Urban Transportation

Fall 2017
Amit Kumar
CP 4310

This course is an introduction to urban passenger transportation policy and planning in the US with a sustainability focus. The course is structured around three components on which we will spend approximately five weeks each: 1) History, theory, and problem definition 2) The planning process, and 3) Solutions. Throughout the semester we will come to understand how our current transportation systems came to be, what a sustainable system would look like, policies and planning approaches that will help us to achieve it, and challenges we’re likely to face. Part of the difficulty arises from the fact that planning is inherently a political as well as technical activity. Determining what the “best” solution is in any given situation is likely to involve the varied needs and desires of elected officials, members of the public, and experts. As engineers and planners (or one who will interact with engineers and planners), students will need to navigate this sometimes fraught landscape to make progress. We will examine the actual transportation planning process at all levels of government, hear from local and regional planners about their work, and learn about the methods that planners use to both comply with the law and help inform decision-makers. The course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students of all majors. 

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