GEOG 373 GIS for Urban Planning

This course is an advanced study of using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Urban Planning in order to equip students to solve urban problems.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Course Guide

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This course will build on previous coursework in GEOG 370 and 371. Here students will apply what they know about GIS in the context of urban planning. 

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

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Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (6)

Students are required to submit a thread in response to the provided prompt listed in the discussion. Each thread must be at least 250 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge whereby you include references and citations of course material. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 150 words and should engage in the thesis of the peers original thread. Replies should challenge peers’ theses by including ideas from course material or additional readings on related topics. Before replying to a student with multiple replies, make sure all students have at least one dialogue partner for their original thread.

Google Earth Capacity Building Assignment

The purpose of this assignment is to introduce the student to an important geospatial planning tool: Google Earth Pro. This software is a free to use resource that can be used to quickly measure distances, view historical imagery, promote community participation, and create quick spatial reference guides. This assignment will introduce the student to the functionality of Google Earth for urban planning purposes. The student will create a map using Google Earth Pro and answer the questions provided in short answer form with a minimum of 75 words.

Planning Trends in the US Assignment

The student will explore and epoch of urban planning history within the United States. Through the lectures, readings, and own research the student will describe the planning trends during that time period as well as explore the function of the church as a community pillar and resource. The student will write a reflection of at least 500 words. 

Data.Census.Gov Capacity Building Assignment

The purpose of this assignment is to introduce students to a critical data resource and planning tool for any GIS practitioner involved in the planning field. Data.Census.Gov is the data portal to US Census and American Community Survey data. Students will learn how to request data at regional, state, county, and local levels to support planning efforts. The student will create 4 demographic tables and answer the question provided with a minimum of 75 words.

Land Suitability Analysis Assignment

The purpose of this assignment is to empower students to complete a land suitability analysis with provided geospatial data. Students will assess which data is needed to address the land suitability analysis problem, devise the land suitability analysis methodology, and summarize results. The written portion of the analysis must be at least 250 words. 

Census Data Analysis Assignment

Census data is an extremely powerful tool for decision support in Urban Planning decisions. The purpose of this assignment is to introduce the student to connecting census data to spatial data known as tiger data files.

Scholarship Review Assignment

Critical reviews are a specific form of writing and an essential tool in the academic field and useful for practitioners. The student will not be summarizing an article like a book report but providing a review that evaluates the content and context of an article of the work with careful analysis in a short critical essay of 500-750 words.

Superfund Analysis Assignment

The purpose of this assignment is to introduce students on methods to provide decision support materials for urban planning efforts. In this assignment this is done using a superfund risk and mitigation assessment. The student will map a superfund site, discuss the risk of the contamination, map the risk area, and provide recommendations for mitigating risk to residents around the site.

Final Project Assignments (5)

The final project for this course will culminate in both a Final Project: Research Paper Assignment and a Final Project: Presentation Assignment. To get here, the project is scaffolded along the way whereby the student will submit portions of the work throughout the course to ensure a quality final product.
This assignment aims at three outcomes: 1) the student will demonstrate knowledge of the history of Urban planning and how GIS can be used to address planning problems, 2) the student will develop GIS methodology and collect geospatial data to address a real world planning problem, and 3) the student will evaluate the efficacy of Geospatial analysis strategies for the promotion of overall quality of life.
Milestones for this project include:
Final Project: Planning Problem and Study Area Assignment
For this stage of the project, the student will fill out a matrix in which they will identify a potential study area that the student can conduct a final project. Within this matrix the student will briefly describe population data, environmental data, and a brief history of the region.
Final Project: Geographic Data Assignment
For this stage of the project, the student will identify the planning problem that they will address, the coordinate system that they will be using, and the geographic data needed to complete the
Final Project: Workflow Assignment
For this stage of the project, the student will identify the data and processing steps to address the GIS and Urban Planning research question. This will be completed in the form of a flowchart.
Final Project: Research Paper Assignment
This paper should reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course. This final project should include all the elements developed in the prior milestones. The paper should be at least 1500 words.
Discussion: Final Project Presentation Assignment
The final research presentation will require you to summarize the main findings of the student’s research paper. This presentation should be 8-12 slides and 5-10 minutes long.

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