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Thread: What university should I go to?

  1. #1

    What university should I go to?

    I am a senior nearing graduation, planning on going to grad school for urban planning. I would like to go to a graduate school that is somewhat tailored to my interests in planning.

    *Please keep in mind: Since I have not gone to school for it yet, I do not know much about urban planning or the lingo...

    I am very interested in going into a field that plans cities according to being self-sustaining. For example, incorporating agricultural zoning into major cities..A city that can feed itself..that sort of thing. As you can probably tell, I lack urban planning knowledge to accurately describe my interest. Hoping to improve on that before my statement of purpose. This is why I seek help, any advice or direction will much apreciated!!

    Can anybody direct me to any books on this topic (example: like New Urbanism), any scholars/doctors who teach something that somewhat resembles the description above? And what University do they teach? Any university..all-inclusive..even ivy, and big name planning (MIT, Berkley, ect.).

    Im trying to find the school(s) that are the right fit for me.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Mods-I think a thread title change would help this one out a bit!

    As far as your interest in urban agriculture/planning, I would first find more about it before committing to a school or even looking at schools. This is sort of an emerging topic even in urban planning circles, so I'm not sure how much you will find in academia. Is there a city or place that is working on a plan that you could view or go to? I'm not an expert on urban agriculture so maybe other members can direct you on resources/books.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  3. #3
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I would find people you find interesting and see where they got their degree. Many in the Urban Agriculture field are not planners, but botanists or Ag sciences type people. I think that we will see some Planning programs throw in an Ag specialty in conjunction with the Ag dept at the university soon, but I am not aware of any yet.
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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Start with Google Scholar and start searching topics until you find a few papers that talk about what you want to study and see where the author teaches. Also look at the work cited page and go a little background research on the academics and see what they have written. I would also look for cities that are involved with urban argiculture and see what universities are around. Even if they do not offer a class or the topic you can always write your thesis on it use the local examples as the basis for your paper.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bnflorida View post

    I am very interested in going into a field that plans cities according to being self-sustaining. For example, incorporating agricultural zoning into major cities..A city that can feed itself..that sort of thing. As you can probably tell, I lack urban planning knowledge to accurately describe my interest. Hoping to improve on that before my statement of purpose. This is why I seek help, any advice or direction will much apreciated!!
    Have you seen this yet? Don't want to scare you off, but this is something you need to do some serious research on. Not many municipal planners have this type of thing on our plates, and private sector planners..well, they work for clients, who want to make money, especially if they work for a developer, so that isn't on their plate either. Maybe working for a non-profit or think tank, yes, but do you have realistic salary expectations? Where do you want to work? Where do you see yourself 5 years from after graduation?

    These are serious questions anybody should ask before plunging into any grad school program. Good Luck.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  6. #6
    Hahaha, I thoroughly enjoyed that video CPSURaf. I am aware that I'll have to pay my dues and be someone's "minion" until I establish myself. Im hoping to avoid the whole paper-pushing aspect of planning..

    But to answer your question beach_bum, not a city that i know of. I live in Florida, and plan to end up working in this area upon completion of my degree. We have a lot of wetlands around, so i would like to factor that into my studies. Ive heard about a type of planning called Low-impact development that appeals to me. Ill probably start my grad school research with this topic.

    Not to borrow too much from that video, but the Boston area would be an ideal academic setting for me, because of its proximity to wetlands and coastal environments, and unparalleled planning programs/teaching professionals....but with that comes pretty steep competition from my peers.

    Im trying to be practical with my expectations. Luckily, I realize that high-paying, entry-level jobs are rare for many professions. Does where you get your degree from even matter in regards to the jobs that are available out there?

  7. #7
    Have you looked at urban planning programs in FL?

    Might want to look at Cornell, it's got a great Ag program you can take classes in. Exciting place to be for food systems planning!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    What do you find when you Google search - Urban Agriculture University ?
    Oddball
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Does Florida have a land grant college/university? Isn't U of F and Florida A&M both? Have you checked into those schools?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    You might even be interested in Landscape Architecture. I went to UF for my undergrad in landscape architecture (minor in urban planning) and I'm currently doing my masters of urban planning (specialization in environmental planning).

    Most of the urban agricultural ideals may be more related to urban design, botany, and even landscape design. A planning degree will educate you in policy, but unless there is a micro focus you may run into problems.

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