Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ralph Coolman
URBDP 508
Seattle Campus

Specialized Planning Laboratory

Studio/field project on a specialized planning problem. Several options are offered each year, such as regional-environmental planning, housing, metropolitan planning, and urban design. Prerequisite: ARCH 500 and ARCH 507. Additional prerequisite for some sections: urban planning seminar or lecture courses.

Class description

This quarter will focus on creating a White Center Action Agenda in collaboration with the White Center Community Development Association (WCCDA) and key community members. Class meetings will be divided into varying sections of lecture, field trips, demonstrations, group discussions, field work, a community workshop and final report development.

Objectives of this course are to: 1) develop an understanding of the complexity and dynamics of community based development in a rapidly changing multi-cultural setting, 2) work intensively with key community members to define individual visions of successful development of White Center, 3) host a community workshop that synthesizes individual development visions into a common set of goals, 4) develop a White Center Action Agenda for the WCCDA, and 5) make next step recommendations for the implementation of the White Center Action Agenda.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Students are expected to be actively involved in each class. The instructor will limit reading to vital information applicable to the project. Reading assignments must be completed before each class to facilitate good discussion of difficult issues.

This course emphasizes two aspects of community-based development, human interaction and creativity. Over the course of the quarter each student must: 1) submit a visual representation of their “first impression” of White Center, 2) write a one page paper discussing your selection of key community members, 3) develop questions for directing individual interviews, 4) give an oral presentation on your interviews, 5) develop a final report and 6) make recommendations for “next steps” to WCCDA and the instructor.

Recommended preparation

Students should be prepared to get actively engaged in a dynamic diverse community. The mephasis will be on direct interaction with a variety of people form the most diverse community in the state of Washington.

Class assignments and grading

Participants in this Studio will be the first in a series of teams working on the long-term community driven development of White Center. You will be laying the foundation for a series of Studios that will focus on the constant revision and implementation of your work through a partnership with the community and its’ associated organizations. The long-term goal is to take the work of this Studio and find the infrastructure, human resources, community resources and capital to put the ideas the community of White Center creates into real experiments in community directed change.

This course is designed around the belief that community-based development involves long term relationships between people and institutions. One of the keys to such an effort is the effective communication of new ideas and insights by participants. Therefore, the emphasis of this course is on the visual, oral and written presentation of your discoveries. There are no exams for this course. You will be evaluated on your ability to present your ideas clearly both in writing and discussions. Grading will be determined on the following basis:

Visual First Impression 10 % One Page Key Community Members Paper 10 % Questions for Interviews 10 % Oral Presentation of Interviews 10 % Final Report 25 % Next Steps 10 % Class Participation 25 %


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Ralph Coolman
Date: 12/07/2005