Comparative development planning

Area of Concentration (AoC)


urbanization, international development, culture, comparative social and urban policy analysis


The Comparative Development Planning area of concentration represents critical analysis of the development/governance logics, processes, and policies shaping local conditions with respect to ongoing urban transition. The scope of this analysis includes local, regional, national, and global scales.

Comparative Development examines the importance of local knowledge, cultural specificity, and relevance of local political, social, and economic structures and forces, as well as their consequences for local trajectories of socioeconomic change and development. It covers the range of factors (e.g., elites, politics), forces (e.g., agency, capitals, modes of accumulation) and institutions (e.g., states, markets, communities, organizations) whose origins lie beyond the local.

This AoC prepares MCRP students for careers in the fields of local, national, regional, and international development planning, at various levels of:

  • Governance,
  • Multilateral and bilateral development agencies,
  • Philanthropic foundations,
  • Volunteer-based organizations,
  • Social enterprises, and
  • Non-profits, or
  • Non-government and corporate organizations

Course Selection

To develop a customized AoC, students should select a suite of appropriate courses (minimum 12 credits) in consultation with their faculty advisor. AoC courses should generally include at least one or two broad knowledge courses, at least one skills course, and at least one in-depth knowledge course, and may include a field experience course. In some cases, students may be starting their MCRP program with some prior training already in their chosen area and may not need broad knowledge and/or skills courses in their AoC suite. To develop an AoC related to Comparative Development Planning, students would select appropriate courses from among the following:

Broad Knowledge

Course No.Course TitleInstructorCredits
PLAN 548FCultural planning and the cityT. Hutton3
PLAN 572Actors and factors in international development planningM. Leaf3
PLAN 586Intersectionality and social analysis in international development practiceL. Angeles3
SOWK 571International social developmentTBA3
GEOG 560AEconomic geographyTBA3



Course No.Course TitleInstructorCredits
PLAN 545Planning Studies Abroad (Philippines)L. Angeles6
GPP 508Philosophical and ethical foundations for public policyTBA3
GPP 504Policy analysis and evaluationTBA3
RES 542Integrated assessment of global changeTBA3


In-depth knowledge

Course No.Course TitleInstructorCredits
PLAN 548ELED Issues, theories and applicationsW. Trousdale1
SOWK 570KHistorical memories and social reconstructionP. Riano3
GPP 505Domestic and global policy processTBA3
GEOG 535International migration and settlementTBA3
GEOG 352Urbanization in the Global SouthTBA3
GPP 565Nationalist, religion and ethnic conflict in AsiaTBA3

Field Experience

Course No. Course Title Instructor Credits
PLAN 545Planning studies abroad (Philippines)L. Angeles6