Cornell University has offered a planning curriculum since 1935, when the Carnegie Corporation helped support the establishment of a pioneering interdisciplinary suite of courses 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 2011, 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, engaged students with active organizations, ample support facilities, and a busy calendar of events. For the latest news about the department's activities, read the current issue of the Cornell Planner, or visit the CRP blog.
CRP is committed to:
We believe education in planning and preservation must be a collaborative endeavor. In the department there is a strong sense of cooperation among the faculty, great openness to student input, and meaningful engagement with other programs across the Cornell campus, as well as communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Through deliberative observation and critical study, as well as unparalleled access to internships and field study, students test their ideas, research, and coursework in practice, while bringing real-world problems back into the classroom for critical examination. We also believe strongly in a diverse student body, faculty, and research agenda.
Planning has an obligation to be visionary. It has to be practical and useful, but it also has to be on the edge of imagining a future. We provide the tools, techniques, and strategies you will need to design equitable, vibrant, and sustainable places.
CRP’s undergraduate and graduate programs provide a strong core curriculum and rich range of electives, supplemented by access to courses in departments across the university’s seven colleges. Students can also take advantage of CRP’s particularly strong relationships with programs in real estate, regional science, and landscape architecture.
The undergraduate program offers a bachelor of science in urban and regional studies that encompasses an interdisciplinary, liberal arts course of study focused on the forces that shape the social, economic, and political character and physical form of urban/suburban areas and their surrounding regions. CRP also offers an urban regional studies minor and a social justice and public scholarship minor.
Graduate programs include the master of regional planning, master of arts in historic preservation planning, and doctor of philosophy with emphases in city and regional planning and historic preservation planning. Joint degrees are offered with law, landscape architecture, and real estate.
The CRP faculty includes gifted educators and leading thinkers in a range of specialties in city and regional planning, preservation, and regional science. Their extensive and widely cited publications influence the field in the United States and around the world, as well as contributing to a vibrant and up-to-date educational experience for students at Cornell. Many faculty members practice or consult outside academia, both locally and globally. This engagement helps transfer research into policy, and it gives voice to knowledge.
Students in CRP come from across the United States and around the globe. Our undergraduates arrive with a broad range of interests in urban topics. Most graduate students have professional experience prior to enrolling at Cornell, often working with organizations that seek to improve the lives of people in communities both here and abroad, or that seek to protect and promote endangered natural and cultural resources. While at Cornell, they may study anything from food systems in the Andes to sustainable urban design, regulation of the gas industry to the history of cooperative housing. Students are also engaged in a wide range of extracurricular activities that reflect their diverse backgrounds and shared interest in public service. Many make significant original research contributions through their exit projects.
An integral element in CRP’s curriculum is outreach. Students and faculty members interact with a wide range of communities and institutions through field workshops, internships, volunteer programs, and longer-term organizational relationships. Many of these are initiated and run by students, others are national efforts where Cornell students engage to great effect. These programs and organizations include DesignConnect, Urban Land Institute, Cornell in Rome, the Peace Corps, Cornell in Washington, Work Weekend, and many others.
CRP is located in historic Sibley Hall, part of the AAP mini-campus that also includes Tjaden, Rand, and Milstein halls. The college's Fine Arts Library, located in Rand Hall, contains an extensive collection on urban and regional planning. Other divisions of the Cornell library include important collections of original documents from the early history of planning and design in the United States. The department also hosts the Clarence Stein Institute, which supports research by students, faculty, and design professionals in issues related to the interests of the pioneering architect and planner.
Computing resources are available in the library and in two staffed computer labs in Sibley. Lab workstations offer a wide variety of engineering, architecture, design, and publishing software as well as a large-format printing facility. The four buildings include several galleries that display visiting exhibitions as well as work by students, faculty, and staff. The Green Dragon Café, open 18 hours a day, stimulates informal discussions, offering nourishment for the body as well as the mind. Other facilities include a graduate student lounge, a preservation lab, and resource center.
Based on the book Transforming Planning (PDF), the history pages highlight CRP's impact on the field of planning and reviews how the department has evolved since they first offered regional planning classes in 1935.
The beautiful Cornell campus, located in Ithaca, New York, is home to many of the world’s leading academic, graduate, and research programs. Students have access to departments, courses, and programs across all the colleges of the university. As the land-grant institution for New York state, Cornell has a mandate to be both intellectual and practical, with a strong outreach component. This means that there is a deep knowledge about, and dedication to, place and community. Ithaca’s location in the beautiful Finger Lakes region provides students in planning and preservation a perspective that covers a wide range of community types, varying in size, history, culture, and economy. Students are within a day’s trip to major urban centers such as New York City, Boston, Montreal, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Washington, DC; mid-sized cities such as Syracuse, Albany, and Buffalo; small cities, towns, Indian reservations, and rural areas; and resources such as the Great Lakes, Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, and Erie Canal.