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Environmental and Land Use Planning

Master of Urban and Regional Planning students in Professor G. William Page's environmental planning class on field trip to Joseph Davis State Park to learn about making, funding, and implementing environmental restoration plans.

The environmental and physical planning specialization offered by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at UB involves the study of how to use the collaborative planning process to develop and implement plans to resolve four broad sets of problems:

  1. Minimizing the negative effects of environmental conditions on human health and communities;
  2. Minimizing the negative effects of human settlements on ecosystems;  
  3. Planning for the remediation and restoration of degraded natural systems and land formerly but no longer used for intense human activites;
  4. Planning the development of cities, suburbs, and rural areas to be sustainable.


(4 courses are required to complete the specialization: one introductory course, one Methods course, and any two Elective courses)

Introductory Course

  • URP 505 Urban Planning & Environmental Change (Spring)

Methods Course

  • URP 578 Environmental Planning Methods (Fall)

Elective Courses (minimum two)

  • URP 550 Transportation Analysis (Spring)
  • URP 562 Transportation, Land Use, and Urban Form (Spring)
  • URP 567 Planning Law (Spring)
  • URP 590 Natural Resources Law (Spring)
  • URP 592/URP 605 Built Environment and Public Health (Fall)
  • URP 592/URP 604 Food Systems Planning (Spring)
  • URP 601 Advanced GIS Applications (Spring)


  1. Not all of the courses listed are offered each year.
  2. Courses from other departments that present specialized knowledge that can contribute to this specialization may be discussed with the specialization director to be considered for approval.

Culminating Exercise:

As part of the requirement for graduation with an MUP, students seeking a specialization must prepare a professional project or at thesis related to that specialization.  In rare cases, students may believe that they are unable to fit their specialization topic into the professional project.  If so, they must still complete the professional project, but must consult with their Specialization Director about an additional class (possibly an independent study) through which to demonstrate synthetic knowledge of the specialization.  This may be done only with the Specialization Director’s approval. 


Specialization Director:

G. William Page