Land Use Advising Pathway

Land Use Advising Pathway


Sy Adler, Yiping Fang, Matthew Gebhardt, Megan Horst, Marisa Zapata


The traditional core of planning programs, land use is characterized by a generalist, comprehensive approach to addressing multiple and interrelated issues. Thus, land use planning includes, but is not limited to, a focus on housing, infrastructure, open space, and economic development. The scale of land use concerns range from a specific site, as in the application of development standards for a convenience store, to the region as a whole, as in the establishment and management of urban growth boundaries. A land use plan may take the form of a comprehensive plan, strategic plan, urban structure plan, or as a vision or set of scenarios for future community development and change.  Land use planners work in a wide variety of settings and sectors, and typically constitute the largest group of local government planners working in either current or long-range planning offices.

Where land use planners work:

Organization Type Examples of Agencies and Organizations
Government planning agencies City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Washington County Planning and Development Services
Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
Port of Portland
Planning consulting firms Cogan Owens Greene
David Evans and Associates
Angelo Associates
Alta Planning
Community development organizations Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program
REACH Community Development
Living Cully
Development firms Gerding Edlen
Williams and Dame
BEAM Development
Advocacy organizations 1000 Friends of Oregon
Portland Audubon
Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland
Urban Greenspaces Institute

Foundational knowledge and skills:

Capabilities Course Type
Conceptual, legal and technical aspects for plan implementation; roles and modes for regulatory and investment strategies USP 542 Land Use Implementation Policy
Site assessment, site design, zoning and planning interpretation USP 524 Site Planning Skill
American legal context and enabling authority for planning and land use regulation USP 555 Land Use: Legal Aspects Policy
Analysis of fiscal and distributional impacts of local land use decision-making and outcomes USP 579 State and Local Public Finance Skill

Recommended course sequencing:

  Fall Winter Spring
Year 1 - USP 542 USP 524
Year 2 -

USP 555

USP 579

USP 579 (check whether winter or spring offering)

Additional knowledge and skills relevant to field:

Area Course(s) Type Faculty Notes
Real Estate     USP 523 Real Estate Development I Policy, Skill  
USP 546 Real Estate Development II Skill  
USP 529 Green Buildings Policy  
RE 521 Real Estate Finance I Skill  
See also: Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development    
Food Systems       USP 576 Feeding the City Theory, Policy  
USP 568 Oregon Land Use Law Skill  
PA 574 Food and Agricultural Policy Theory, Policy  
PHE 527 Food Systems & Public Health Theory, Policy  
See also: Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems    
Urban Design   See also: Graduate Certificate in Urban Design Theory, Policy, Skill  
Housing USP 567 Urban Housing Policies Policy  
USP 596 Affordable Housing Finance Skill  
USP 523 Real Estate Development I Policy, Skill  
USP 568 Oregon Land Use Law Policy, Skill Especially important for those intending to work in Oregon.
Regional Planning USP 549 Regional Planning & Metro Growth Management Policy