Spring 2020

CRP 390 (01505)

Course description:
City planning and policy making operates within the arena of local politics. For many years, scholars have sought to understand the dynamics of the political processes underlying agenda setting and decision making at the local level, including sorting out the key interests involved, how the local organization of political representation is related to local politics, and what interest local government itself has in particular planning or policy agendas.  In addition, for the last 30 years at least, scholars have documented and debated the role that community mobilization can play in shaping policy and how formal processes for engaging citizens are related to the broader politics of planning.
In this course, students will be introduced to the main schools of thought in the field of urban politics and to debates regarding their implications for current planning and policy making.  We will read the classic works in the field and discuss their meaning both in the context in which they were originally presented and for current thinking about the politics of planning. We will read case study research on efforts to create local governing coalitions or “regimes” around culture, equity or other interests and discuss current issues emerging in response to local efforts to enact policies under the heading of equitable development.
The course will be taught as a seminar and students will be expected to read carefully before class and to lead discussion in class 1-2 times during the semester. Other assignments will include a review of a key work by an author whose work has been or is shaping the field, and a term paper on a topic of your choosing. We will use current local issues to ground our discussion throughout the semester.