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Thread: Architecture vs. policy transportation planning programs

  1. #1
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    Architecture vs. policy transportation planning programs


    I am considering several planning programs and I'm a little confused on whether there is a major difference in programs that are based in architecture schools vs. those that are in schools of public policy and the like. Can anyone give me some insight as to what the difference is and how that will affect job opportunities in the future.

    Specifically I'm interested in Transportation Planning if that helps frame an answer.

    Also, if it's known, are there any schools that are known for their Transportation concentrations specifically?

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Well....

    Quote Originally posted by jwagner15

    I am considering several planning programs and I'm a little confused on whether there is a major difference in programs that are based in architecture schools vs. those that are in schools of public policy and the like. Can anyone give me some insight as to what the difference is and how that will affect job opportunities in the future.

    Specifically I'm interested in Transportation Planning if that helps frame an answer.

    Also, if it's known, are there any schools that are known for their Transportation concentrations specifically?
    First things first- the architecture programs wll focus on physical planning and the public policy ones will focus on the tradeoffs between different choices. In terms of transportation planning, this roughly translates to the architecture planners designing transit systems or roadways and the policy planners deciding which improvements make the most sense to build given limited resources.

    In the transportation world I generally think the policy schools are a better choice- its relatively easy to design a good transportation system, much harder to figure out how to finance and maintain it.

    In terms of transportation programs, MIT and Berkeley are very good but expensive. Minnesota is a good policy-oriented choice. Georgia Tech is also supposed to be good. There are others. Be warned that it can be a rough road in transportation planning if you are not an engineer. There is a bias among many (but not all) engineers agains planners.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Still

    If you understand and can do modelling and understand how transportation systems work, there's a solid marketplace out there for those types of skills. The biggest thing you can do in a policy based program, if you go that route, is to find a way to get some modelling experience, whether it be in classes or in your internship or side job.

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    Quote Originally posted by whit_x
    If you understand and can do modelling and understand how transportation systems work, there's a solid marketplace out there for those types of skills. The biggest thing you can do in a policy based program, if you go that route, is to find a way to get some modelling experience, whether it be in classes or in your internship or side job.
    I'm planning on getting an undergraduate Civil and Environmental engineering degree and then pursuing a Master's in City and Regional Planning with either Transportation/Land Use and Development emphasis. Are the skills I would possess the ones of which you speak in the independent clause in your first sentence?

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