Skip to main content

City and Regional Planning

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

City and regional planners help people and communities manage growth and change in their physical, social and economic environments. They focus on understanding how cities and towns function and how to make them better places for people to live and prosper.

San Luis Obispo, California

City and regional planning is both a science and an art with roots in engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, law, social welfare and government reform. The curriculum focuses on building these skills in foundational planning courses as well as hands-on studio courses and internships.

City and Regional Planning Curriculum

CAED Plot Center

The facility offers large-format plotting for individual as well as class-based projects.

CAED Shops and the Digital Fabrication Lab (dFab)

This complex hosts a metal shop, wood shop and fabrication lab that include laser cutters, computer numerical control (CNC) machines and 3D printers.

CAED Tech Support

The college provides technical support for various computer labs, on-site printing and other computer related areas.

Concrete Yard

The concrete yard is an experimental assembly and project use area.

Experimental Practices Laboratory

Located in Poly Canyon, this nine-acre outdoor laboratory has been home to large-scale structures designed and built by students since 1964.

Neel Resource Center (NRC)

The Paul & Verla Neel Resource Center (NRC) provides access to architecture and environmental design-related resources including books, periodicals, digital images, working drawings and material samples.

Photo Presentation Facility

The facility allows for a host of needs from document projects and preparing presentations to mounting drawings and digitizing images for web site or other academic needs. The facility also supports the Architecture Department’s photography courses.

About the Program

A city and regional planning degree will prepare you to design sustainable and diverse communities that combine the needs of society and the environment.

The program will teach you to combine technical competence, creativity and pragmatism to develop and build a vision of the future. The interdisciplinary program places an emphasis on hands-on experiences, community outreach and applied research. Our community-based studios provide real-world planning experiences and an opportunity to make a difference in California communities. The program has been consistently ranked as one of the top planning programs in the United States.

Learn by Doing

Hands-on studio courses give you direct experience in community development and plan making projects. You are able to engage in real-world problem solving and evaluate the fabric of cities at different scales – from the project site, to the surrounding city and region. This gives you a cross-sectional set of experiences in dealing with planning issues throughout the state and nation. Through internships with public and private agencies, you will develop additional career-building experience in a wide range of planning fields from urban design to transportation planning.

Rendering of redevelopment plan for City of San Francisco in preparation for sea level rise

Plan for Sea Level Rise

Make redevelopment plans in preparation for sea level rise for areas such as San Francisco’s Embarcadero waterfront.

Learn More

Our Graduates

City and regional planning graduates often work in planning areas such as land use, environmental protection, economic development, transportation, community design, housing and social planning for government organizations, non-profit agencies or the in the private sector for utility companies, real-estate developers, consulting firms.

Our graduates have gone on to work for a range of companies include city governments, Disneyland Resort, KTGY Architecture + Planning and ICF International. Our graduates also have gone on to graduate studies at Cal Poly, UC Berkeley, Arizona State University and the University of British Columbia.