Environmental Planning

Area of Concentration (AoC)


sustainability, resilience, environment, climate change, natural hazards, natural resources


Environmental Planning is concerned with the interaction of human settlements and the natural environment. Communities and governments make many decisions, policies, and plans that have profound impacts on the health and integrity of social and ecological systems. Environmental Planning responds to this problem, with an overarching goal of helping planners design human settlements in a way that minimizes impacts on natural ecosystems and minimizes risks to humans.

In addition to a general Environmental Planning AoC, some options for customized AoCs include:  Disaster and Risk Management Planning; Environment and Infrastructure Planning; and Environment and Health Planning.

This AoC prepares MCRP students for careers in environmental planning at various levels of government, non-profit organizations, and consulting companies. Graduates of this area have worked in such areas as sustainability planning, climate change adaptation planning, and disaster resilience planning.

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 Environmental Planning, students would select appropriate courses from among the following:

Broad Knowledge

Course No. Course Title Instructor Credits
PLAN 531 Planning for disaster-resilient communitiesS. Chang3
PLAN 591  Land use and environmental planningM. Stevens3



Course No.Course TitleInstructorCredits
PLAN 534Geographic Information Systems (GIS)W. Gushue1
CONS 340Introduction to GIS for forestry and conservation 3
PLAN 595Facilitation, negotiation and conflict resolution for plannersA. Erfan3
GPP 507Environmental law and policy frameworks 3
LARC 444Urban green space planning 3
LARC 440Site planning 3
RES 500XSurvey design in the environmental social sciences 3


In-depth knowledge

Course No.Course TitleInstructorCredits
PLAN 341Smart cities: Concepts, methods and designM. Tran3
PLAN 597Water resources planningJ.Honey-Rosés3
PLAN 548ATransportation and air qualityA. Bigazzi3
PLAN 579Health and the built environmentL. Frank3
PLAN 548ZFood systems policy, people and planetT. Moreau2
URSY 510Urban systems and societyJ.Honey-Rosés3
URSY 520Urban systems analysis and planningM. Tran3
GPP 543Sustainable Water Systems 3
RES 510Social ecological systems 3
RES 520Climate change: Science, technology, and sustainable development 3
CIVL 598Environmental stewardship and urban systems 3


Field Experience

Course No.Course TitleInstructorCredits
PLAN 545CThe Barcelona field trip 6