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College of Architecture and Planning University of Colorado Denver

College of Architecture & Planning
 

Concentration: Economic and Community Development

College of Architecture and Planning


This information is for students who enrolled in the MURP program in Spring 2013 or earlier. Students who are starting the program in Fall 2013 or later, click here​ to find information on our new program and curriculum. ​


This concentration is a marriage of Community Development and Urban Economic Development. Communities, regions and nations suffering economic insufficiency, stagnation or decline—evidenced in under or unemployment, poverty, diminished opportunity, environmental decline or fiscal decay—often seek remedies for these shortcomings through strategic economic development planning.

  • “Community Development” is the empowerment of people, of organizations and of communities to attain or restore viability. It does so by motivating change in the nature and stocks of both social and economic capital.
  • “Economic Development Planning,” on the other hand, is more typically lodged within the public sector.

In this concentration, you will secure an understanding of the fundamentals of both community and economic development. Considerable attention will be given to means for assessing economic impact and apportioning growth’s gains across people, places and sectors.

For more information on the ECDP Concentration, contact Dr. Jennifer Steffel Johnson at 303.315.0061 or via email​


Economic and Community Development Planning Curriculum

This concentration will help your understanding of the fundamentals of both community and economic development. Your courses will stress a form of economic development that focuses on the needs of residents and addresses the plight of impoverished populations, failed sectors, and declining places.

This concentration is comprised of 15 credits:

Foundation Courses: (6 Credits)
Course Number Course Title Credits
URP 6640 Community Development Process  3
URP 6670 Urban Economic Development 3
Plus at least one of the following: (3 Credits)
Course Number Course Title Credits
URP 6641 Social Planning 3
URP 6642 Neighborhood Planning 3
URP 6676 Urban Housing 3
And at least one of the following: (3 Credits)
Course Number Course Title Credits
URP 6660 Real Estate Development Finance 3
URP 6665 Urban Market Analysis 3
URP 6671 Regional Economic Development 3
P AD 5004 Economics and Public Finance 3



Specialization Within the Concentration (at least 3 credits)

Since 12 of the 15 credits within the concentration are prescribed above, you will still need to take one more 3 credit course in the concentration plus 9 “free” electives.  These electives may be used to deepen mastery within the concentration, or to broaden out into a secondary area or areas of study.

If you elect the Economic and Community Development Concentration, you may choose from three specializations:

  • Local Community and Economic Development
  • Regional/ State Social and Economic Development
  • International Economic Development

Below are courses that you may wish to consider. Supporting courses in our College and offered elsewhere on the Downtown Campus are listed below. The list is suggestive, not exhaustive, and course titles and numbers occasionally change. Additional offerings are available on the University’s other campuses: Anschutz Medical Campus, Boulder and Colorado Springs.


Local Community and Economic Development
Course Number Course Title Credits
URP 6632 City Design Policy 3
URP 6634 Preservation Theory and Practice 3
URP 6635 City Building 3
URP 6651 Environmental Impact Assessment 3
URP 6652 Growth Management 3
URP 6660 Real Estate Development Process 3
URP 6673 Transportation Planning I: Land Use and Transport 3
URP 6686 Project Management 3

Supporting Courses Offered in Other Campus Departments:

Course Number Course Title Credits
GEOG 5230 Hazard Mitigation and Vulnerability Assessment 3
GEOG 5235 GIS Applications in the Health Sciences 3
P AD 5110 Seminar in Nonprofit Management 3
P AD 5120 Nonprofits and Public Policy 3
P AD 5130 Collaboration Across Sectors 3
P AD 5271 Managing Conflict and Change 3
P AD 5380 Citizen Participation: Theory and Practice 3
P AD 5440 Negotiation and Conflict Resolution 3
P AD 5615 Health Policy 3
P AD 5618 Cost-Benefit Analysis 3
P AD 5626 Local Government Politics and Policy 3
SOC 5640 Sociology of Childhood and Adolescence 3
SOC 5650 Sociology of Adulthood and Aging 3

 

Regional/ State Social and Economic Development
Course Number Course Title Credits
URP 6650 Environmental Planning II: Policy and Law 3
URP 6653 Natural Resource Planning and Management 3
URP 6656 Regional Land Use Analysis and Planning  3
URP 6673 Transportation Planning I: Land Use and Transport  3

Supporting Courses Offered in Other Campus Departments:

Course Number Course Title Credits
P AD 5503 Governmental Budgeting 3
P AD 5250 Intergovernmental Management 3
P AD 5633 Seminar in Natural Resource and Environmental Health Law 3
P AD 5650 Disaster and Emergency Management Policies 3

 

International Economic Development
Course Number Course Title Credits
URP 6651 Environmental Impact Assessment 3
URP 6653 Natural Resources Planning and Management 3
URP 6680 Urbanization in Developing Countries 3

Supporting Courses Offered in Other Campus Departments:

Course Number Course Title Credits
ECON 5410 International Trade  3
ECON 4770 Economic Development - Theory and Problems 3
ECON 6770 Economic Growth and Development 3
P SC 4115 Seminar: Third World Politics 3
SOC 5220 Population Change and Analysis 3

Additional Business Courses (May Have Prerequisites):

Course Number Course Title Credits
FNCE 6370 International Financial Management 3
 
 
Learning Outcomes

In this concentration, you will secure an understanding of the fundamentals of both community and economic development.  Among the things you will learn are:

  • Both theories and methods regarding the environmental scan, economic diagnosis, assets appraisal, community engagement, public participation, development finance, market analysis, conditional forecasting of the baseline future, and means for envisioning and evaluating future economic alternatives. 
  • Means for assessing economic impact and apportioning growth’s gains across people, places and sectors, exploring both regulatory and fiscal approaches for the inducement of desired change. 
  • How to situate economic development within the broader rubrics of physical and land use planning.  The emphasis on physical landscapes and distributional outcomes distinguishes our approach from those that might be represented in the study of economics or business. 
  • About the interaction among markets for land and real estate in general, commerce, housing, and labor, stressing a form of economic development that keys to the needs of residents and addresses the plight of impoverished populations, failed sectors, and declining places.  Whereas “economic development” is often taken to denote a concern for the labor market’s demand side—favoring inducements offered business—our approach gives equal attention to its supply-side and critical interventions in the development of human resources.

What Economic and Community Development Planners Do

Economic development planners:

  • help to foster sustainable economic change as diagnosticians, strategists, and promoters
  • engage the community directly, fostering participation, building consensus, forging partnerships, and building action alliances 
  • seek to gauge growth's effect in light of fiscal and environmental capacities, manage its social benefits, mitigate its negative consequences, and shape its imprint on the physical landscape
  • through theory, define the course of development, identify its social, environmental and spatial consequences, and shape the means of policy intervention
  • document conditions and trends, target goals, prescribe strategies, and assess economic outcomes 
  • work in localities, sub-state regions and state development offices, as well as in quasi-public and private firms and institutions
  • work with local residents, neighborhood and community organizations, community development corporations, various other non-governmental organizations, consulting firms and public agencies 
  • may pursue opportunities outside the United States, some in developing nations


Further Reading

For further information, students may also wish to consult these references:

Emil E. Malizia and Edward J. Feser. 2000. Understanding Local Economic Development. New Brunswick, NJ: Center for Urban Policy Research, Rutgers University

John P. Blair and Laura A. Reese (Eds.). 1999. Approaches to Economic Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Herbert J. Rubin and Irene S. Rubin. 2001. Community Organizing and Development (3rd Ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon

Robert D. Putnam. 2000. Bowling Alone:  The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster;


Updated 6/18/09

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