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Community and Regional Planning

Community & Regional Planning

Chair's Message

Water is life. Immigrant rights. Climate justice. Black lives matter. These are only a few of the critical issues of our time that affect everything from food and housing to clean water, energy and air. Community + Regional Planning is a forward thinking, social justice-oriented department. We are committed to sustained community-based societal transformation to address these issues and more.

The Community + Regional Planning Department focuses on people, place, and action. Fighting for people and restoring ecological systems are the driving forces behind our work. We recognize how places root cultures and political commitments, and we focus on tools and mechanisms to effect change. While we learn from the cultures and resources of the arid Southwest, our graduates work to effect change both within and beyond this region.

We have two degree programs. The BA in Environmental Planning + Design focuses on social action grounded in community-based knowledge and values. Majors develop knowledge of the built and natural environments in order to create vital communities, vibrant economies and resilient places. The curriculum links theory and action through discussions, field study, and other practical learning.

The Master of Community + Regional Planning (MCRP) is a two-year professional degree in planning. The MCRP Program is nationally accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). Through small classes and direct interaction with instructors, we work collectively to honor traditions and cultures in the Southwest, convey complex information to non-specialists, and bring about transformational change. The program provides grounding in planning skills, methods, theory and professional practice.

Our academic approach is based on building problem solving skills in the context of understanding complex social, physical, and environmental problems and solutions. We emphasize asset and skill building, including:

  • Reasoned thought
  • Visionary, futuristic and alternative thinking
  • Effective communication and action
  • Knowledge of people and their natural, political, and built landscapes

Our greatest asset and achievement are the hundreds of graduates who are making their mark through their work in community based organizations and NGOs, private firms, and all levels and types of governments and governance institutions. They are truly transforming the Southwest and places beyond.

Welcome to the Community and Regional Planning Department! Join us!

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Renia Ehrenfeucht

Chair + Professor