I am in the early stages of planning for grad school, and one of the choices I'm confronting is what kind of environment to study in. Is it better to study in a big city, with large-scale planning going on, or can you get just as much from a well-designed program in a more traditional college town? For example, I'm particularly interested in attending Portland State, not because of anything about the school itself but because I think Portland would be an awesome "laboratory" in which to study this field.
On the other hand, UVa. looks like a good program, and I certainly wouldn't object to living in Charlottesville. I did my undergrad in a typically idyllic college-town setting, and I loved it - but is there a lot to be gained by studying planning in a real city instead?