URBS 401/501: Foundations Wednesdays, 9:00 – 11:45 MH 112

Urban and Regional
Studies Institute
URBS 401/501: Foundations
Wednesdays, 9:00 – 11:45
MH 112
Fall 2007
Prof. Beth Wielde
Office: 106 Morris Hall
Office Phone: 507/ 389-1714
Office Fax: 507/ 389-6377
E-Mail: [email protected]
Web Site:
Office Hours:
Monday: via e-mail
11:00 – 2:00
9:00 – 12:30 (3.5)
2:00 – 3:30 (1.5)
9:00 – 12:30 (3.5)
2:00 – 3:30 (1.5)
Course Description
Foundations is designed to give a broad survey of the fields of planning and
management, and examine the intricate ties between the two fields. Public sector work
is both internal (in the hierarchies and political processes followed by staff and elected
officials) and external (by the constant contact with the public).
This course will provide an overview as to what planners and managers do, the
vocabulary of the profession, the basic techniques of the field such as reading a plat, and
insight into what it is like working in the profession of public service.
D2L Use
This course will rely heavily on D2L for communication and course materials. If you
have not yet activated your account, you must do so immediately. If you experience
trouble with activation, contact the Academic Computing Help Desk at 507-389-6654.
Books and Materials
There are two books assigned for this course:
Hoch, C., Dalton, L., So, F. (2000). The Practice of Local Government Planning (3rd Ed).
Washington, D.C.: ICMA Press.
Wood, L., Baker, J. (2003). Tales from the Trenches: Achievements, Blunders, and
Challenges in Local Government Management. Rancho Palo Verdes, CA: The Training
Course Grades
Grades will be given based on a points systems. There are 105 points available for
undergraduate students, 125 for graduate students.
Course Tests/ Projects
MID-TERM PROJECT (Due Oct 10, 30 points): Identify a contemporary planning issue and
give a presentation that provides an overview of the issue. Look at the pros and cons of each
issue. Make sure students don’t overlap the topics by having them ‘sign up’ for a topic. We can
suggest some topics. Some ideas might be:
Life cycle planning
Obesity prevention planning
Greenways and habitat
Water resources planning
Joint powers agreements – pros and
Planning policy development
Public participation
Mixed use development
Overlay zones
Parks dedication fees/ payment in
Public acquisition of private property
PLANNING COMMISSION or CITY COUNCIL MEETING (20 pts): Students are expected to
attend a meeting of the Planning Commission by October 17, and identify elements of
classroom discussion that were applied to the meeting.
Quiz - Elements of a Plat (Oct 24, 15 points): Students will identify the parts of a plat on a
“real life” sample.
2nd MEETING (Grad Students Only) (20 pts): Graduate students are expected to attend a second
meeting (if the student attended a planning commission meeting for the last assignment, they
are to attend a City Council meeting this time, and vice-verse) by November 14, and identify
elements of classroom discussion that were applied to the meeting.
FINAL PROJECT (Due Dec. 5, 40 points); Students will meet/ interview a practicing
planner, manager, or private sector consultant to gain insight into the realities of the
profession. As an addition to the assignment, graduate students are expected to meet
with the planner/ manager over time, following a project, issue, or plat, presenting the
findings of their interaction with the official.
Extra Credit
By the time you reach this level in your academic career, you should be able to earn the
grades you need based on performance of the requirements for the class. There is no
extra credit option for URBS 401/501: Foundations
Class attendance is crucial. The class is held only once a week, and missing one means
missing a significant amount of material. Activity points can not be made up. You are
responsible for procuring notes from another student. If you want to discuss the notes
with me to clarify the material, I am happy to sit down with you – but you must bring
notes along with you. This is to avoid “starting from scratch,” basically making me give a
second lecture.
You must be enrolled in the course during the semester to earn a grade. I will not “hold
over” a grade, allowing you to take the class one semester and officially enroll in
another. This sometimes happens if the tuition bill cannot be paid, or there is another
dispute on student status. Basic rule: if you don’t have D2L access, you cannot
participate in the class.
Students with Disabilities
MSU provides students with disabilities reasonable accommodation to participate in
educational programs, activities, or services. Students with disabilities requiring
accommodation to participation in class activities or meet course requirements should
first register with the Office of Disability Services, located in 0132 Memorial Library,
telephone 507/ 389-2825, TDD 711, and then contact me as soon as possible.
Cheating, Plagiarism, and Other Academic Fraud
Simply put, don’t do it, even for extra credit. The worst original work is better than the
most perfectly plagiarized. It’s okay to insert other people’s ideas, just make sure you
cite them; after all, you would want credit for an idea you had, right? And remember,
I’ve read and seen a lot of stuff; they actually pay me to do it, so do you want to take
the odds that it’s a paper I’ve used for my dissertation research?
Cheating is not tolerated in any case. If you are caught cheating (and both the T.A. and I
are watching!), you will receive an automatic ‘F’ for the class and your case will be
handled according to University policy.
General Education Requirements
This course does not fulfill a General Education category requirement.
This course fulfills an URSI Undergraduate Core requirement
This course fulfills an URSI Graduate Core requirement
Course Schedule (Subject to Change)
Part 1: Government in Context
01: Aug 29
(Prof. Wielde at APSA conf)
02: Sept 5
Government in Context
03: Sept 12
Government and Working with the Public
Intergovernmental Relations
Part 2: Planning
04: Sept 19 Planning Basics
 History
 Ethics & Principles
(Instructor: David Laverny-Rafter)
05: Sept 26 Planning
 Resources and Technology
 Comp Planning
06: Oct 3
Operational Planning
 Zoning Basics
 Reading a Plat
Economic Development
Urban Design
07: Oct 10
 Comparative future planning theory
- Sky City vs. City in a Pyramid
08: Oct 17
Environmental Policy
Sustainable Development
(Instructor: Raymond Asomani- Boateng)
Part 3: Management
09: Oct 24
010: Oct 31
Human Resources
11: Nov 7
Budgeting and Finance
12: Nov 14
Career Issues
Part 4: Trends and Issues in Local Government
13: Nov 21
No Class Session
Wood and Baker, Ch 8
ICMA, Chapter 18
Wood and Baker, Ch 6 and
ICMA, Ch 1 and 2 (pgs 19 –
ICMA 2 (pg 25 – end), and
ICMA, Ch 12, 13, 14
Wood and Baker, Ch 1, 2
Assessment of Planning
Commission or City
Council Meeting DUE
Wood and Baker, Ch 3, 4
Quiz: Elements of a Plat
Wood and Baker, Ch 5
ICMA Ch 16
Wood and Baker, Ch 10
Wood and Baker, Ch 11
Assessment of 2nd
Meeting DUE (Grad only)
14: Nov 28
15: Dec 5
16: Dec 12
Other Departments: Public Works,
Emergency Management
Discussion: Findings from Meetings
Graduate Student Presentations
ICMA, Ch 9, 10
Findings from Council/ APC
As Assigned