Course Syllabus

 URP 4000 Spring 2021


Contact Dr. Dedenbach

 Laura Dedenbach, Ph.D., AICP

  • Lecturer & Undergraduate/Graduate Coordinator
  • Email:
  • Phone: 352-294-1493
  • Office Hours: Mondays 1:00pm to 3:00 pm (ET) and by appointment via Zoom Conferences. See Canvas Calendar for office hours sign-ups.


Course Description, Objectives, and Learning Outcomes

Course Description

An overview of the comprehensive planning process designed for undergraduates who may be considering a career in urban and regional planning or who may be pursuing studies where some knowledge of the planning process is desirable. 

Course Objectives

Planning is a collaborative act in which people come together to build safe, healthy, sustainable communities that enrich people’s lives. Planning is a “big picture” discipline in which planners examine the interactions of the built environment, the natural environment, economic systems, health, and social, cultural, and behavioral systems in cities, counties, and regions. The planning process asks us to learn from the past, understand the present, and prepare for the future. 

The purpose of this course is to introduce the major concepts and issues in urban and regional planning.  We will study the social, economic, environmental, structural, demographic, legal, cultural, and political problems that cities face today.   We will also engage in planning activities, such as data collection, demographics, mapping, SWOT analysis, fieldwork, public engagement, and attending a public planning meeting.

These objectives will be accomplished through:

  • Examination of class readings and materials.
  • Evaluation and analysis of planning processes and techniques.
  • Communication of concepts, expressions, and representations of planning clearly and effectively in written and oral form as stated in the rubrics of the course.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, students will be expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes in content, critical thinking, communication, and connection:

  • Content: Demonstrate competence in the terminology, concepts, methodologies, and theories used within the discipline
  • Critical Thinking: Analyze information carefully and logically from multiple perspectives, using discipline specific methods, and develop reasoned solutions to problems.
  • Communication: Communicate knowledge, ideas, and reasoning clearing and effectively in written or oral forms appropriate to the discipline.

Course Format

This course will be taught in a HyFlex format combining a face-to-face classroom section with a synchronous online section via Zoom. 

This course is based on lectures, discussion of assigned readings, viewing of multi-media materials, activities during and outside of class, and student research and writing outside of class. Students should take notes for lectures, readings, videos, etc., as use of this material will be incorporated into class assignments.  My lecture slides will be posted in the corresponding weekly modules on Canvas.  Students are expected to take adequate class notes.

Course Accessibility

Students with disabilities who experience learning barriers and would like to request academic accommodations should connect with the Disability Resource Center by visiting It is important for students to share their accommodation letter with their instructor and discuss their access needs, as early as possible in the semester.

Readings and Works

Required Texts

All required course materials are provided via Course Reserves or within the course modules.

Course Readings and Works

You can find the required readings by going to the weekly modules. For your convenience, a list of course readings and works is also provided below. 

Kelly: Introduction, Chapters 1 and 2

Kelly: Chapters 22 and 23

AICP Code of Ethics

First, Fifth, and Fourteenth (Section 1) Amendments      

Levy, Chapter 5 (course reserves)

Forgey, M. & Brookes, R. (2017). The Difference between a Legislative and a Quasi-Judicial Land Use Action and Why it Matters: A Layperson’s Summary.

Kelly: Chapters 3, 4, and 5

Kelly: Chapter 6

Arnstein, S. (1969). Ladder of Citizen Participation

Morley, D. (2019). Inclusive Planning Process. PAS QuickNotes

Madill, H., Lennertz, B., Beyea, W. (2018). Crafting Charrettes that Transform Communities. PAS Memo.

Podgers, M. (2020). 7 Emerging Tips for Equitable Digital Engagement. Planning, June 2020.

LaGro Chapters 3 – 7

Daniels, T.L. (2009). A Trail Across Time. Journal of the American Planning Association, 75(2), 178-192.

Kelly: Chapter 19

Putnam, Bowling Alone, Ch. 1

ProPublica Report on Houston, TX

Majora Carter. TEDTalk. Greening the Ghetto.

APA, Smart Cities and Sustainability Initiative

Shank, TEDTalk, Think small: using data to help small towns.

Course Assignments and Requirements*

Planning Meeting Report - 150 points

Reading Worksheets - 40 points

Discussion Board Posts - 240 points

Midterm Exam - 150

Comprehensive Plan Assignment - 150 points

Final Exam - 150 points

Attendance - 100 points

Introduction & Reflections - 15 points

*Dates and Deadlines for all assignments can be found in Course Summary at the bottom of the Syllabus Page and in Assignments.

Grade Scale and Grading Policies

Grade Scale
Grade Range Grade Points Grade Range Grade Points
A = 94–100% A = 4.00 C = 74–76% C = 2.00
A- = 90–93% A- = 3.67 C- = 70–73% C- = 1.67
B+ = 87–89% B+ = 3.33 D+ = 67–69% D+ = 1.33
B = 84-86% B = 3.00 D = 64–66% D = 1.00
B- = 79-83% B- = 2.67 D- = 60–63% D- = 0.67
C+ = 77–79% C+ = 2.33 E <60% E = 0.00

UF Grading Policies: A minimum grade of C is required for general education credit. Courses intended to satisfy the general education requirement cannot be taken S-U. More information on UF  grades and grading policies is available in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Course Policies

Academic Honesty

UF students are bound by The Honor Pledge which states, "We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honor and integrity by abiding by the Honor Code. On all work submitted for credit by students at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: 'On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment'.” The Honor Code specifies a number of behaviors that are in violation of this code and the possible sanctions. Furthermore, you are obligated to report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with the instructor of this class.


Our class sessions may be audio visually recorded for students in the class to refer back and for enrolled students who are unable to attend live. Students who participate with their camera engaged or utilize a profile image are agreeing to have their video or image recorded.  If you are unwilling to consent to have your profile or video image recorded, be sure to keep your camera off and do not use a profile image. Likewise, students who un-mute during class and participate orally are agreeing to have their voices recorded.  If you are not willing to consent to have your voice recorded during class, you will need to keep your mute button activated and communicate exclusively using the "chat" feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live. The chat will not be recorded or shared. As in all courses, unauthorized recording and unauthorized sharing of recorded materials is prohibited.


Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work in this course are consistent with university policies:

Course Evaluations

Students are expected to provide professional and respectful feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing course evaluations online via GatorEvals. Guidance on how to give feedback in a professional and respectful manner is available at Students will be notified when the evaluation period opens, and can complete evaluations through the email they receive from GatorEvals, in their Canvas course menu under GatorEvals, or via Summaries of course evaluation results are available to students at


Counseling, Tutoring, and Other Services

Students experiencing either health or personal problems that interfere with their general well-being are encouraged to seek assistance through the university’s health care and counseling centers. Resources are also available on campus for students who wish to explore their career options.