Program Philosophy

Mankind has gone very far into an artificial world of his own creation. He has sought to insulate himself, in his cities of steel and concrete, from the realities of earth and water and the growing seed. Intoxicated with a sense of his own power, he seems to be going farther and farther into more experiments for the destruction of himself and his world. 

- Rachel Carson

The mission of the Sustainable Urban Planning Program is to train the next generation of leaders in the field of urban and regional planning. The program consists of 16 classes - totaling 48 credits - which may be taken on either a full- or part-time basis. The common curriculum is composed of 10 courses, plus a concentration in Climate Change Management and Policy or Sustainable Landscapes. The program also offers graduate certificates in Urban Sustainability and Climate Change Management and Policy tailored to students who are not in need of a complete master’s degree. 

Students, not faculty, are what make graduate programs great so, with that in mind, the Sustainable Urban Planning Program seeks to be among the premier planning programs in the nation by adhering to a strong belief in student empowerment. The program is governed by six core values:

  • Active Learning empowers students by giving them shared responsibility for their work inside and outside of the classroom. It makes them drivers of the learning experience and means that they take joint ownership over the goals, processes, and outcomes of their education.
  • Advocacy involves using the knowledge and language of cities to promote objectively desirable results that further the public good - especially in the decision-making arena, and in the face of competing interests.
  • Democracy is key to planning - a normative field that aims to make the world into what it somehow “ought” to be - in order to ensure that planning activities reflect the interests the whole and not only those of an individual(s) or otherwise narrow constituency.
  • Diversity is critical to planning education and practice alike because the field itself must take care to reflect the plurality the cultures, landscapes, people, societies, and systems that it impacts – most especially with respect to underrepresented groups. 
  • Research is the engine of knowledge creation, and the scientific method is responsible for centuries of human progress. Planners need to rely on objective research whenever possible and be not only consumers of knowledge – but also producers of knowledge. In this sense, contemporary urban and regional planning should be both a humanitarian and scientific enterprise.
  • World Engagement involves proactively looking outward to find opportunities to learn from and collaborate with others from nearby – and around the globe. There are now some seven billion people on the earth, who are becoming evermore interconnected and interdependent, so planners must engage this community with the recognition that the world is growing smaller by the day.

These values shape the day-to-day experience of being in the Sustainable Urban Planning Program and give special meaning to being a graduate. In this sense, they serve as the basis for the program's learning objectives - and as key markers of our goals and ambitions beyond the program.


可持续城市规划项目旨在培养新一代城市与区域规划的领导者。 该项目包括16门课程(共计48学分,同时提供全职学习与兼职学习两种学习方式。 其中,核心课程10门,外加气候变化管理与政策和可持续景观两个专业方向课程。 另外,该项目也为那些不需要获得研究生学位的同学提供在城市可持续性和气候变化管理与政策两个方向的学术认证

学生而不是教职工,是促进研究项目不断进步的重要因素,秉承这一理念,可持续城市规划项目一直坚持赋予学生更多的自主权,从而使其成为全国范围内研究生项目的佼佼者。 引导该项目的六个核心价值如下:

  • 自主学习通过给学生在课堂内外分派集体任务让同学们共同承担,从而使他们具备自主学习的素质。 这个过程将会使学生成为整个学习过程的主观能动者,也就是说他们自己将掌握自己的学习目标、过程以及成果
  • 学科倡议包括使用城市知识和城市语言来优化公共利益,尤其是在决策领域和利益竞争方面
  • 民主是规划的关键。 它是一个规范的领域,旨在把世界变成它“应该”成为的样子。 从而保证规划活动能够正确反映整体的利益,而非个别群体的利益
  • 多样性对城市规划教育和实践很重要,因为这个领域本身必须顾及文化、景观、人口、社会和其他它所影响到的系统。 而其中最为特殊的是顾及代表性不足的社会群体
  • 学术研究是知识创新的引擎,并且科学研究的方法也是几个世纪以来推动人类进步的力量。 规划师需要以客观的研究为基础,不仅要成为知识的消费者,更要成为知识的生产者。 在这个意义上,当代城市与区域规划应该是一份人道的和科学的事业
  • 世界融合包括了积极向外寻找与来自世界各地的人们学习与合作的机会。 全球大约有七十亿人,他们相互之间的关系正变得愈加紧密和依赖。 因此规划师必须融入大众,并且意识到世界正在变得越来越小

这些核心价值会引导你在可持续城市规划项目中的经历,并赋予你成为研究生的特殊意义。 在这一点上上,这些核心价值构成了该项目学习目标的基础,并成为了项目以外,标注我们的目标和雄心的关键性标志