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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Amber L Trout
URBDP 598
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Systematic study of specialized subject matter. Topics vary for each quarter, depending upon current interest and needs, and are announced in the preceding quarter. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

Class description

This course is aimed for multidisciplinary students interested in fields such as urban planning, public health, policy, urban welfare, and community engagement that are looking for an opportunity to explore the concept of being built environment specialists. The course will briefly review the initial achievements of Built Environments (BE) and healthy communities. Next, it will focus on the second-generation issues—“what do you do after the sidewalks are fixed and the water is clean? How can a community respond and avoid the cyclic nature of urban decay?” The course will end discussing the future /role of BE specialists. These topics will be reviewed through a combination of dialectic lectures and group discussions of the interdisciplinary literature currently addressing these issues. Through assignments such as policy briefs, “elevator talk” advocacy speeches, and composing an editorial commentary, it is the goal of the class to help the students shape a few core issues into an interdisciplinary statement on their research of interest. This can serve as a platform for students to learn ‘who’ is in their areas of interest and make professional connections in preparing for their post-education careers. The purpose of this class is to provide a forum in which students with different disciplinary emphasis participate and formulate one’s own prospective research agenda through exposure to current topics in built environment and community health. The central theme is for students to begin getting oriented and critically think through collaborative learning, interdisciplinary research and methods of inquiry to develop their research question by identifying essential components needed.

Student learning goals

To become familiar with primary literature of physical built environment issues and how they can impact the social and emotional environments health of communities.

To become familiar with the history and concept of neighborhoods (physical and social) and how they can be protective or risk factors in community resilience.

To become familiar with how to integrate the core concepts of public health, urban planning, social welfare, and ecology to address community health issues.

To develop an understanding of how to start to address “wicked” problems from a multidisciplinary and systems thinking approach using different philosophical and methodological features characteristic of community-based research.

To develop communication skills using qualitative and quantitative through different media in support of their research topic areas of interest.

General method of instruction

Lecture and small group discussion to explore topics in theoretical and empirical evidence and for students to develop their own research and potential theory of change framework to address topic or problem of interest.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


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 Amber L Trout
Date: 03/12/2012