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  1. #1
         
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    questions about architecture and urban planning education

    Dear all,

    I am a newcomer. I have a couple of questions, maybe big questions about urban planning education.
    In my homecity- Danang, Vietnam, there are some enthusiasts who want to build a good university . It will be a non-profit university. One of them is my uncle. He asks me how to organize an Architectural and Urban Planning Department. What is the good model of this type of department? What kind of the curriculum should be use? How can we develop international relation between the department and oversea universities?
    I donít know how to answer him. Because all I know are:
    1) Architectural and urban planning education are so separated in the U.S
    2) In the U.S there are seems no Department of architecture and urban planning, only school or college of architecture and urban planning.

    Please help me with these questions.
    Thank much.

    Vietnamguy

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Big Departments

    A department of architecture and urban planning would be tough to administer... and degrees...how would that work? It takes long enough to get a degree in either of these fields, let alone a dual degree.......Departments tend to be setup based on the degrees they offer....

    Urban Planning is much more closely associated with social sciences, geography and policy in general, rather than architecture, landscape architecture and urban design....but that's just my observation....having attended a College of Architecture and Planning, and seeing no incentive to take arch. or UD classes outside of Planning (other than for personal reasons).

    Plus, in the US, if you become an architect (or anything else, including burger turners and topless dancers) you can always call yourself a planner ........

    Architects have enough of a problem dealing with the canned plan craze to worry too much about urban planning. (but then I suspect that is why many of them go into planning....to get away from the canned plan architecture)

    To me it would make more sense to have intro classes for both fields available to the other and required in each of the degree programs, while maintaining separate departments......
    Skilled Adoxographer

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    [QUOTE=Vietnamguy]Well, the college I went to had the "School of Urban Planning" but it was still part of the college, not "separate" at all, just a large department that was too big to fit in a hall like they do with Philosophy etc.
    I would think that a degree in "Architecture and Planning" might be tricky - they go off in radically different directions in some ways, and you need a very different skill foundation for each. It might end up being hard on students because of prerequisites, a well rounded skillset wouldn't be all that bad once you got TO the classes, but getting there would be a nightmare. I could easily visualize being scared away by hefty prerequisites in law, sociology, economics, math, engineering, drafting, art, by the time they get the prerequisites done so they could START their degree they'd be a career student. That's how they ended up divided out like they are in the U.S. I suspect.
    I could picture having them administered under the same roof, with different degrees, perhaps. You don't have to deal so much with being unable to grow two branches together that have evolved apart, since you'd be starting fairly fresh. But I certainly don't know enough to know what that would entail.

  4. #4
         
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    Thank you

    Thank you so much JusticeZero and The One. I really appreciate your comments. I agree with JusticeZero about separate degrees in architecture and urban planning. But then the following question is why we put the two degrees into the same Department (or School) when they are so separated. Maybe it is just a tradition from the past.

    Best,



    [QUOTE=JusticeZero]
    Quote Originally posted by Vietnamguy
    Well, the college I went to had the "School of Urban Planning" but it was still part of the college, not "separate" at all, just a large department that was too big to fit in a hall like they do with Philosophy etc.
    I would think that a degree in "Architecture and Planning" might be tricky - they go off in radically different directions in some ways, and you need a very different skill foundation for each. It might end up being hard on students because of prerequisites, a well rounded skillset wouldn't be all that bad once you got TO the classes, but getting there would be a nightmare. I could easily visualize being scared away by hefty prerequisites in law, sociology, economics, math, engineering, drafting, art, by the time they get the prerequisites done so they could START their degree they'd be a career student. That's how they ended up divided out like they are in the U.S. I suspect.
    I could picture having them administered under the same roof, with different degrees, perhaps. You don't have to deal so much with being unable to grow two branches together that have evolved apart, since you'd be starting fairly fresh. But I certainly don't know enough to know what that would entail.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    I have not researched how to teach Urban Planning versus Architecture but it really is not a given that you must follow existing formats. (I run a small private school -- in other words, I homeschool my kids -- and I make up a curriculum from scratch every year. You really do not have to do it the way it has always been done. If you want to make it up from scratch, you probably need some good advice from actual architects and actual planners about what students SHOULD be learning. ) In the U.S., most planning degrees are either "Urban Planning" or "City Planning". But I have seen a degree in "Town and Rural Planning" (or "town and country"??) from a more rural college and I want to get my Master's in "Planning and Development Studies" from USC.

    When I decided that I wanted a degree having to do with the built environment, I included both planning and architecture (as well as civil engineering) on a list of about 5 or 6 majors that sounded interesting. I began researching what it would take for me to complete these various degrees and what they were each about. I settled on "Master's in Planning" and then researched those programs at different universities. I narrowed it down to about 5 or 6 programs and printed off what I could find on their websites. I looked at how accessible the program seemed for me as an individual (like cost, where it was, etc). And I also looked at academics -- what would I really be studying with each program? No two planning programs are exactly alike and some of them are dramatically different from the norm.

    When I did my research, there were roughly 40 or so degree programs in planning in the U.S. It really is not a very common degree program. I think you could print off overviews (or e-mail the links to your uncle) of a representative sampling of programs and cover most of what is available. This could form a working portfolio to plan the new program from. Then I think you would benefit from looking at newer colleges that are actually successful and are not "fly by night" colleges (here today, gone tomorrow). Two successful young colleges that come to mind off the top of my head are CSU-Bakersfield -- which happens to be the youngest college in the California State University system and has cutting edge online degree programs that are more highly developed than the online programs of the older schools -- and Heritage University in Washington State. Heritage was founded in 1982 and, unlike CSU-Bakersfield, it is an independent institution. I saw a TV show about it once. I remember one of the founders talking about trying to do fundraising when the "college" was a bunch of hops fields and she had to present her vision of what it COULD become because there was nothing there to show anyone. I used to live not too far from Toppenish. The story of the founding of the university is really inspirational and how it was done might be extremely useful information. Heck, the founder might be willing talk to you about it. You never know if you don't ask.

    With GIS, the Internet, environmental issues, and so forth changing the face of urban planning, it would be possible for a new university to put together a truly modern program that keeps the best of traditional programs but is not out of date before the doors open. I think the Environmental Resource Management program at CSU-Bakersfield is an excellent background for a master's in planning (of course, if I didn't think it was excellent, I wouldn't be pursuing my degree there, ) and could be food for thought for a modern planning program.

    I hope that helps and good luck to your uncle and the new university.
    Last edited by Michele Zone; 10 Oct 2004 at 2:20 AM.

  6. #6
         
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    thanks Michele

    Dear Michele Zone,

    Thank you so much for your comment and information. You really helped me with good advice. I will try to follow your instruction. It is very important that we can learn from someone instead of beginning from scratch.


    Vietnamguy



    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    I have not researched how to teach Urban Planning versus Architecture but it really is not a given that you must follow existing formats. (I run a small private school -- in other words, I homeschool my kids -- and I make up a curriculum from scratch every year. You really do not have to do it the way it has always been done. If you want to make it up from scratch, you probably need some good advice from actual architects and actual planners about what students SHOULD be learning. ) In the U.S., most planning degrees are either "Urban Planning" or "City Planning". But I have seen a degree in "Town and Rural Planning" (or "town and country"??) from a more rural college and I want to get my Master's in "Planning and Development Studies" from USC.

    When I decided that I wanted a degree having to do with the built environment, I included both planning and architecture (as well as civil engineering) on a list of about 5 or 6 majors that sounded interesting. I began researching what it would take for me to complete these various degrees and what they were each about. I settled on "Master's in Planning" and then researched those programs at different universities. I narrowed it down to about 5 or 6 programs and printed off what I could find on their websites. I looked at how accessible the program seemed for me as an individual (like cost, where it was, etc). And I also looked at academics -- what would I really be studying with each program? No two planning programs are exactly alike and some of them are dramatically different from the norm.

    When I did my research, there were roughly 40 or so degree programs in planning in the U.S. It really is not a very common degree program. I think you could print off overviews (or e-mail the links to your uncle) of a representative sampling of programs and cover most of what is available. This could form a working portfolio to plan the new program from. Then I think you would benefit from looking at newer colleges that are actually successful and are not "fly by night" colleges (here today, gone tomorrow). Two successful young colleges that come to mind off the top of my head are CSU-Bakersfield -- which happens to be the youngest college in the California State University system and has cutting edge online degree programs that are more highly developed than the online programs of the older schools -- and Heritage University in Washington State. Heritage was founded in 1982 and, unlike CSU-Bakersfield, it is an independent institution. I saw a TV show about it once. I remember one of the founders talking about trying to do fundraising when the "college" was a bunch of hops fields and she had to present her vision of what it COULD become because there was nothing there to show anyone. I used to live not too far from Toppenish. The story of the founding of the university is really inspirational and how it was done might be extremely useful information. Heck, the founder might be willing talk to you about it. You never know if you don't ask.

    With GIS, the Internet, environmental issues, and so forth changing the face of urban planning, it would be possible for a new university to put together a truly modern program that keeps the best of traditional programs but is not out of date before the doors open. I think the Environmental Resource Management program at CSU-Bakersfield is an excellent background for a master's in planning (of course, if I didn't think it was excellent, I wouldn't be pursuing my degree there, ) and could be food for thought for a modern planning program.

    I hope that helps and good luck to your uncle and the new university.

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