Achieving a Better Balance in Education Planning

Planning Education: Striking a Better Balance

Summary :

Planning education and practice are failing to recognize the importance of physical design and spatial planning, according to Randall Arendt. The root of the problem lies in outdated education systems that do not teach students to analyze how a community’s neighborhoods, streets, and parks contribute to its livability. Instead, the emphasis is often on demographic trend analysis, sociology, land-use law, citizen participation, and quantitative methods at the expense of physical town planning. This has led to a chronic identity crisis and an imbalance in the required non-design courses crowding out opportunities for design training, according to Prof. Tom Campanella of UNC. To address this imbalance, some planning firms are opting to hire landscape architecture graduates instead of planners who possess more design backgrounds.

Description :

Planning education and practice have failed to acknowledge the significance of physical design and spatial planning, according to Randall Arendt. Arendt diagnoses the root of the issue and suggests some treatments for returning urban planning to good health. He believes that although the importance of physical planning has gained recognition over the last 20 years, planning education has lagged. Many planning schools are focused on demographic trend analysis, sociology, engineering basics, planning theory, land-use law, public policy formulation, citizen participation, quantitative methods, transportation planning, social and health planning, local planning administration, gender studies, and GIS. All of these are important, but physical layout is studied so little. Arendt argues that committees determining academic accreditation standards should take notice and greatly expand the number of their members who have experience in the spatial and physical aspects of community design. Otherwise, it is unlikely that curriculum imbalances will be redressed, as the ever-growing list of required non-design courses crowds out opportunities for design training.

1- ,Planning Education: Striking a Better Balance ,2012-10-31 23:00:00

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