Urban Studies and Planning

An illustration of a model showing a radical series of raised green areas and walkways through the center of a densely populated area.

Cross-section of a proposed urban village with rooftop agriculture and transit oriented development. (Illustration courtesy of Beijing Urban Design Studio.)


Featured Courses

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) is a department within the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT.

It is comprised of four specialization areas (also referred to as Program Groups): City Design and Development; Environmental Policy and Planning; Housing, Community and Economic Development; and the International Development Group. There are also three cross-cutting areas of study: Transportation Planning and Policy, Urban Information Systems (UIS) and Regional Planning.

Since its inception in 1933, the Department of Urban Studies and Planning has consistently remained one of the top planning schools in the country. Now totaling close to 60 teaching faculty members (more than half of whom are full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty), it has the largest planning faculty in the United States.

The Department is organized around the following core questions of engagement and progressive change: "Can we make a difference in the world? Can we design better cities? Can we help places grow more sustainably? Can we help communities thrive? Can we help advance equitable world development?" Our mission statement is as follows:

We are committed to positive social change. Our moral vision is translated into professional education in distinct ways:

  • We believe in the abilities of urban and regional institutions to steadily improve the quality of life of citizens.
  • We emphasize democratic decision-making involving both public and private actors, and acknowledge the necessity of government leadership to ensure greater social and economic equality.
  • We foster a positive approach to technological innovation as a major force of social change.
  • We trust that the built environment can meet the needs of diverse populations and serve as a source of meaning in their daily lives.

Urban Studies and Planning Courses

Course # Course Title Level
11.001J Introduction to Urban Design and Development (Spring 2006) Undergraduate
11.002J Fundamentals of Public Policy Undergraduate
11.004J CityScope: New Orleans Undergraduate
11.007 Resolving Public Disputes Undergraduate
11.011 The Art and Science of Negotiation Undergraduate
11.012J The Ancient City Undergraduate
11.013J American Urban History I Undergraduate
11.014J American Urban History II Undergraduate
11.015J Riots, Strikes, and Conspiracies in American History Undergraduate
11.016J The Once and Future City Undergraduate
11.020 Poverty, Public Policy and Controversy Undergraduate
11.025J D-Lab I: Development (Fall 2009) Undergraduate
11.026J Downtown (Spring 2005) Undergraduate
11.027 City to City: Comparing, Researching and Writing about Cities: New Orleans Undergraduate
11.027 City to City: Comparing, Researching and Writing about Cities Undergraduate
11.122 Environment and Society Undergraduate
11.123 Big Plans Undergraduate
11.124 Introduction to Education: Looking Forward and Looking Back on Education Undergraduate
11.125 Introduction to Education: Understanding and Evaluating Education Undergraduate
11.126J Economics of Education (Spring 2007) Undergraduate
11.127J Computer Games and Simulations for Investigation and Education (Spring 2009) Undergraduate
11.128 Information Technology and the Labor Market (Spring 2005) Undergraduate
11.129 Educational Theory and Practice I Undergraduate
11.131 Educational Theory and Practice III Undergraduate
11.161J Energy Decisions, Markets, and Policies Undergraduate
11.163J Law and Society Undergraduate
11.164 Human Rights in Theory and Practice (Fall 2010) Undergraduate
11.165 Infrastructure and Energy Technology Challenges (Fall 2011) Undergraduate
11.166 Law, Social Movements, and Public Policy: Comparative and International Experience (Spring 2012) Undergraduate
11.167 Economic Development & Technical Capabilities Undergraduate
11.191 Global Freshwater Crisis (Spring 2011) Undergraduate
11.310J Media Technology and City Design and Development (Spring 2002) Undergraduate
11.339J Downtown (Spring 2005) Undergraduate
11.477 Infrastructure and Energy Technology Challenges (Fall 2011) Undergraduate
11.496 Law, Social Movements, and Public Policy: Comparative and International Experience (Spring 2012) Undergraduate
11.S196 Global Freshwater Crisis (Spring 2011) Undergraduate
11.188 A Workshop on Geographic Information Systems (Fall 2005) Graduate
11.201 Gateway to the Profession of Planning Graduate
11.201 Gateway: Planning Action (Fall 2007) Graduate
11.201 Gateway: Planning Action (Fall 2005) Graduate
11.201 Gateway: Planning Action (Fall 2002) Graduate
11.202 Planning Economics Graduate
11.203 Microeconomics Graduate
11.204 Planning, Communications, and Digital Media Graduate
11.208 Introduction to Computers in Public Management II Graduate
11.220 Quantitative Reasoning & Statistical Methods for Planners I Graduate
11.225 Argumentation and Communication Graduate
11.229 Advanced Writing Seminar Graduate
11.233 Research Design for Policy Analysis and Planning Graduate
11.233 Crafting Research Questions and Qualitative Methodology Graduate
11.235 Analyzing Projects and Organizations Graduate
11.237 Gender and Race, Work, and Public Policy Graduate
11.248 Information Technology and the Labor Market (Spring 2005) Graduate
11.249 Economics of Education (Spring 2007) Graduate
11.252J Computer Games and Simulations for Investigation and Education (Spring 2009) Graduate
11.255 Negotiation and Dispute Resolution in the Public Sector Graduate
11.262J Organizations and Environments Graduate
11.301J Introduction to Urban Design and Development (Fall 2006) Graduate
11.302J Urban Design Politics Graduate
11.304J Site and Infrastructure Systems Planning Graduate
11.307 Beijing Urban Design Studio (Summer 2008) Graduate
11.307 Beijing Urban Design Studio (Summer 2006) Graduate
11.308J Advanced Seminar: Urban Nature and City Design Graduate
11.309J Sensing Place: Photography as Inquiry Graduate
11.309J Sites in Sight: Photography as Inquiry Graduate
11.310J Media Technology and City Design and Development (Fall 2002) Graduate
11.328J Urban Design Skills: Observing, Interpreting, and Representing the City Graduate
11.329 Social Theory and the City Graduate
11.330J Theory of City Form Graduate
11.332J Urban Design Studio: Providence Graduate
11.332J Urban Design Graduate
11.333 Urban Design Seminar Graduate
11.337J Urban Design Policy and Action (Spring 2009) Graduate
11.337J Urban Design Policy and Action (Spring 2007) Graduate
11.342J The Impact of Globalization on the Built Environment Graduate
11.360 Community Growth and Land Use Planning (Fall 2010) Graduate
11.360 Community Growth and Land Use Planning (Fall 2006) Graduate
11.360 Community Growth and Land Use Planning (Fall 2005) Graduate
11.360 Community Growth and Land Use Planning (Fall 2003) Graduate
11.362 Environmental Management Practicum: Brownfield Redevelopment Graduate
11.363 Civil Society and the Environment Graduate
11.364 International Environmental Negotiation Graduate
11.366J Planning for Sustainable Development Graduate
11.368 Environmental Justice Graduate
11.370 Brownfields Policy and Practice Graduate
11.371J Introduction to Sustainable Energy Graduate
11.373 Science, Politics, and Environmental Policy Graduate
11.375 Role of Science and Scientists in Collaborative Approaches to Environmental Policymaking Graduate
11.380J Urban Transportation Planning (Fall 2002) Graduate
11.401 Introduction to Housing, Community and Economic Development (Fall 2004) Graduate
11.401 Introduction to Housing, Community and Economic Development (Fall 2003) Graduate
11.414J Labor and Politics Graduate
11.421 Housing and Human Services Graduate
11.422 Downtown Management Organizations Graduate
11.423 Information and Communication Technologies in Community Development Graduate
11.431J Real Estate Finance and Investment Graduate
11.432J Real Estate Capital Markets Graduate
11.433J Real Estate Economics Graduate
11.434 Tools for Analysis: Design for Real Estate and Infrastructure Development Graduate
11.434J Advanced Topics in Real Estate Finance Graduate
11.437 Financing Economic Development Graduate
11.439 Revitalizing Urban Main Streets: St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans Graduate
11.439 Revitalizing Urban Main Streets: Hyde/Jackson Square & Roslindale Square, Boston Graduate
11.439 Revitalizing Urban Main Streets: Mission Hill & Egleston Square, Boston Graduate
11.467J Property Rights in Transition Graduate
11.469 Urban Sociology in Theory and Practice Graduate
11.471 Targeting the Poor: Local Economic Development in Developing Countries Graduate
11.472J D-Lab I: Development (Fall 2009) Graduate
11.479 Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Planning in Developing Countries Graduate
11.479J Water and Sanitation Infrastructure in Developing Countries Graduate
11.481J Analyzing and Accounting for Regional Economic Growth Graduate
11.482J Regional Socioeconomic Impact Analyses and Modeling (Fall 2008) Graduate
11.482J Regional Socioeconomic Impact Analyses and Modeling (Fall 2007) Graduate
11.483 Housing and Land Use in Rapidly Urbanizing Regions Graduate
11.484 Project Appraisal in Developing Countries Graduate
11.486J Economic Institutions and Growth Policy Analysis Graduate
11.487 Urban Public Finance in Developing Countries Graduate
11.489 The Growth and Spatial Structure of Cities Graduate
11.491J Economic Development, Policy Analysis, and Industrialization Graduate
11.493 Legal Aspects of Property and Land Use Graduate
11.497 Human Rights in Theory and Practice (Fall 2010) Graduate
11.501 Introduction to Technology and Cities Graduate
11.520 A Workshop on Geographic Information Systems (Fall 2005) Graduate
11.521 Spatial Database Management and Advanced Geographic Information Systems (Spring 2003) Graduate
11.522 Research Seminar on Urban Information Systems Graduate
11.523 Spatial Database Management and Advanced Geographic Information Systems (Spring 2003) Graduate
11.524 Spatial Database Management and Advanced Geographic Information Systems (Spring 2003) Graduate
11.527J Transportation Systems Graduate
11.540J Urban Transportation Planning (Fall 2006) Graduate
11.541J Public Transportation Systems Graduate
11.542J Transit Management Graduate
11.543J Transportation Policy and Environmental Limits Graduate
11.545J Transportation Systems Analysis: Demand and Economics Graduate
11.545J Introduction to Transportation Systems Graduate
11.601 Introduction to Environmental Policy and Planning Graduate
11.701 Introduction to International Development Planning (Fall 2011) Graduate
11.701 Introduction to International Development Planning (Fall 2010) Graduate
11.701 Introduction to Planning & Institutional Processes in Developing Countries Graduate
11.800 Doctoral Research Seminar: Knowledge in the Public Arena Graduate
11.902 Advanced Urban Public Finance: Collective Action and Provisions of Local Public Goods Graduate
11.914 Planning Communication Graduate
11.941 Urban Climate Adaptation Graduate
11.941 Learning by Comparison: First World/Third World Cities Graduate
11.941 Disaster, Vulnerability and Resilience Graduate
11.941 Use of Joint Fact Finding in Science Intensive Policy Disputes, Part I Graduate
11.942 Regional Energy-Environmental Economic Modeling Graduate
11.942 Use of Joint Fact Finding in Science Intensive Policy Disputes, Part II Graduate
11.943 Special Studies in Urban Studies and Planning - The Cardener River Corridor Workshop Graduate
11.943J Urban Transportation, Land Use, and the Environment Graduate
11.945 Katrina Practicum Graduate
11.945 Springfield Studio (Fall 2005) Graduate
11.945 Springfield Studio (Spring 2004) Graduate
11.946 Planning in Transition Economies for Growth and Equity Graduate
11.946J Beijing Urban Design Studio (Summer 2004) Graduate
11.947 Urbanization and Development Graduate
11.947 History and Theory of Historic Preservation Graduate
11.947 Race, Immigration, and Planning Graduate
11.947 Sustainable Economic Development Graduate
11.947 New Century Cities: Real Estate, Digital Technology, and Design Graduate
11.947 Imaging the City: The Place of Media in City Design and Development Graduate
11.948 The Politics of Reconstructing Iraq Graduate
11.948 Power of Place: Media Technology, Youth, and City Design and Development Graduate
11.949 City Visions: Past and Future Graduate
11.949 Cities in Conflict: Theory and Practice Graduate
11.950 Citizen Participation, Community Development, and Urban Governance in the Developing World Graduate
11.952 Gaoming Studio - China Graduate
11.952 Foshan China Workshop Graduate
11.953 Comparative Land Use and Transportation Planning Graduate
11.954 Community-Owned Enterprise and Civic Participation Graduate
11.957 Frameworks of Urban Governance Graduate
11.958 Getting Things Implemented: Strategy, People, Performance, and Leadership Graduate
11.959 Reforming Natural Resources Governance: Failings of Scientific Rationalism and Alternatives for Building Common Ground Graduate
11.965 Reflective Practice: An Approach for Expanding Your Learning Frontiers Graduate
11.967 Special Studies in Urban Studies and Planning: Economic Development Planning Skills Graduate
11.969 Workshop on Deliberative Democracy and Dispute Resolution Graduate
11.975 Feeding Cities in the Global South: Challenges and Opportunities for Action in Cartagena Graduate