About the City and Regional Planning Department

Cornell University has offered a planning curriculum since 1935, when the Carnegie Corporation helped support the establishment of a pioneering interdisciplinary suite of classes in the subject. Today, the Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) is the home of leading programs in planning, historic preservation planning, and urban and regional studies. Located in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP), CRP's influence, interests, and alumni reach beyond the Ithaca campus to communities, organizations, and institutions throughout the nation and world. In 2012, Planetizen ranked Cornell number two in the nation among top schools for urban planners.

For more than 75 years, Cornell's planning students, alumni, and faculty have worked to transform planning and the lives of the world's citizens; and in doing so, have bridged social concerns and physical design at local and global scales while utilizing a diverse tool kit of methods and ways of critical thinking, all situated within high ethical standards.

CRP offers a rich educational environment with flexible degree programs for undergraduate and graduate studies, a distinguished faculty with extensive research and outreach agendas, a far-flung and influential group of alumni, and engaged students with active organizations. For the latest news about the department's activities, visit the news and events section of this site.

Mission

In CRP we study, teach, and practice planning as a diverse and integrative, applied, and change-oriented discipline, seeking as we do so a more just and efficient, sustainable, and beautiful world. Planning research and practice must be diverse, integrative, and multi-disciplinary because the world in which we work is not organized departmentally the way universities are. Our research and practice must be applied because environmental, political, and social changes force us both to respond appropriately — justly, efficiently, and wisely — in the physical world and to anticipate practically future changes in the social world. Our research and practice must be change-oriented because we find social injustice, environmental degradation, institutionalized spatial neglect, and regulatory dysfunction both unacceptable and demanding practical and ethical response. Our research and practice must be oriented to an increasingly interdependent world of countries with developed and developing economies with great variation in cultural perspectives and institutional environments.

Department Goals

  • Build on areas of historical strength for which the Cornell M.R.P. program is known: international planning studies, community economic development, historical preservation, environment and land use, and progressive planning
  • Improve and expand strong inter-departmental and inter-field connections across Cornell
  • Enhance a supportive environment for students
  • Promote professional planning and public engagement by students in the U.S. and around the world
  • Promote professional planning and public engagement by faculty in the U.S. and around the world