USP: Urban Policy Focus Area

The Urban Policy focus area is designed to provide students with an understanding of the policy challenges and opportunities that are particular to cities in both the developed and developing world. SIPA focuses on the traditional urban policy fields like city management, urban planning, land use, housing, urban education, transit, as well as the most recent urban policy innovations in environmental sustainability, technological integration, globalization and business development.

More than half of the world’s population resides in an urban areas.  Cities now have responsibilities in virtually every policy arena including: infrastructure development, safety and security, environmental sustainability, economic development and job creation, education, healthcare, housing, and social welfare.  Global urbanization is guaranteed to continue over the course of the 21st century and this policy track prepares students to understand how economic, social, political, geo-physical, and technological factors shape cities.

The range of policies that fall under the umbrella category of urban policy is extensive.  For this reason, students are encouraged to develop specialized policy knowledge within one of the Suggested Urban Policy Subfields listed below. The subfield categories are to be used as a guide to help students structure their elective coursework around a particular policy field. Although it is encouraged, students are not required to choose one subfield and have the flexibility to take courses in several subfields based on their interests.

  • Urban Politics and Governance
  • Management in Urban Public Sector or Not For Profits
  • Urban Social Policy (includes: Family, Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Immigration & Poverty)
  • Economic Development Policy, Urban Planning and Land Use
  • Sustainability and Environmental Policy
  • Housing Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Crime, Safety and Security Policy
  • Employment and Labor Policy