Assignments
(last updated:  Nov. 30, 1999)

Urban Planning 532:  Sustainable Development:  Resolving Economic and Environmental Conflicts
(Fall Semester 1999)

Prof. Scott Campbell
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
University Of Michigan
sdcamp@umich.edu
office:  3136 A&AB
(734) 763-2077
 

Assignment One:  Summary and Critique of a Market-Based Program to Improve the Environment  (due Oct. 12)
Assignment Two:   A short assignment concerning resource use and dependency  (due Nov. 9) *revised date  ANSWERS
Assignment Three:   A medium-length paper (10-12 pages) on a student-selected topic (due Dec. 16)   *revised date
Group Project:  An Analysis of an eco-eco conflict and/or a sustainability effort (due Dec. 2)  *revised date
 


Assignment One:  Summary and Critique of a Market-Based Program to Improve the Environment
(due Tuesday, Oct. 12 *revised date*)

Identify an existing market-based program designed to improve environmental quality, such as a pollution credit trading program or a green tax (pollution tax) program.  The program can be either domestic or international.  (Check with me if you are not sure whether a program fits the needs of the assignment.)  Write a brief summary and critique of this program in memo format (section headings and brief answers encouraged).  Include diagrams, data tables and/or graphics if useful.

Page limit:  2 pages, single-space ok, so be concise.
 

In your write-up, address the following questions if relevant:
Who established the program?
Is the program part of a larger legislative context (e.g., the Clean Air Act)?
Who is eligible to participate?  Who must participate?  (i.e., a voluntary or mandatory program)
What environmental damage is the program seeking to reduce?
What is the time frame for the program?  (e.g., is the program a temporary or permanent program?)
What revenues are generated by the program?
How well does the program appear to internalize any environmental externalities?
For a pollution credit trading system, how were credits initially allocated?  Are the credits for a fixed or indefinite period?  Are there mechanisms to reduce the number of credits over time?  How does the trading actually function?  If known, what is the typical price of a credit?
For a pollution tax, what is the actual tax rate?  Who collects the revenues?  How are the revenues used?  Does the program directly tax emissions, or instead consumption of a resource, or some other aspect of economic activity?
Has the program had any measurable impact yet?
In your opinion, is the program a good one?
Would you suggest any alterations of the program to make it more effective or equitable?
 
 

On October 12:   I will collect all your 2 page memos, collate and photocopy them, and pass them back to you during the next class period.   You will then have a handbook of case studies.   (To avoid redundancies, please consider a wide range of programs around the country and world, not just the obvious ones.)
 
 


Assignment Two:   A short assignment concerning resource use and dependency
(reflecting themes from the Reisner and Power readings)
(due Tuesday, Nov. 9 *revised date*)

Select a local community that is characterized by a strong dependence on a local natural resource.  Write a brief profile of the community economy and the impact of this dependence on local development.  Briefly discuss any resulting conflicts between economic development, community stability, and environmental protection.  This resource dependence might be for commodity extraction (e.g., mining, timber, fishing, petroleum), for local energy production (e.g., water power, geothermal power), for residential (e.g., retirement) and/or tourist amenities (scenic views, sandy beaches, rain forests, coral reefs for scuba diving), etc.

Links to Profiles (links to be inserted by Nov. 11):
Bailey, Linda  (Midland, MI)
Benson, Laura
Botnick, Christopher (Belize)
Cain, Caitlin
Chazan, Dahlia
Chung, Chae Gun  (Sukmo Island, Korea)
Cotter, Amy
Gocmen, Asli
Hansen, Bjorn
Jung, Namji  (Kang Hwa Island, Korea)
Kelly, Christina
Locke, Dahvia
Messina, Stephanie (Traverse City, MI)
Minn, Isabelle
Natsinas, Theodoros  (Zakynthos Island, Greece)
Olsson, Kris
Parent, David
Rettenmaier, Elizabeth (Eastern Shore, Maryland)
Roberts, Ben (Lanai, Hawaii)
Sheneman, Eric
Tucker, Maria
Zellner, Moira  (Trinidad and Tobago)

Format:
Like Assignment One, the audience of your work will be the other students.   However, the format will be a series of web pages.  I will create a homepage for this assignment.  Each student's profile will be linked to the homepage.   Required:   a text narrative.  Optional:   illustrations.

Length:   approximately 500-800 words of text.   You may also include illustrations if useful (such as a map, a graph, photographs, etc.).   Links to other resources might also be useful.
 

How to submit your assignment.  Several Options:
1. IDEALLY:   Create your own web page (on your ifs space using FTP or FETCH) and email me the url, which I will link to the assignment homepage.
2. SECOND BEST:  Send your assignment to me as a .html file (as an email attachment).
3. OR:  Submit your assignment as a text file, which I will then re-save as an .html file.     (Note:  illustrations not possible with the option).
ITD offers a tutorial on settting up web pages.
 

In your write-up, also address the following points if relevant:
 A brief description of the natural resource, its supply, and control/ownership/regulation.
 The role that the natural resource plays in the local economy
 Economic-environmental-social conflicts that arise
 

A few possible places:
Butte, Montana (mining)
A North Carolina beach town
a whaling community in Japan
a fishing village in Canada
a village in South America dependent on the export of flowers to U.S. markets
an oil exploration village in the Amazon
a coal mining town in Poland
uranium mining town in Utah
Jackson Hole, Wyoming and tourism

Be creative about what constitutes a resource-dependent community.  It will be easier to write this assignment if the community is highly dependent on a single resource (e.g., copper), rather than on a diversified array of resources.  But you need not limit yourself to mining and agricultural communities.

To avoid redundancies, please let me know (via email) what community you are selecting.  I will let you know if it has already been chosen.  You are NOT limited to the U.S. -- you may select any community in the world.
 


Assignment Three:   A medium-length paper (10-12 pages) on a student-selected topic;  can be either empirical or theoretical.  Topic should be different from the group project topic
abstract due Nov. 16;
final version due Dec. 16
 

Select a paper topic that is consistent with the themes of this course (such as resource-dependent communities;  sustainable urbanism;  collaborative planning efforts to resolve environmental conflicts;  brownfield redevelopment;  the role of self-sufficiency in environmental protection;  post-industrialism and urban environmentalism;  the relationship between urban form and environmental impacts;  ecotourism;  etc.)  Given the urban/regional emphasis of this course, do emphasize the spatial / geographic / urban aspects of the theme.

Turn in a short description of your tentative paper topic on November 16.  If you are not sure of a precise topic, list several alternative  topics.  (You may change your topic after that date, but this at least gets the process going.)

Format:
Begin by stating the general area that you wish to research.  List the central research question(s) that will guide your literature search and thinking.  Your topic should deal in some broad way with the conflict between economic development and environmentalism.   Briefly discuss your methodology (how you will do your research) and the sources you might use.

You have a choice of:
a focused paper on a specific conflict or a broader analysis

US or international

a single case or comparative

theoretical or empirical

emphasis more on the economic or the environmental

emphasis on the sources of the conflict itself or on strategies to resolve the conflict
 
 
 


Group Project:  An Analysis of an eco-eco conflict and/or a sustainability effort
Select Groups of 3-4 students by September 30
Each group submits a 2-page description of the proposed project by October 7
In-class work session:  November 18
Presentations Nov. 30 - Dec. 7
Final Paper  due by December 2 *revised date

Length:   12-15 pages suggested (please double-space), plus graphics and visuals.
Alternate Format:  For those with web skills (or interested in developing these skills), I encourage the creative use of a web-based document with text, data, charts, visuals and links.

You may choose to examine either a single or multiple cases.  The case(s) may be either in the US and/or international.  Be sure to examine both economic and environmental concerns.  Your emphasis may be either on the sources of the conflict itself and/or on strategies to resolve the conflict.
 

Below is a selected list of student-selected topics from past years (when the course was taught at Rutgers)  that suggests the broad range of possible topics for either the individual paper or group project.

US Forest Service and subsistence communities
rain forests in Ecuador and Indonesia
lead poison and abatement
The Netherlands Environmental Policy Plan
Korean nuclear industry and pollution
ISTEA and its environmental impact
change in takings laws, shift from environmental interests to property rights
rural/farm development and farmland preservation
a case study on river basin as a basis of regional environmental planning
Turkey river dam projects: international conflicts
wetlands:  no net loss and mitigation banking
brownfield site development and environmental racism in Trenton, NJ and Camden, NJ
comparison of alternative views of nature from different cultures (Native American, ancient, etc.)
Environmental Taxes:  Use in Europe and applicability in the U.S.
California water policy
the feasibility and meaning of a Sustainable Home
the environmental impacts of Neo-traditional planning
Pollution Credit Trading programs
the over-development of Barnegat Bay, NJ
Forestry in B.C., Washington and Oregon
Int'l Conflicts of Siting Taiwanese nuclear waste in North Korea
The European Commission's "Green Paper" and the compact city debate
Environmental Impact of Immigration in the U.S.
Oil Exploration in Nigeria and Ecuador
The Port of New York-New Jersey:  Dredging Controversy
Environmental Accounting:  Alternative Economic Indicators
Land preservation in the Pinelands vs. the Adirondack State Park
protection of New York City watersheds in upstate New York
The Three Gorges dam project,  Yangtze River
Narmada River dam controversy in India
Eco-tourism