The intersection of land use and transportation policy is an important focus for all urban planners. This focus challenges the academic community to design effective courses that leach the concepts and professional skills required for professional experience. Integrated land use and transportation courses should help students develop interdisciplinary skills while becoming familiar with, for example, travel behavior and zoning policies. Laboratory courses as part of graduate curricula provide platforms to emphasize requisite planning skills. The associated pedagogy problem is devising laboratory assignments that are integrative, cumulative, practical, and interesting for students. This paper evaluates the success of laboratory segments of a land use-transportation course at the University of Minnesota in teaching concepts and skills that are central to planning practice. The lab design and student projects for a 4-year period are described; then a survey of former students is used to ask how central the concepts and skills from the course and lab are to the students' planning careers. The laboratory projects had students propose new development using air rights above existing (and sunken) urban freeways in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. The projects encouraged problem-based learning through rellexive planning processes, and the final projects were evaluated by practitioners and community leaders. Through analyses of the completed projects and survey responses, the authors demonstrate how these laboratory components serve multiple pedagogical goals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering