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Sustainable Urban Development Minor

Interest in sustainability and urban development has steadily grown in recent years among students. Our urban region has attracted considerable national and international attention and been a center of activity and innovation in addressing the challenges of incorporating the principles of sustainability into its planning and professional practice. The minor in Sustainable Urban Development offers students the opportunity to focus their education on this important and growing field.

The minor in Sustainable Urban Development will provide students with an opportunity to further their understanding in the important issues and challenges in making cities sustainable while providing a foundation for advancing their academic and professional interests in the numerous opportunities emerging in the field of planning and urban development. The School of Urban Studies and Planning is working with other academic units, including Environmental Sciences, Architecture, Geography, Economics and Civil Engineering to provide expanded curricular offerings in topics concerning sustainable urban development. This is the only undergraduate program offered in the Oregon University System with a specific focus on sustainable cities.

The Minor includes a required foundational course that will provide an overview and introduction the important concepts and issues facing urban planning and efforts to make cities sustainable. In addition, students will be required to take 3 other courses that focus on the built environment, healthy cities and green economics. Students then will elect a series of other classes offered in the School of Urban Studies and Planning, Geography, and Environmental Sciences and Resources to expand their knowledge and focus attention on the specific fields that best complement their academic and professional interests. The Minor is a 27 credit-hour program.

Students who complete the minor will understand the foundations of sustainability, including the 3 E's of environment, economies and equity as these domains of learning apply to the urban and built environment. In addition, students will develop literacy in the applications of these concepts to specific fields of urban planning and community development, including land use, transportation, urban environmental management, natural resource conservation and urban ecology.


Admission Requirements

Students with an interest in the minor should speak with their academic advisor and review the minor in Sustainable Urban Development curriculum. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Tracy Braden, Student Services Coordinator at the Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning.


Required Courses

Pre-requisite (an acceptable alternative may substitute for this course):

  • UNST 224: Environmental Sustainability (4)

Core Curriculum:

  • USP 313U Urban Planning: Environmental Issues (4)
  • USP 324U Healthy Communities (4)*
  • USP 325U Community and the Built Environment (4)
  • USP 490 Green Economics and Sustainable Development (3)

*Please Note: 324U and other courses appearing in both cluster and major/minor listings may only be counted as major/minor credits OR cluster credits, NOT both. 

Electives (Select 12 credits from the following list):

  • Arch 431 Studies in Contemporary Architecture (4)
  • Arch 442 Building Economics (4)
  • CE 351 Introduction to Transportation Engineering (4)
  • CE 371 Environmental Engineering (4)
  • Ec 332U Economics of Environmental Issues (4)
  • Ec 433 Advanced Natural Resource Economics (4)
  • Ec 444 Economics of Green Power (4)
  • ESR 356 Understanding Environmental Sustainability II (4)
  • ESR 428 Urban Ecology (4)
  • Geog 347U Environmental Issues and Action (4)
  • Geog 442 Sustainable Cities (4)
  • Geog 447 Urban Streams (4)
  • Geog 448 The Urban Forest (4)
  • Geog 462 Sense of Place (4)
  • PS 319 Politics of the Environment (4)
  • Soc 420 Urbanization and Community (4)
  • Soc 465 Environmental Sociology (4)
  • USP 323U Real Estate Development and Finance (4)
  • USP 419 Population and Society (4)
  • USP 427 Downtown Revitalization (3)
  • USP 429 Poverty in the Urban Community (3)
  • USP 445 Cities and Third World Development (3)
  • USP 451 Community Economic Development (3)
  • USP 456 Urban Transportation: Problems and Policies (3)