Monday, February 12, 2007

M.S. in Urban Planning at UIC - Third Semester Update

Matt, aka Kuz from Interesting and Helpful, was kind enough to respond to my request for an update about his graduate work. He writes,

"I'm taking 5 classes this semester, which should help push me far enough along to be able to work full-time and do my last 2 classes this fall.

The courses:517 Regional Planning, taught by Ron Thomas, executive director of NIPC, which will soon be CMAP. We're getting an all-access look at the bureaucracy and federal regulations that make planning for Chicagoland's future so difficult. No textbooks here; our speaker list is chock-full of planning and transportation professionals, though,which should be good.

530 Economic Development, taught by Phil Ashton. I've had Phil for three classes now; his area of scholarship is how mortgage lending practices affect urban areas. We'll start with theories about why firms locate in different places, then explore a lot of current economic development practices.

536 Urban Employment, with Nik Theodore. I did an independent study with Nik last semester about the day labor situation in Gompers Park last semester. This class will be heavy with employment policy, and evaluating various policies.

537 Environmental Economics, with Moira Zellner. This is my first class with Moira. Our text is "Environmental and Natural Resource Economics" by Tietenberg. We should end up exploring lots of different environmental issues and how economic theory should or should not guide our search for solutions.

594 Disaster Mitigation and Planning with Richard Roths (disaster consultant, formerly of FEMA) and James Schwartz from the American Planning Association. Here are two guys with immense experience in how to plan for disasters and recover from disasters. Hurricane Katrina was a big reason I decided to study Urban Planning, so I'm really looking forward to this class.

I'm also on the lookout for a summer internship in either real estate or government, so please keep your ears peeled."

There's no need to wonder why Matt's blog is named Interesting and Helpful is there? Thanks, Matt! This is great fun for all us armchair urban planners. If you'd like to read Matt's introduction to his program and his first semester update, you can find it here.

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