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About our school

About our school
The Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning is the nation's oldest continuously operating instructional program in urban studies.

PSU-China Innovations in Urbanization

PSU-China Innovations in Urbanization
Designed to promote dialogue, exchange ideas, and build relationships among researchers and practitioners engaged in improving the livability of urban spaces and the building of tomorrow's cities while protecting our natural resources.

Master of Real Estate Development

Master of Real Estate Development
With the support of the Center for Real Estate Development, Portland State University's Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning and the School of Business Administration have joined together to offer the Master of Real Estate Development degree.

Portland State University's

Masters of Urban and Regional Planning named


Make Your Place: A Guide to Facilitating Youth Civic Leadership, written by Erin Goodling & George Zaninovich is available online.  Contributing authors are Dr. Carl Abbott and Dr. Thad Miller, PSU Urban Studies and Planning faculty members; with foreword by Dr. Connie P. Ozawa, Director, PSU Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning.
Make Your Place: A Guide to Facilitating Youth Civic Leadership 

"Toulan School's Urban Sustainability Accelerator" moves forward under Robert Liberty's leadership (read more)... as designed by Professors Dill, Ozawa and Seltzer.
See this recent write-up of the project [link]

100% of our graduates who took the AICP exam between 2008 and 2013 PASSED!

To schedule an advising appointment please call 503.725.9210.


Congressman Earl Blumenauer speaks at a special session of CityWise."  A very lively discussion followed his talk, "Can Portland be America's "Save the World" Capital?"


Drs. Leanne Serbulo (TSUSP Alum) and Karen Gibson have been selected for the 2014 Palmer Award, given each year in recognition of the best article published in the Oregon Historical Quarterly during the previous year, for their article, "Black and Blue: Police-Community Relations in Portland’s Albina District, 1964-1985."
The article is available at:

Professor Karen Gibson in the news: "How Education Reform Drives Gentrification"

(Read the Article)

We are deeply saddened by the news that our founding dean and faculty member Dr. Nohad Toulan and his wife, Dirce Toulan, were killed in an auto accident in Uruguay.   
Click to read the OregonLive article on Dr. Nohad A. Toulan.

Urban Studies doctoral student Donna Sinclair was awarded the 2014 Catherine Prelinger Scholarship of $20,000. This scholarship is given by an anonymous donor to someone who has followed a non-traditional academic career path and whose work will forward an understanding of women in history. Donna Sinclair's work focuses on women, people of color, and people with disabilities in the Forest Service during the Civil Rights Era. The award committee wrote that they were truly impressed with the nature of her project, her activism on behalf of women and under-represented groups, and her commitment to public history.

Faculty members Karen Gibson, Carl Abbott, Jason Jurjevich and Greg Shrock, presented the North Williams Traffic Operations Safety Project, and discussed the history of Albina with State of the RE:UNION; Portland, OR: A Tale of Two Cities on NPR.  Segment B is dedicated to their presentations and can be heard here.

Our 2013 MURP China interns are busy and blogging!  Rebecca Hamilton and Anna Wendt are in Beijing, and Jeremy Dalton, Szilvia Hosser-Cox, JP McNeil and Pam Phan  are in Shenzhen for the summer.  Check out their commentary, photos, and videos here.  

PSU's Urban Sustainability Accelerator held a convening in July for invited representatives from around the country to learn about sustainability initiatives that they can implement in their cities.   Read the full article in the Oregonian here.                                                 

Adjunct Professor Chet Orloff has authored a series of blog articles about the history of sustainability in Portland.  The  articles are available at the Sustainable Business Oregon blog, presented by the Portland Business Journal and PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions.

The Sunday Oregonian features Associate Professor Lisa Bates talking about responses to gentrification and her report for Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.  Read the article at OregonLive or download the full report.

The 2013 CUPA Hooding Ceremony took place on June 14th, where graduates from TSUSP (MURP, MUS, PhD and dual degree programs) received their well-earned academic hoods signifying their school, degree and field of study. Students, faculty, family and friends gathered afterward for a Graduate Reception at PSU's Native American Center.

MURP Graduate Class of 2013 at the Hooding Ceremony

TSUSP Faculty who attended the 2013 Hooding Ceremony



TSUSP Adjunct Faculty Member Ellen Shoshkes has announced the publication of her book — Jaqueline Tyrwhitt: A Transnational Life in Urban Planning and Design — by Ashgate. Jaqueline Tyrwhitt’s life story is truly a gap in the planning and urban design literature: while largely unacknowledged, she played a central role in twentieth-century design history.  A full description is available here. Congratulations Ellen!



Want to see how two TSUSP professors, Ethan Seltzer and Lisa Bates, weigh in on the issue of apartments without parking? You can read their opinion piece here in a recent issue of The Oregonian! 


Assistant Professor Jenny Liu  spoke today on OPB's Think Out Loud about carbon taxing here in Oregon. Listen to it here! 


Two TSUSP professors, Jason Jurjevich and Greg Schrock, appeared in a Portland State Magazine article
 discussing their exploration into the realities of the IFC show Portlandia.  Read it in full here


MURP Workshop project, ‘Connect Cascade Locks: A Recreational Trails Plan for Economic Development,’--- slated to receive the upcoming 2013 AICP Student Project Award---appeared in a Hood River News article this week! Click here to read it in full



Congratulations to TSUSP students Michael Ahillen, Sarah Bronstein, Ellen Dorsey, Danielle Fuchs, Sara Morrissey, and Chloe Ritter, and faculty members Ethan Seltzer and Gil Kelley! Their project, 'Connect Cascade Locks: A Recreational Trails Plan for Economic Development' was chosen for the 2013 AICP Student Project Award for Application of the Planning Process by the American Institute of Certified Planners. The award will be presented at the APA/AICP Annual Business Meeting and Leadership Honors program in Chicago, April 16th 2013. (Full project details can be found here). 



Competing in a Changing World:  This year's Bonner Equity Forum's keynote speaker, Tom Murphy, is now online! Tom Murphy is a Senior Resident Fellow and Klingbeil Family Chair for Urban Development at the Urban Land Institute. Murphy is best known nationally for the three terms he served as the mayor of Pittsburgh, from 1994 through 2005. He initiated a public-private partnership strategy that leveraged more than $4.5 billion in economic development in Pittsburgh. On November 8th, 2012, he presented his speech: "Competing in a Changing World-Building a 21st Century City." Watch it now



The Urban Sustainability Accelerator (USA) at Portland State University is now operational and looking to form partnerships with jurisdictions and non-profits organizations. The USA helps mid-sized and smaller urban areas implement sustainability projects, to move their proposals from a concept, a plan policy or an agenda item, to reality. Visit the USA website here.

TSUSP Professors Carl Abbott and Ethan Seltzer cowrote a fascinating opinion piece in the Oregonian in October, discussing the region's history of attracting talent and entrepreneurship.  Read their commentary here!

 Urban Studies Ph.D. student, Donna Sinclair, has been awarded the Gray Towers fellowship of the Forest History Society for work on her dissertation about the incorporation of women and minorities into the USDA Forest Service. It provides a four week residency at Gray Towers, the Pennsylvania estate of Gifford Pinchot.  She will have time to write, give a public talk, interview people in the Forest Service civil rights department in DC, and meet members of the Pinchot family.  Congratulations, Donna!

Recent CityWise lecturers and TSUSP faculty members, Greg Schrock and Jason Jurjevich, have been making waves in the news!  Their recently-released reports (which you can read here and here) address the Portlandia-inspired question, "is Portland really the place where young people go to retire?"  Their research was covered in news features on OPB's Morning Edition, the Portland Tribune (a front page article which also features current Urban Studies Ph.D. student, Dillon Mahmoudi), the Oregonian, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Yahoo, KOIN News 6, and the Portland Mercury. 

TSUSP Professor and Director of the Center for Transportation Studies, Jennifer Dill, extols the myriad virtues of Portland metropolitan region public transportation in a recent USA Today article.

 Chet Orloff, Adj. Professor of Urban Studies, has been co-chairing the City of Portland's Central City 2035 Plan for the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability. The draft framework plan has just been released for public review.  He also recently served on the Portland Development Commission's selection committee for the redevelopment of Centennial Mills.  Chet continues his work developing the Museum of the City, PSU's online museum of cities.

This summer, a group of alumni, faculty, and faculty emeriti gathered together for evening of reconnection and celebration.  Read more about it and check out the photos here!


TSUSP Faculty is on your radio!

Professor Sy Adler was recently interviewed on NPR about light rail development in Los Angeles.  Listen to the segment (or read  the transcript) here.


Professor Jason Jurjevich spoke on OPB about the rising rate of nonmarried partner households in Oregon. Catch his segment (a great listen regarding Oregon's First Lady, Cylvia Hayes) here.

The American Planning Association just released data on AICP (certification) exam attempt and pass rates by school (2004-2011).  PSU grads had a 95% pass rate on the AICP exams, 2nd in the second quartile (based on number of graduates sitting for the exam)!


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