Course Syllabus

 URP 4740 & URP 6745 Syllabus

Spring 2021

Contact the Instructional Team

Dr. Laura Dedenbach, AICP

  • Lecturer & Graduate/Undergraduate Coordinator, Department of Urban and Regional Planning
  • Email:
  • Phone: 352-294-1493
  • Office Hours: Mondays 1:00p to 3:00p and by appointment via Zoom Conferences

Samantha Kanach

  • Teaching Assistant, Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Course Description, Objectives, and Learning Outcomes

Course Description

Shelter. Home. Safety. Comfort. Family. Acceptance. Stability. These words all describe our emotional and physical connection to housing. This course will look at housing history, policy, form, and meaning in the United States. We will examine concepts of affordability, social inequity, gentrification, homelessness, and the societal and demographic changes that shape housing choice. We will gain insight into how housing shapes urban, suburban, and rural development patterns impact public health, safety, sustainability, and quality of life. 

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
• Explain why housing is important and deserves to be a focus of policy and planning.
• Explain the historical contexts underlying housing issues in the United States.
• Describe a wide array of housing problems in the United States, both locally and nationally.
• Recognize the social and economic impacts of housing on people’s lives.
• Identify the planning and policy tools used to resolve housing problems.
• Conduct a housing-related research project individually.
• Improve your research, writing, and oral communication skills.
Through assignments, you will develop the ability to explain important housing issues, to express your opinion about debatable housing issues, to identify urban housing problems, to present your work professionally, to give constructive criticism about peer’s work, and to write your work in professional contexts.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • 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

The course will be delivered both in the classroom and synchronously online.

  • On Tuesdays, we will be all online via Zoom during Period 6 (12:50p to 1:30p).
  • On Tuesdays, those registered for URP 6745 will continue the online class to Period 7 (1:55p to 2:35p, after a break, in a Graduate Seminar format.
  • On Thursdays, those registered for the URP 4740 classroom section will meet with me in MAT 0016, while those registered for the online section will be via Zoom for Periods 6 and 7.  URP 6745 students will join us online for Period 6. The URP 4740 Period 7 class will be conducted in an Undergraduate Seminar content.
  • Period 6 classes will be mostly content-driven lectures and some discussion.  Period 7 seminar-style classes will be highly interactive with discussion, breakout sections, activities, and presentations.

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

Students are not required to purchase any texts for the course.  All materials are provided either through Course Reserves or in the Canvas 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.

Cuba and Hummon. 1993. “A place to call home.” The Sociological Quarterly, 34(1). p. 111-131.  

Klinkenborg. 2012. “The definition of home.” Smithsonian Magazine.       

Gallagher. 2006. Chapter One: “Home: When We See It, We Know What We Like” in House Thinking. p. 3-26.

Witold Rybczyski. 2007. “Why do we live in houses, anyway?”

Rothstein. 2017. The Color of Law. (Selected Chapters)

Joint Center for Housing Studies. 2020. The State of the Nation’s Housing.

Schwartz, A. 2015. Chapters 3 and 4. In Housing Policy in the United States. (See Course Reserves)

Madden and Marcuse. 2016.  Chapter 4: “The Myths of Housing Policy.” In In Defense of Housing. See Course Reserves.

Badger and Bui. 2019. “Cities Start to Question an American Ideal: A House With a Yard on Every Lot.”

City of Gainesville Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element & Housing Element

City of Gainesville Five-Year Consolidated Plan for CDBG and HOME Programs

Stone, M. E. 2004. “Shelter Poverty: The Chronic Case of Housing Affordability.” New England Journal of Public Policy.

Herbert, C. et al. 2018. “Measuring Housing Affordability: Assessing the 30 Percent of Income Standard.”

Blumgart, J. 2019. “Credit Limit.” Planning.

Ahrentzen and Tural. 2015. “The role of building design and interiors in aging actively at home.” Building Research and Information, 43(5).

LeaMond, N. 2018. Where We Live: Communities for all ages.

Fishman. 2005. “The Fifth Migration.” Journal of the American Planning Association, 71(4).

Lee. 2005. “The Role of Inner Ring Suburbs in Metropolitan Smart Growth Strategies.” Journal of Planning Literature, 19(3). p. 330-346.

Glass, R. 1964. Excerpt from “London: Aspects of Change” in The Gentrification Reader, p. 7.

Ellen, I. 2018. “Can Gentrification be Inclusive?” JCHS.

Badger, Bui, and Gebeloff. 2019. “The Neighborhood Is Mostly Black. The Home Buyers Are Mostly White.” NYTimes.

Saunders, P. 2018. “The Scales of Gentrification.” Planning

Pickren, G. 2012. “Where Can I Build My Student Housing? The Politics of Studentification in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia.” Southeastern Geographer, Volume 52. Pp. 113-130.

Fernando Pagés Ruiz. 2015. “Building Multiculturally: One culture’s idea of the ideal house is different from another. Luckily, floor plans are adaptable.” Shelterforce.

Masnick. 2010. “The new demographics of housing.” Housing Policy Debate, 13(2). p. 275-321.

AARP. 2017. Making Room: Housing for a Changing America.

HUD. 2018. “The 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.” (Will update if 2019 Report is available by module time)

National Coalition for the Homeless. 2016. “Swept Away: Reporting on the Encampment Closure Crisis”

National Coalition for the Homeless. 2017. “Foreclosure to Homelessness: the Forgotten Victims of the Subprime Crisis.”

National Coalition for the Homeless. 2018. “Current State of Homelessness.”

Szibbo. 2016. “Lessons for LEED for Neighborhood Development, Social Equity, and Affordable Housing.” Journal of the American Planning Association, 82(1). p. 37-         49.

100RC and EY. 2019. “Should resilience begin with the home?”

Course Assignments and Requirements*

Home Assignment - 150 points

Discussion Board Posts - 100 points

Reflections - 20 points

News Article Reviews - 100 points

Neighborhood Audit - 200 points

Case Study Topic - 80 points

Case Study - 250 points

Attendance - 100 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.