URP 616- Advanced Planning Theories


Course Details

Course No.: 24500

Department: Urban and Regional Planning

Semester: 2014 Spring

Location: Hayes B – 01K

Meeting Day(s): Thursdays

Meeting Time: 3:00PM - 5:40PM

Faculty: Sternberg

Meant for students pursuing a PhD in planning, our course enters into theoretical reasoning for those who already have gone through a master’s level survey of planning theory. With permission, a student who is concurrently taking URP 510 may take this course. Our broad intent is to investigate selected topics in planning theory in depth, to imbue an appreciation of theoretical argumentation related to our field. This semester we will (1) investigate certain topics in depth, though multiple contending authors. We will observe (2) how debates evolve through asynchronous dialog among scholars over long periods, during which questions and vocabularies become more refined and points of dispute become sharper, until new scholars come along claiming (rarely achieving) new ideas and theoretical resolutions. As we go along, we will come to realize (3) that the questions, say of justice or democracy or rationality, that beset our field flow from (and sometimes recursively contribute to) the larger streams of philosophical dialog, some of which have histories spanning centuries. We will in particular read some difficult texts in political philosophy, to ( 4) build in us confidence in contending with great thinkers through their original works. And, in your term papers and your participation in co-teaching our course, you will be (5) challenged to synthesize, organize, and apply theoretical reason, either to a favorite author or particular topic of your choice.