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Thread: Pedestrian oriented design and planning schools?

  1. #1
    Sep 2007
    A place

    Pedestrian oriented design and planning schools?

    Hi all, I am in the process of applying for MCP degrees for the fall of 08, and I hope that you might be able to help me decide on some schools to look at.

    I am most interested in planning and designing excellent pedestrian spaces, whether streets or plazas and squares. I am concerned with building design, especially with creating spaces that have good building definition. I am also interested in street design, especially shared space and sign-less space. At the same time, I am interested in getting on the ground and counting pedestrians and analysing their behavior seemingly more in keeping with transportation engineering and GIS. Finally, I am interested in metropolitan-wide land use planning that will allow high density, mixed use development for the pedestrians to inhabit.

    I studied philosophy in college, and did not get the greatest GPA (2.7 or so) but did very well on my GREs (750/740/4) and have taken classes since graduation in planning and design (getting A's in all.) I will get good recommendations and will have a strong portfolio for someone who has not taken a design degree or practiced in the field.

    My requirements are:
    1. Some design program that will admit students without a prior design degree.
    2. A program that is holistic enough to allow me to explore my broad, but very much connected, interests: metropolitan-wide land use, pedestrian traffic planning, design.

    I already have some idea of the elite schools to which I am interested (though more suggestions are invited) including Berkeley, MIT, Michigan, Penn, Washington) but I am interested in what "safety schools" you would suggest also. The UW Milwaukee program looks good, but what others would you suggest?


  2. #2
    Jun 2007
    Toledo, OH
    You and I have very similar interests. The pedestrian friendly atmosphere that your describing is the theory of New Urbanism. I'd do a quick google search on it to make sure. Many grad schools focus several of their courses on New Urbanism. Also, you could check out the faculties interests. Here is a list of top schools focusing on New Urbanism:
    U of Maryland, U of Michigan, Berkeley, UPenn.
    Here are a few schools that have some courses related to New Urbanism:
    Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Georgia Tech, University of Minnesota, University of New Mexico, UNC, Rutgers.

    A lot of New Urbanism is based on good design and architecture, so I would also suggest selecting a school that is located in an architecture school as well. The University at Buffalo seems to have a great program as well as CU Denver. I am applying to both because of their great design-oriented program and GIS technology.

    Hope this helps.

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