City & Regional Planning: Smart Cities, MCP

The Master of City Planning core curriculum encompasses the basic skills and knowledge required of all planners regardless of their specialization, and is a hallmark of our cutting-edge and practical approach to educating city planners. Students who complete the core will understand the legal and historical basis of city planning; they will know how to use a wide variety of population and economic data to understand local communities; and they will understand the form and arrangement of cities and metropolitan areas around the world. Most important, they will understand which planning approaches work best in which contexts and circumstances.

Today's combination of portable-yet-powerful computing and communication devices and Internet-accessible "big data" are democratizing all aspects of urban planning and decision-making. In the process, these factors are transforming planners from central information gatekeepers into bottom-up enablers who are helping city dwellers take better advantage of the opportunities and richness of urban life. By giving constituents quick access to usable information, these new technologies are connecting planners, residents, businesses, and non-profits to make them smarter and more productive. The purpose of this concentration is to give MCP students the skills and abilities they will need to develop planning applications that seamlessly combine user-friendly data retrieval and modeling procedures with individual and collaborative urban planning and design tools. 


A total of 18 course units are required for graduation. 15 course units must be in City Planning (CPLN) courses.

City & Regional Planning Requirements
Core Requirements
CPLN 500Introduction to City Planning: Past, Present and Future1
CPLN 501Quantitative Planning Analysis Methods1
CPLN 502Public Finance and Public Policy1
or CPLN 509 Law of Planning and Urban Development
CPLN 600Planning Workshop2
CPLN 7XXPlanning Studio2
Spatial Analysis Requirement
Select one of the following:1
Modeling Geographical Objects
Modeling Geographic Space
Modeling Geographical Objects
Breadth Methods Requirement
Select one of the following: 1
Site Planning
Planning by Numbers
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Introduction to Land Use Planning
Introduction to Property Development
Introduction to Graphics for Urban Design
Social Impact in Practice
Land Use and Environmental Modeling
General Electives
Select 4-5 course units4-5
Smart Cities Requirements
Required Courses
CPLN 5901
CPLN 505Planning by Numbers 21
or CPLN 671 Spatial Statistics and Data Analysis
Concentration Electives
Select one of the following:1
Geospatial Software Design
Java Script Programming for Planners and Designers
Land Use and Environmental Modeling
Sensing the City
CPLN 691
Total Course Units18

Internship Requirement

Because a planning education extends beyond the classroom, all MCP students are required to complete a planning internship, usually between their first and second years. Internships may be paid or unpaid, for at least six weeks. Internships can be completed at any government agency or commission, private consulting firm, or non-profit or advocacy organization involved in planning practice, or research.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2020 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.