Department of Planning and Urban Form

The Department of Planning and Urban Form works to discover new knowledge; develop better tools and methods; and improve land policy and the practice of planning. The department is concerned with the relationship between planning and the form of the built environment, with a particular focus on three subject areas:

  • Regional/spatial planning at different scales — including spillovers and governance issues
  • Property rights and the tension between public and private interests in the use of land
  • Ecostructure, or the intersection of land policy, land conservation, and the environment

We develop and provide planning tools and techniques for practicing planners, developers, land conservation leaders, academics, and policy makers in the areas of land use mediation and negotiation, regional collaboration, environmental planning, land conservation, and comprehensive planning.

The theme of planning for climate change runs through many of the department's recent programs, including research on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through changes in urban form and on adaptive responses to unavoidable climate change.