Urban Planning 538:  Economic Development Planning  Winter 2016

Assignments

last updated Friday, January 22, 2016 4:27 PM

Prof. Scott Campbell (home page)
College of Architecture and Urban Planning
University Of Michigan
sdcamp@umich.edu
office:  2225C A&AB
(734) 763-2077



Students are expected to complete all the required readings before the scheduled class time, actively participate in class discussions and presentations, and complete several written assignments and presentations over the semester.  Evaluation of your work will be based on substantive content, analytical rigor, and writing quality.  Be sure to follow appropriate citation guidelines in all your work. Late assignments will result in point reductions.


Format and Style Guidelines (READ CAREFULLY):

 


Place Marketing Example • due Jan 26

Each of you is to locate an interesting example of place marketing and briefly present the image in class. Be ready to evaluate/critique the image and place it in context.

Task for class: By Wednesday evening, please find an example of "place marketing" / place branding. (print, web, video). Then do one of the following.
1. Create a slide of your image(s) and upload it to the class GOOGLE SLIDES file created for this task.
2. If you want to instead show a dynamic web page that is better shown directly on a browser than via google slides, then create a slide in the above file with a link to the web page.

Be sure to include on the slide:

 

 


D1. Debate Prep Memo ("Is Gentrification a sign of vibrant economic development to be promoted or a discriminatory disrupter to be resisted?") • due Jan 28 • You may write this in groups of two (but individual submissions fine as well)

Memo Format:
You are to write a four page memo that would serve as a concise set of arguments for both someone arguing in support of the above statement and someone arguing against the above statement.
Page 1: Concisely state the argument in support.
Page 2: Concisely state the argument in opposition.
Page 2: Write a one page critique of each side of the debate (evaluating the evidence, logic and other merits of the positions).
Page 4: List your sources (literature, data, etc.) here.

The debate format [DRAFT]:

 


E1. Short Essay #1 • due Feb 11

Answer ONE of the questions below. Read the instructions above about format and style. Use class readings to support your argument. (Feel free to refer to other sources as well.) Page length: 5-6 pages (not counting the bibliography).

  1. Development vs. growth: Planners often assert that they are promoting local and regional economic "development," not just "growth." That distinction sounds appealing, but what does it actually mean? Begin by defining and differentiating growth and development, and examine the implications of this distinction for economic planning efforts. What exactly (e.g., jobs, income, city size, etc.) is being "grown" vs. "developed"? (The Flammang article is a useful reference here, but do also examine how the two terms are used -- both implicitly and overtly -- in other readings and contexts as well.)
  2. Boomtowns and Rapid Growth: Some might say that "you can't have too much of a good thing," but if growth is a good thing, then it might still come too quickly to lead to a healthy local economy and healthy local community. In your essay, begin by articulating the dynamics and characteristics of rapidly growing local economies. Do all boomtowns share common characteristics, or is there a wide variation? (Cite examples where appropriate.) What local planning or policy strategies might be employed to mitigate the problems arising from rapid urban growth?
  3. A local "resource curse"? The literature on international development often speaks of the "resource curse" — the apparent paradox that countries with rich reserves of high-value natural resources often suffer from fragile, imbalanced or unsustainable national economies. Can we speak of a "resource curse" at the local level as well? Do some town and cities suffer from this curse just as nations do? If so, how might the dynamics and consequences of a resource curse differ between the local and national levels? (This essay might require reference to literature not on the syllabus, but it could be an interesting essay for some.)
  4. Selling Places: Place marketing emerged as a central theme of contemporary economic development efforts. For some, this emergence of place marketing is a logical and inevitable development of the late-capitalist, post-industrial era and its emphasis on culture, symbols, advertising images, tourism, mass-media, amenity-driven development, attracting the high-tech class, etc. Yet others might be skeptical of this pre-occupation with place marketing, arguing instead for "a return to the basics" in local economic development (that is, focusing on concrete, tangible factors such as infrastructure, education and training, tax rates, land development barriers, productivity, etc.) In your essay, examine this tension. (For example, is it the tension between appearance and reality? façade and structure? "soft" versus "hard" locational factors? the "old economy" vs. the "new economy"? or something else?) What is the role of specific buildings and neighborhoods (e.g., museums, stadiums, waterfront developments, shopping streets, skyscrapers, etc.) in place marketing? In the end, what do you think is the appropriate role of place marketing in economic development?


P. Local Economic Portrait • Presentations Feb 23 & 25 • Memo due Feb 25 • groups of two (group of 3 ok as well)

A Detailed Economic Portrait of a Small Urban (or Suburban, or Small Town) Space (e.g., a block, a street, a strip, etc.)
Preference: Please work in groups of two. (You do have the option of working alone.)

**Please list your group members and location on this google drive document by Jan 28.

Local economic activities are embedded in place: in the buildings, streets, sidewalks of neighborhoods. Select a specific location, such a one-block segment of a commercial street, a block, a commercial strip, an industrial zone, etc. The area should be big enough to provide a substantive set of economic activities but small enough to be easily documented, visualized and analyzed. Be sure to clearly delineate your area on a map.

Your task: document and analyze the characteristics and dynamics of the economic activities and impacts of your selected area. Are these locally-serving businesses or part of the "economic base" (e.g., where do the customers come from; where are products shipped)? What are the demographics of the employees and customers? What trends do you see in the area (e.g., decline, transformation, gentrification, stability, etc.)? What visual clues provide evidence of economic conditions and changes? What are the biggest opportunities and challenges in the area? etc. (Strive for a vivid, insightful, multi-dimensional representation of the place.)

Possible sources and formats of evidence:
* visual representation of the site: photographs, drawings, plans, observation, graphics, drawings
* interviews with people on the street
* expert interviews (with shopkeepers, business owners, local community development staff, etc.)
* secondary data (Census data, etc.)
* newspaper stories etc.
* public documents and data (e.g., plans, tax data, etc.)
* public meetings, planning hearings, etc.
* other sources

Format of assignment:
The assignment has two components:
(1) presentation (on Feb 23 & 25)
Depending on the number of groups, each groups will have about 15 minutes to present (plus 5 minutes for discussion). To expedite the transition between presentations, please upload your presentation file (by 8:00 am Feb 23) to your Drop Box. (If you use google presentation, provide a link to your presentation.)

(2) one-page summary of local economic profile strategies
Write a concise, practical memo on the lessons learned from researching and developing an economic profile of a small urban space. Reflect on useful sources, methods, and approaches to interpretation. e.g., what visual cues did you find useful (or not useful)? What sources did you use (e.g., google maps, google earth, US Census data, online real estate data, local newspapers, interviews, etc.). You might write your summary as a how-to guide (e.g., "How to quickly use existing, readily available sources to develop an accurate, informative, insightful portrait of a neighborhood and its economic activities, conditions and challenges.") Focus on providing useful, practical advice for others who might want to learn from your own trial and error looking for evidence and clues. [Note: some of you will be using nearby sites you can physically visit and document; others will examine remote sites using only online or printed materials.] Please upload your answers (as a pdf file) to your ctools drop box. This will allow students to share their experiences and tips with the rest of the class.

file name formats:
presentation: portrait,Yourlastname,Yourlastname
memo: memo,Yourlastname,Yourlastname

 


D2. Debate Prep Memo ("Should local governments subsidize sports stadiums?") • due March 17 • You may write this in groups of two (but individual submissions fine as well)

Memo Format:
You are to write a four page memo that would serve as a concise set of arguments for both someone arguing in support of the above statement and someone arguing against the above statement.
Page 1: Concisely state the argument in support.
Page 2: Concisely state the argument in opposition.
Page 2: Write a one page critique of each side of the debate (evaluating the evidence, logic and other merits of the positions).
Page 4: List your sources (literature, data, etc.) here.

The debate format:

 


E2. Short Essay #2 • due April 5

Answer ONE of the questions below. Read the instructions above about format and style. Use class readings to support your argument. (Feel free to refer to other sources as well.) Page length: 5-6 pages (not counting the bibliography).

  1. [questions to be added]


Last Session: Course Synthesis • due Apr 14

This last session will provide an opportunity to link common themes from the presentations and develop a set of principles for good local economic development planning.

TASK: Each student is to come to class with a one-page sheet (with enough copies for the class) of 5-7 lessons / principles about local economic planning and development. (one possible format: a numbered list; each lesson / principle should be one or several sentences long.) If useful, you might also include a map, diagram, or illustration. Feel free to be creative and employ a different format. Each student will distribute their handout and briefly discuss.

 


E3. Summary Essay • due Friday, April 22 (end of day)

Answer ONE of the questions below. Read the instructions above about format and style. Use class readings to support your argument. (Feel free to refer to other sources as well.) Page length: 5-6 pages (not counting the bibliography).

  1. [questions to be added]