Course Description

This course will examine physical planning and municipal engineering practice with emphasis on how they might be performed in a small urban or suburban community. The course will focus on the development of land and discuss such topics as neighborhood planning, subdivision layout, mapping and platting, street layout and design, provision of utilities--electricity, water storm sewer, sanitary sewer, drainage and flooding--interaction with local government, organization and structure of local government and general public works activities.

Course Outline

I. Organization of Local Government, Role of Planner, Municipal Engineer, (2 weeks)

II. Land Development Process (6 weeks)

A. Regional Context
B. Preparation and Content of Neighborhood Plans
C. Subdivision of Land
- principles, street and block patterns, sites, development of maps and plats, zoning restrictions, local approval process, financial feasibility

(Midterm Exam)

III. Provision of Government Services (7 weeks)

A. Transportation
- street layout and design
- transit services
- parking facilities
- street lighting
- snow plowing and street maintenance
B. Public Utilities
- drainage system and storm sewers, effects of urbanization, principles of layout and design
- sanitary sewer systems
- water supply systems

C. Solid Waste and Recycling

Book: There is no regular book for the course. However, there is a set of notes available from Clark's on Oakland Avenue (near Locust). A book, Subdivision and Site Plan Handbook, is also available at the Bookstore; it is not required but recommended as a good reference.

Requirements: There will be a midterm exam and a final exam. The midterm will cover parts I and II of the course and the final will cover part III. In addition there will be four project assignments. Grades will be based on the tests (48%) and the projects (2% for project A, 25% for the neighborhood design project, 25% for the subdivision project). Late assignments will be reduced by one point per school day up to a maximum of 50%.

Project A
Pick a community and attend a meeting of a legislative groups such as a zoning board, planning commission, or council. Observe what goes on with particular attention to the role of the staff (i.e., city engineer, planner or administrator) at the meeting. Also note who else attends the meeting and why they are there. Document what happened in a brief report (1-2 pages) by September 28.