is intended for both the student who is considering planning as a major field of study and the student with primary interest in a related field who would like a working knowledge of past and current planning in the U.S. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

UBPL 522 History of the American City I
This course examines the evolution of American cities from their European antecedents through the late 20th Century, from the urban planning perspective. It focuses on the changing spatial forms and functions of American cities and how these changes relate to socioeconomic and political aspects of urbanization as well as changes in technology. Emphasis is placed on analyzing the relationships between historical development patterns and the current range of problems facing most U. S. cities. (Same as UBPL 722 but gives undergraduate credit.) LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

UBPL 538 Environmental Planning Techniques
The course covers a variety of topics within environmental planning. Each topic is examined with respect to the scope of the issues, the methods of analyzing and/or measuring those issues, and the ways planners can address those issues in order to avoid or mitigate environmental problems. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

UBPL 565 Introduction to Sustainable Land Use Planning
This course introduces students to the issues that planners and decision makers face as they strive to protect environmental resources, especially within the context of land use planning. Emphasis will be placed on the theoretical and policy considerations that guide the work of environmental planners. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Lyles, Ward
MW 01:00-02:15 PM SNOW 201 - LAWRENCE
3 14202

Environmental Studies Events
ESSA & Grub Club Info
KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times