City and regional planning is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to influence the socio-spatial evolution of cities and regions by empowering social actors to envision, plan, and shape better futures. At DCRP, we incorporate ideas and methodologies from political science to anthropology to engineering, yet we plant a planning sensibility in our students: a willingness to confront tough challenges, utilize innovative planning and design techniques, and embrace normative gumption.
The department’s mission is to improve equity, the economy and the environment in neighborhoods, communities, cities, and metropolitan regions by creating knowledge and engagement through our teaching, research and service. We offer an equitable, inclusive, and diverse environment that not only fosters cutting-edge research but also inspires our students to create cities that are sustainable, affordable, enjoyable, and accessible to all.
Planning is currently at a crossroads. To remain relevant, planners will need to tackle three challenges that face cities and regions around the globe. The first is widening inequalities and disparities across regions, cities, and neighborhoods, with respect to income and wealth, race, quality of education and urban services, access to employment opportunities, and environmental health. Resilience and adaptation in the face of global climate change and resource scarcity are also critically important, as increasingly complex threats challenge the ability of cities to function after major disruptions and displacements, whether sudden or gradual.
At the same time, the demands for clean, healthy, reliable, and accessible public infrastructure and urban services will reach unprecedented levels, and creative analysis, planning, and design are needed to effectively manage problems of resource scarcity. To address these issues, DCRP faculty are using critical inquiry to inform practice, leading in the data science and informatics movement, finding new ways of incorporating community voices, and more.
Given its global leadership in climate change legislation, California is an ideal laboratory to study policy innovation, but our faculty also conduct research around the world, in cities from Lagos to São Paolo. With our anticipatory approach to planning education, we are actively offering solutions to urban challenges that are grounded in theory and verifiable analysis.
Our undergraduate and graduate programs consistently lead in global rankings of excellence, and we proudly train top-notch practitioners and professors in sustainable transportation and land use, housing, economic development, urban health and social policy, environmental sustainability, global urbanization and poverty, and urban design for livable places. Throughout our educational and research programs, we strive to be a model in terms of inclusion, whether locally, nationally, globally—or at home in Wurster Hall.
Yet, housed at UC Berkeley, we are always cognizant of the constraints, obligations, and opportunities of the public university. Land grant universities such as ours were founded to strengthen their home regions. We embrace that challenge by continually linking community and classroom through applied research that facilitates broad participation and influences public policy-making.
Welcome to the community!