Urban Studies and Planning

College of Health and Social Sciences

Dean: Dr. Alvin Alvarez

School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement

Director: Jasper Rubin

Urban Studies and Planning Program

HSS 133
Website: https://pace.sfsu.edu/usp
Program Coordinator: Jasper Rubin

Program Scope

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning offers two programs: The Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Planning and a Minor in Urban Studies and Planning. The B.A. is designed to prepare students for a wide range of urban planning and policy careers. The minor is designed to complement a wide range of SF State majors by offering students an opportunity to develop competence in urban planning and policy. The major and the minor are founded upon the conviction that urban universities have unique opportunities as well as responsibilities to help shape the future of city life.

Career Outlook

The USP program has been fortunate in attracting talented and motivated students whose central concern is to make our cities more livable, humane, and sustainable. These students have made important contributions as interns and researchers and as alumni; they have gone on to work as planners, analysts, and managers in private, non-profit, and public organizations throughout the region and beyond. Urban studies and planning alumni are employed in planning departments, housing and community development corporations, transportation planning agencies, health and social service organizations, private consulting firms, environmental organizations, real estate firms, general public management positions, and political organizations. The network of contacts maintained by the department with alumni provides solid evidence of the job opportunities available to Urban Studies and Planning graduates and their continuing contributions to the larger community and offers an invaluable resource to new graduates as they begin their job search.

A copy of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning Advising Handbook and further information about the major and minor can be found on the department’s website at https://pace.sfsu.edu/usp

Professor

AYSE PAMUK (2000), Professor of Urban Studies and Planning; B.C.P. (1984), Middle East Technical University; M.S. (1987), Aegean University; M.C.P. (1989), Ph.D. (1994), University of California, Berkeley.

RAQUEL RIVERA PINDERHUGES (1992), Professor of Urban Studies and Planning; B.A. (1979), City University of New York; M.A. (1983), Ph.D. (1987), Graduate Center of New York.

Associate Professor

M. JASPER RUBIN (2007), Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning; B.A. (1988), University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A. (1995) University of Maryland; Ph.D. (2003), University of Maryland.

TONY SPARKS (2012), Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning; B.A. (1998), University of Washington; M.A. (2002), Claremont Graduate University; Ph.D. (2009), University of Washington.

PIETRO CALOGERO (2012), Lecturer in Urban Studies and Planning; B.A. (1988), M. Arch M.C.P. (1994), Ph.D. (2011), University of California, Berkeley.

USP 200 Changing Cities (Units: 3)

Changing cities in a global world. Multi-disciplinary social science perspectives on city life. Social, cultural, and ethnic diversity. Metropolitan regions. Strategies for creating social justice and environmental sustainability. Experiencing the city.
(This course is offered as USP 200 and SOC 200. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Social Justice

USP 400 Dynamics of the American City (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, B4*, and E all with grades of C- or better or consent of the instructor.

Historical development and contemporary condition of urban America, city planning, and federal-city relations. Discussion of the dynamics of urban policy-making and class, gender, race, and ethnicity in urban America.
(This course is offered as USP 400 and HIST 489. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Social Justice

USP 401GW Seminar in Urban Studies and Planning - GWAR (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper-division Urban Studies and Planning majors and minors; GE Area A2; or consent of the instructor.

Lectures and discussion of seminal basic and contemporary writings on the most important topics in urban studies and planning. Intensive practice in written and oral communication skills. (ABC/NC grading only)

Course Attributes:

  • Graduation Writing Assessment

USP 402 Introduction to Planning History and Theory (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or consent of the instructor.

A history of urban planning, primarily in the U.S. from its roots in the 19th century to its development as a contemporary civic endeavor. Examination of the relationship between planning theory and practice based on classic and current readings.

USP 432 Urban Geography (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Geographic characteristics of cities in relation to evolution, morphology, and function. The internal and external relationships of diversified urban areas. Lecture, 3 units; activity, 1 unit.
(This course is offered as GEOG 432 and USP 432. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Global Perspectives

USP 433 Urban Transportation (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or consent of the instructor.

Interrelationship between urban transportation systems and internal spatial pattern of urban areas. Impact of the automobile and mass transit modes on urban morphology. Regional transportation planning methodology. Lecture, 3 units; activity, 1 unit.
(This course is offered as GEOG 433 and USP 433. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 456 Urban Community Organizing and Citizen Action (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper-division Social Work and Urban Studies and Planning majors; S W 400, S W 401, S W 402; or consent of the instructor.

History and current developments in community organization in the city. Principles and strategies of developing citizen action organizations. Role of community organizing and citizen participation in urban social programs.
(This course is offered as S W 456 and USP 456. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 470 City in a Global Society (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper-division standing; GE Areas A1, A2, A3, and B4.

Urban life and settings in the U.S. and internationally. Analysis of the impact of the global context. Economic, ethnic, gender, cultural, political and technological changes. (This course is offered as SOC 480 and USP 470. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 475 Selected Issues in Urban Studies (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or consent of the instructor.

Topics to be specified in the Class Schedule. May include Overview and Analysis of current urban policy and planning issues, Overview and Analysis of analytical techniques appropriate to examine current urban policy and planning issues, and Community engagement activities through applied research and fieldwork. May be repeated when topics vary. (Plus-minus ABC/NC, CR/NC not allowed)

USP 480 Introduction to Urban Policy and Analysis (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Political and institutional settings for urban politics and policymaking. Concepts and techniques of policy analysis. USP majors and minors must complete the course with a grade of C or better. Approved preparatory course for Experimental College instructors.
(This course is offered as PLSI 480 and USP 480. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 485 San Francisco Political Issues (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Political mobilization and governance. Electoral processes. Economic, ethnic, and cultural conflicts. Lecture, 3 units; activity, 1 units. May be repeated with consent of the instructor. [CSL may be available]
(This course is offered as PLSI 475 and USP 485. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 492 Research Methods (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Problem formulation; research design; data collection, organization, and analysis; introduction to computer-generated analyses; report writing and presentation; applied research. Lecture, 3 units; activity, 1 unit.
(This course is offered as USP 492 and PLSI 492. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 493 Data Analysis (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: PLSI 492/USP 492 or equivalent.

Statistical analysis for politics, public policy, administration, and urban studies. Uses, interpretation, and limitations.
(This course is offered as PLSI 493 and USP 493. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 512 Urban Politics and Community Power (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or consent of the instructor.

Political dynamics in the contemporary metropolitan context; bases and distribution of power in urban and suburban areas. Intergovernmental relations and urban political power.
(This course is offered as PLSI 512 and USP 512. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 513 Politics, Law, and the Urban Environment (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or consent of the instructor.

Law and the legal system as mechanisms for regulating urban development and protecting the environment; intervention in development and land use; environmental decay, conservation of open space, other related resources. Lecture, 3 units; activity, 1 unit.
(This course is offered as USP 513, GEOG 668, and PLSI 513. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 514 Sustainable Development in Cities (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or consent of the instructor.

Analysis of development and sustainable development theory and practice, the role international lending institutions, sustainable planning and management of urban infrastructures, and the role appropriate technologies. Case studies of sustainable development planning and policy in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe, Caribbean, and USA.

Course Attributes:

  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Social Justice

USP 515 Environmental Justice: Race, Poverty, and the Environment (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or consent of the instructor.

Examination of environmental justice concepts, research and policies; understanding how toxins and other environmental assaults differentially affect communities and groups in USA and abroad; focus on research, ethnic, class dynamics; environmental justice movements, public policy and planning.
(This course is offered as USP 515 and GEOG 667. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

USP 530 Alternative Urban Futures (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Examines future of cities through analysis of current trends and policies; implications for quality of life and natural resources; planning and policy analysis for future of cities and urban populations; focus on problems and solutions.

USP 535 Urban Economics (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or consent of the instructor.

Analysis of the economic forces which determine a city's income, employment, land use pattern, industrial structure, and public sector. Particular attention to housing, central city-suburban relationships, transportation, local labor market, local public finance, and neighborhood economic development.
(This course is offered as ECON 535 and USP 535. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 555 Urban Anthropology (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper-division standing; USP 400 or one course in cultural anthropology.

Impact of urban environments upon human behavior cross-culturally. Ethnographic fieldwork techniques, the history and theoretical roots of urban anthropology, and case studies from around the world.
(This course is offered as ANTH 555 and USP 555. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 557 Ethnography of Urban Inequality (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Participant-observation fieldwork techniques with hands-on research projects in inner-city communities in the Bay Area. Lecture, 3 units; activity, 1 unit.
(This course is offered as ANTH 557 and USP 557. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 560 Urban Poverty and Policy (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better or consent of the instructor.

Nature and causes of urban poverty. Theories of poverty and their policy implications. The role of education, employment, family status, gender, race, metropolitan location, global economic restructuring, anti-poverty policies and proposals, and development of policy alternatives. [CSL may be available]
(This course is offered as USP 560 and PLSI 560. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Social Justice

USP 565 Social Policy and Family Systems (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing.

Background and analytical tools to understand impact of past, current and proposed public policies on families in the U.S.; role of the state; analysis of specific policy areas--i.e. healthcare, income and employment, poverty, taxation, medical rights, education, violence; legal rights of families.

USP 570 Urban Health Policy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

The political economy of the urban health system. A critical review of urban health policy and analysis of alternatives. Politics of health care reform. Particular needs of women and communities of color.
(This course is offered as USP 570, LABR 570, and PLSI 570. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 580 Housing Policy and Planning (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better or consent of the instructor.

Social, economic, and technical aspects of urban housing; market analysis, housing production, tenant/landlord relations, finance, government regulation, and subsidies.
(This course is offered as USP 580 and PLSI 580. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

USP 603 Public Service Internships (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper-division standing; concurrent enrollment in PLSI 604; consent of the instructor.

Fieldwork in approved public, private, non-profit, or political organization under the supervision of organization staff and a faculty coordinator. May be repeated on advisement. [CSL may be available]
(This course is offered as PLSI 603 and USP 603. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 604 Internship Seminar (Unit: 1)

Prerequisites: Upper-division standing; concurrent enrollment in PLSI 603.

Analysis of internship experiences. May be repeated on advisement. [CSL may be available]
(This course is offered as PLSI 604 and USP 604. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 651 San Francisco Bay Area Environmental Issues (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better or consent of the instructor.

Mission and work of environmental management organizations. Managing our air, water, soil, wildlife, and aesthetic resources. Land use and transportation concepts. Field projects. Lecture, 3 units; laboratory, 1 unit.
(This course is offered as GEOG 651 and USP 651. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-B: Physical Life Science
  • Environmental Sustainability

USP 652 Environmental Impact Analysis (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: GEOG 205 or ENVS 224 or consent of the instructor.

Cultural and physical environmental interrelationships. Evaluating impact proposals. Reconciling resource potentials with human needs, problems of social development impact, and environmental quality protection. Lecture, 3 units; activity, 1 unit.
(This course is offered as GEOG 652 and USP 652. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 658 Land-Use Planning (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

The institutions, practice, and methodology of land-use planning. Relationship of planning to socio-economic objectives within the context of market and political forces. The planning process, locational analysis, zoning, and negotiated development. Lecture, 3 units; activity, 1 unit.
(This course is offered as GEOG 658 and USP 658. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

USP 680 Senior Seminar (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Senior Urban Studies majors; USP 401GW, USP 603, USP 604, USP 658 or USP 480, USP 492, and USP 493; or consent of the instructor.

Practicum in policy and planning. Projects for clients outside the university. Preparation for professional work or continued study upon graduation. Seminar, 3 units; activity, 1 unit. [CSL may be available]

USP 681 Senior Thesis (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Restricted to senior Urban Studies and Planning majors and minors; USP 401GW, USP 492, USP 493, USP 480 or USP 658, USP 604, or consent of the instructor.

Directed guidance leading to the completion of a senior research project based on intensive individual study of a topic or problem related to urban studies, policy and/or planning. Data gathering, analysis and presentation (oral and written) of original research. (Plus-minus ABC/NC)

USP 685 Projects in the Teaching of Urban Studies (Units: 1-4)

Prerequisites: Consent of the instructor and completion of course (or equivalent) in which student will be assisting.

Students serve as instructional aides in order to enrich their knowledge of the subject and the general processes of learning and teaching. Help develop course materials, plan and review course structure and activities, and provide assistance to students in class activities such as writing assignments, research projects, and fieldwork. (Students may earn a maximum of 4 units toward the baccalaureate degree for any course(s) numbered 685 regardless of discipline.) (Plus-minus letter grade only)

USP 686 Field Work in Urban Studies (Units: 1-4)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or consent of the instructor.

Supervised field research including preparation of policy papers, developing databases on local issues, and applied policy work. Editorial and production work for annual Urban Studies publications: Urban Action and the Alumni Survey. May be repeated for a total of 8 units.

USP 699 Independent Study (Units: 1-4)

Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

Supervised individual research project of special interest to develop research capability.