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Sample Proposal: Cultural Diversity

School of Architecture

Please direct all questions about the flag proposal process to the Center for the Core Curriculum.

CRP 369K: Principles of Physical Planning

Community and Regional Planning

Please describe specifically which underrepresented group or groups in the United States will be studied.

The Principles of Planning course is an undergraduate course for senior architecture students that teaches the fundamentals of the planning profession within the context of urban issues that are being faced by poorer residents in our cities today. With a strong social justice perspective, the course discusses specific topics such as gentrification, suburbanization, and urban renewal from both a historical and a sociological perspective. The aim is to help students understand how urban design and planning has historically impacted the urban poor and to discuss the larger structural issues that foster urban inequalities for specific urban communities. Specifically targeted communities include immigrant families in the 1880s, African-Americans during the suburbanization of the 1950s and 60s, and Latino families in contemporary Austin facing gentrification. Such an understanding is important for the professional development of architects to help them understand the larger context in which design decisions are made.

What are typical readings in the course or class related to Cultural Diversity in the United States?

Brown-Saracino, J., Ed. (2010). The Gentrification Debates. New York, NY, Routledge.

Davidoff, P. (1987). “Advocacy and Pluralism in Planning.” The City Reader. R. T. LeGates and F. Stout. London and New York, Routledge: 323 – 330.

Engles, F. (1845). “The Great Towns: from The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844.” The City Reader. R. T. LeGates and F. Stout. London and New York, Routledge: 50-58.

Fainstein, S. S. (2010). “Justice and Urban Transformation: Planning in Context and Conclusion: Toward the Just City.” The Just City, Cornell University Press.

Fainstein, S. S. and N. I. Fainstein (1971). “City Planning and Politcal Values: An Updated View.” Urban Affairs Quarterly.

Fishman, R. (1987). Bourgeois Utopias: Visions of Surburbia. Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia. New York, NY, Basic Books: 3-17.

Hall, P. (2007). “The City of Dreadful Night.” Cities of Tomorrow. Malden, M.A. & Oxford, Blackwell Publishing: 13-47.

Harvey, D. (2003). “The right to the city.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 27(4): 939-941.

Describe typical assignments related to Cultural Diversity in the United States.

Once a historical perspective is gained on how urban planning, and urban planning professionals, have both inadvertently created and tried to addresses social urban ills, the course turns towards having the students develop community participation process plans with a target community of a socio-economically diverse neighborhood. The targeted neighborhood is chosen so that students must consider the perspective of community residents in relationship to the social justice issues discussed so far in the course. In 2011 the target neighborhood was the Holly Neighborhood on the east side of Austin. Neighborhood residents are brought in to talk about the local planning issues at hand and discuss its relationship to larger community issues of history and identity.

Please explain how at least one-third of the course grade is based on content related to Cultural Diversity in the United States.

1/3 of the student’s grade is based on diversity topics through their creation of a community participation process outline (see attachment). In this exercise students must develop a strong understanding of an existing poor urban area in order for them to outline key community stakeholders and articulate the differing perspectives of community members around the urban planning topic at hand (land use development, gentrification, environmental justice etc.) To initially introduce students to the idea of different stakeholder perspectives, community theater exercises are used and participation graded for one week with the help of a professional community based theater artist who guides the students through the exercises of identifying different community stakeholders, articulating their concerns and perspectives, and acting out such understandings in the forum of a mock community meeting. Additionally, students are expected to attend one class section in which Dr. Betty Jean Taylor (or her equivalent) from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, comes to lead the students through a class session on the topic of diversity.

Return to Proposal Tips: Cultural Diversity.