The Community


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The Community We Plan For

[WLO: 2] [CLOs: 1, 2, 3]

Today’s cities face changes in demographics and overall population that creates both opportunities and challenges. We know that these changes also impact the political and economic environments urban planners’ function within. Urban communities demonstrate a complex balance of components, housing, workforce, transportation, technology, education, food availability, land use, and funding. The ideal is to find a balance that meets the needs of all the people who live there.


This assignment is the first in a series of weekly assignments that will provide you with the building blocks you will need to write an urban planning report for a city council in Week 4 and record yourself delivering a council urban plan presentation in Week 5. The urban community you choose this week will not just be the focus of this paper, but of all the written assignments throughout this course. Make sure you look ahead to the assignments for Weeks 2 and 3 before you make your selection to ensure you identify an appropriate urban community and policy area to use as the focus of your research and written assignments in this course. You will not want to change urban communities or policy areas in later weeks as you would have to redo research for any previously completed assignments.

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, review


Part 1: Choose an urban community

In this assignment, you will explore the challenges and opportunities that shifts in population and demographics may pose, by analyzing who makes up the area you are developing a plan for. To that end you will research a mid-to-large urban community of your choice to identify the current population and demographics, how those have shifted over the last two decades, and any projected changes for the next twenty years.

Part 2: Choose a focal policy area

You will also identify a specific focal policy area for the urban community you chose in Part 1. Examples of focal policy areas are transportation, housing, economic development, land use, or renewal. Your paper will analyze how the population and demographic changes you identified in Part 1 impact this policy area.

In your paper,

  • Identify the urban community you are focusing your research on.
  • Identify the policy area that you will address.
  • Explain why this policy area merits attention.
  • Survey past, present, and future population and demographics.
  • Determine what challenges shifts in population and demographics pose for this policy area (transportation, housing, economic development, land use, or renewal or revitalization of a neighborhood).
  • Determine what opportunities shifts in population and demographics create for this policy area (transportation, housing, economic development, land use, or renewal and or revitalization of a neighborhood).
  • Assess how population and demographic shifts should influence policy and planning efforts.

The Community We Plan For paper

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