Saturday, January 30, 2010


SPRING 2010 ENVMT 11 CODE: 24505 3 UNITS

Tuesdays: 6:30-9:30pm, 1/26 – 3/23;
Saturdays: 10:00am-4:00pm, 1/30, 2/6, 2/27, 3/20;
Sunday: 10:00am-4:00pm, 3/7
Location: The Environmental Center, Self-Reliant House (SRH), Merritt College Campus. Instructors: Robin Freeman MA,, 510-434-3840, 510-915-1452 cell David Ralston Phd,

Description: This is a nine-week intensive practicum course, meeting once a week with four additional weekend day-long field research sessions. The course will introduce students to current issues and prospects for incorporating sustainability within urban and regional planning. Specific case studies will investigate “Connecting the Dots” in the Oakland/East Bay “Green Corridor” region (e.g., green industry/job-shed; neighborhood centers; open space; watershed; transit; wildlife; cultural art and other points of connection). In the course, students will gain a background in the key concepts, debates, history, legal/regulatory framework, strategic approaches, and terminology associated with the US planning profession.. Students will become familiarized with various skill-sets utilized within the planning profession including geographic-based mapping; site data assessment methods; reading/interpreting maps and General Plans; and strategies for neighborhood-scale bottom up urban planning as a means for achieving sustainability. .

Course requirements: Urban and Regional Planning may be taken for a letter grade or Credit/No Credit . It must be taken for a letter grade for a Certificate or Degree. For Credit, 75% attendance and participation is required. For a letter grade, minimum 75% attendance, class participation, assignments and a Final Project are required. You will evaluate the course and suggest a grade for yourself. This course satisfies requirements in several ENVMT majors.

Primary Text: Sustainable Oakland by Durst ($12, order in class).

Tues January 1/26 – Introductions, Course Overview, Community Meeting Prep; Where Cities Come From/ LINCS Research from the Brower Dellums Institute for Sustainable Policy Studies
– Freeman, Ralston
Where cities are headed. Planning in the Public Domain: From Theory to Implementation. Preview of some key efforts – the context for connecting dots. Exercise: Mapping Oakland

[Course Assignments: Read Forward, chapters 1-3 in Durst (Pending arrival of books); Connecting the Dots, Smith; Optional Readings: American City Planning, APA Press; Mumford, The City in History, City Reader. You may choose a classic in the planning literature (see Bibliography) and give a brief synopsis and an annotation for our bibliography.
Neighborhood assets, problems, goals - 1. Make a brief list of what you like about a neighborhood where you live, work, or otherwise use; also list what you like least. 2. Briefly list goals you would envision for that same neighborhood.

Saturday 1/30 10:00 am SRH Community Meeting Green Workforce Development meeting set up at ASMC Conference Room in the R-Building for the 11:00 am meeting with the High School students from the GWD You will help with identifying neighborhood assets and problems in breakout sessions with them, recording them and locating them on maps., lunch, tour campus/city overview, meeting de-brief mapping

Neighborhood Assets/Problems list #1 due.
Read: Durst, Chapter 4

Tuesday 2/2 Meeting Review in class discussion
Critical Sustainability and Planning; Resiliency and the Ecological Footprint
Durst Sustainable Oakland Chapters 5 and 7

Saturday 2/6, Scoping and site visits: Coliseum Redevelopment. area, North Richmond Shoreline
Read: Durst, Appendices
Due: Neighborhood goals list #2

Final project: This is either a written report or a hands-on activity, or both. Choose a project or site from the course and propose how you will either work directly on that area, or how you will research or analyze some aspect of one of the study sites from the point of view of neighborhood scale sustainable planning. In your research assess what will local and global impact be of the project; address issues of inclusiveness; gentrification/displacement, effect on local assets and surrounding neighborhoods, jobs. Set-up your own indicators in assessing the potential of the project. List stakeholders/ agencies/ CBO’s associated with the project (including local residents and a city planner/county planner, elected officials)These are due March 16th, the second to last meeting of the class and are a major part of the course grade. Students will make a presentation to the class on the project at the last class meeting.

Tuesday 2/9-Planning through History - Ralston
• Legal and Regulatory Basis of Planning in U.S.
• The Cumulative Planned City (De-constructing the layers)
• Structure of Oakland’s Planning Office (Politics and Planning)

Introduction of Connecting the Dots and small scale interventions in the Oakland/East Bay Region – Freeman

Tuesday 2/16 – Background on Planning Practice and Tools - Ralston
Tools for Planners: Land-use Mapping, Site Assessment (Spatial and Place-Based). GIS exercises
Project-Based Planning: CEQA and the EIR process, zoning, design review

Tuesday 2/23–Neighborhood Case Studies: Problems, Solutions, Effectiveness; Planning a discussion panel - Ralston
Neighborhood-Based Planning and the Neighborhood Scale
Invited speakers

Saturday 2/27 Coliseum Redev. area survey, and/or:
Presentation for East Bay Regional Park District planning
APA Panel preparation

Tuesday 3/2 – Current Corridor Case Studies: Problems, Solutions, Effectiveness - Freeman
• Hands on planning in class
Due: Book annotations and brief report in class

Sunday 3/7 TBD APA/City/ Climate action planning/resilience/re-villaging Presentation for East Bay Regional Park District
(Option: Change to a weeday lunch?)

Tuesday 3/9 – Case Studies Comprehensive Neighborhood Based Urban Plans and Policies – Freeman and Ralston

Tuesday 3/16 Utopias, Distopias and Trends; Creating the Future
Final project draft due

Saturday 3/20
APA/City/ Climate action planning/resilience/re-villaging Presentation to EBRPD as arranged by the class

Tues 3/23 – Student Project Presentations – Freeman and Ralston
 Student Presentations (5-10 minutes each)
 Course wrap-up.

Handbook (optional): Blueprint for a Sustainable Bay Area, Urban Ecology Inc., 1966 ($15, 414 13th St. Suite 500, between Franklin and Broadway, Oakland 251-6330)

Suggested Readings:
Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Anything by Louis Mumford – e.g., The City in History
Illich, Ivan. H20 and the waters of Forgetfulness
Hawkins, Paul. The Ecology of Commerce, and other works
Brechin, Gray. Imperial San Francisco
Taylor, Shelley. The Tending Instinct
Urban Habitat publications including Race, Poverty, and the Environment, Pacific Institute Project Reports (both of these organizations are in Oakland)
McHarg, Ian. Design with Nature
Garreau, Joel. Edge City: Life on the New Frontier
Mugerauer. Dwelling, Place and Environment;
Alexander, Pattern language
Buttimer, A. Dynamics of the Lifeworld
Hough, Nature in the City?
Beatley, T. Sustainable Planning

1 comment:

Eco Worker said...

New materials are emerging to meet the green training need of our young people. I am using a new workbook: Eco Literacy for Green collar worker (I may have forgotten one or two words from the title). It seems to be a great materials to start with. I hope the green movement begins to pick up speed.