All course information is listed within this syllabus.

CEDEV 509: Population, Land Use, and Municipal Finance (3 credits). Understanding the interaction of population characteristics, land use, municipal funds, and taxation in a locality and how they impact the operation and management of government jurisdictions.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing


Instructor for CEDEV 509

Frans J.G. Padt, Ph.D.
Teaching Professor

Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education
214 Armsby Building
University Park, PA 16802

Phone (Office): 814-863-8644
E-mail: Use Canvas Inbox

Please use the Canvas Inbox for course-related questions.
Phone conference at request.

I will do my best to respond to your e-mails (use Canvas Inbox) within 24 hours, and I will let you know if I'm going to be unavailable for any length of time.

About the Instructor

Frans Padt has more than 25 years of experience in community and regional environmental planning and design as a researcher, educator, policymaker, and consultant. He received his Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences of the Environment from Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands in 2007. Currently, he teaches in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His teaching and research include the political, institutional, and leadership aspects of community and regional environmental planning.

Teaching Experience

  • CEDEV 500 — Community and Economic Development: Theory and Practice
  • CEDEV 509 — Population, Land Use, and Municipal Finance
  • CED 409 — Land Use Planning and Procedure
  • CED 309 — Land Economics and Policy
  • CED 327 — Environment and Society

Course Overview

The objective of this course is to provide a multidimensional approach to understanding how communities work. Three interrelated elements help to define a community: its population, the spatial distribution of activities on the land, and the way it finances its operations. "Community" in the context of this course refers to some governmental jurisdiction typically at the municipal or county level. The focus of the course is applied governmental management.

People, land use, and municipal finance are inseparable. Every person, and every land use, has an address in some governmental jurisdiction. In fact, they are usually located in several, coincident jurisdictions. Similarly, all people and land uses generate costs, as well as provide some of the financial wherewithal that contributes to the operation of the government entity. The impacts each element has on the others is dynamic and inseparable and must be studied together to fully understand and effectively manage the government unit in question.

The basic assumption of this course is that the decisions made by communities are of pluralistic concern, are achieved democratically, and that they are unconstrained, that is, made in an open system in which the outcomes of decisions are not pre-ordained. So, while the characteristics of the current population are known, land-use choices and municipal finance policies may significantly modify the outline of the future population of the jurisdiction. Similarly, population characteristics may shape land-use choices and fiscal decisions to accommodate some activities more strenuously than others.

Municipal finance is selective in its impacts on both people and land use, and are made with some management goal in mind. Understanding the dynamic interplay among population, land use, and municipal finance, and how to effectively manage using this knowledge, are the goals of this course.

CEDEV 509 is broken down into 13 modules, which are all located within our password-protected learning management system, Canvas. This is a synchronous course meaning that you are part of a "cohort" or learning community. There are regular due dates for assignments, and a fixed start and end date. There are interactive sessions where you communicate with others in the class and projects where you will have to work in teams. There is a final project which you will work on throughout the semester.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of CEDEV 509, you will be able to:

  • Explain the basic concepts, measures, and data sources used in applied demography, giving you the ability to thoroughly and clearly describe the demographic characteristics of a population (e.g., a county or township).
  • Assemble and effectively present demographic information to your clientele, introduce basic concepts of municipal finance, including tax incidence, tax fairness, and tax shifting.
  • Describe how land uses and land-use change affect local public revenues and expenditures.
  • Evaluate and perform basic fiscal impact studies.
  • Prepare a capital planning budget.
  • Discuss the role/status of planning and the roles of planners.
  • Interpret state planning legislation, and how community comprehensive plans can be used as a tool of municipal management as well as a limitation.
  • Explore strategic planning as an alternate approach to management.

Course Outline

Readings for this course consist of module pages supplemented by articles, book chapters, online publications, and websites. You will access readings from Penn State Library's Course E-Reserves. The Library Resources link on the left Navigation Menu in Canvas will allow you to access readings. E-Reserves are all on one page in alphabetical order. Some optional readings are listed on the opening page of the module for your use in the course. Please read each module carefully to make sure you read all of the required readings.

Module 1: Welcome to the Course

Module 2: Principles of Sustainable Development

Module 3: Applied Demography

Module 4: Population Projection and Estimation

Module 5: Presenting Demographic Information

Module 6: Municipal Finance and Capital Planning

Module 7: Land Use and Sustainable Development

Module 8: Sustainable Urban Development

Module 9: Community Planning Systems

Module 10: Comprehensive Planning

Module 11: Energy and the Built Environment

Module 12: International Sustainable Development

Module 13: Envisioning a Sustainable Future

Course Schedule

For due dates, refer to the Course Summary on the Syllabus page in Canvas.

Course Materials

Most World Campus courses require that students purchase materials (e.g., textbooks, specific software, etc.). To learn about how to order materials, please see the Course Materials page. You should check the World Campus Course Catalog approximately 3–4 weeks before the course begins for a list of required materials.


ISBN: 978-1439850480
Roosa, S. A. (2010). Sustainable Development Handbook (2nd ed.). Taylor & Francis. (E-Book option available)

For pricing and ordering information, please see the Barnes & Noble College website.

Materials will be available at Barnes & Noble College approximately three weeks before the course begins. It is very important that you purchase the correct materials. If your course requires one or more textbooks, you must have exactly the correct text required (edition and year).

E-Book Option

An online version of one or more of your texts is available at no cost as a Penn State Library E-Book. Some E-Books will only be available online, while others will be available to download in full or in part. You may choose to use the E-Book as an alternative to purchasing a physical copy of the text. You can access the E-Book by selecting the Library Resources link in Course Navigation, and then selecting the E-Reserves link. For questions or issues, you can contact the University Libraries Reserve Help (UL-RESERVESHELP@LISTS.PSU.EDU).


This course requires that you access Penn State library materials specifically reserved for this course. You can access these materials by selecting Library Resources in the Course Navigation Menu, or by accessing the Library E-Reserves Search and searching for your instructor's last name.

Course Policies

Expectations of Our Group and Its Members (Learning Community)

Shared responsibility: While your purposes for taking this course may vary, our learning activities will draw upon peer insight and feedback and involve a combination of individual and collaborative learning activities. Each of us should contribute to our web of learning, as well as benefit from it. Please exhibit a willingness to engage with others in a respectful manner.

Keep on top of things: Please establish a routine that allows you to regularly pace yourself and remain actively involved with course activities. While you can choose which time of the day and which days of the week you log on and contribute, please do not disadvantage yourself and the rest of us by falling behind. The pace of this course is intense enough to make catching up a challenge. Log on at least three times per week to keep abreast of new postings, current e-mails, updated discussion, and overall course progress.

Submit assignments on time: Assignments must be submitted on or before the due date. Ten points will be deducted from the assignment grade for work that is late (up to 24 hours). No assignments will be accepted after the 24-hour window. When time runs out, submit what you have. If extenuating circumstances arise, a request for an extension may be granted. Requests should be made as far in advance of the due date as possible.

Prepare for absences: I encourage you to work one lesson ahead, at least with the readings, as protection against job stress and personal or family illness. If you need to be away from the course due to personal or family needs, please communicate with me and your team members via course e-mail. If unexpected or extenuating circumstances arise that will keep you from being an active contributor, please communicate with me and I will do the same with you.

Issues of confidentiality, privacy, and ethics: As professionals, we face ethical issues frequently. Having the academic freedom to express ourselves in class demands that we protect each other's confidentiality outside of class. I expect that what is "said" on our course site will stay there.

Academic integrity: Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. The University's Code of Conduct states that all students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights, and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others. University Faculty Senate Policy 49-20 concerning Academic Dishonesty, and as spelled out in the Student Guide to University Policies and Rules, applies to this course: Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating of information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, having unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with work of students.

What You Can Expect of Your Instructor and/or Classmates

Contact and presence: My goal is to acknowledge or respond to personal and group questions, suggestions, dilemmas, or other course-related issues within 48 hours. However, the grading of course assignments usually takes longer.

Flexibility: I am prepared to accommodate vacations, illnesses, and job emergencies, provided there is a reasonable prospect or plan for making up the work. If you need to be late with an assignment or prefer to do something else suitable to that topic, please discuss it with me prior to the assignment deadline. If prior arrangements are not made your work will not be graded.

Sense of community: This course has been designed to operate within a learning community: having a shared purpose (course goals), a distinctive place to gather (the Canvas site), promoting effective work products from within our group (weekly assignments), establishing accepted norms (netiquette and mutual expectations), and allowing for a range of member roles and participation (team projects and responses to postings).



Due Dates

Check the Syllabus page in Canvas for all assignment due dates. All assignments are due at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the scheduled due date. For discussion activities, this is generally Wednesday evening at 11:59 p.m., and for everything else, this is Sunday evening at 11:59 p.m.

Assignments must be submitted on or before the due date. Ten points will be deducted from the assignment grade for work that is late (up to 24 hours). No assignments will be accepted after the 24-hour window. When time runs out, submit what you have. If extenuating circumstances arise, a request for an extension may be granted. Requests should be made as far in advance of the due date as possible.


Each module in the course includes application exercises to demonstrate your understanding of the module concepts. These exercises are described in more detail within the course modules themselves. These exercises will constitute 50% of your final grade.

Discussions and Group Discussions (Class Participation)

Active participation in online discussions is both expected and crucial for this class. Group discussions contribute 20% to your grade, with an additional 20% for general discussion participation, making up a total of 40% of your final grade.

Points to Ponder

The Points to Ponder are reflective activities where you are presented with a thought-provoking statement, question, or scenario to contemplate. The purpose is to encourage deep thinking, self-reflection, and possibly discussion or journaling about the topic presented. These exercises are often used to stimulate critical thinking and promote personal insights. This will constitute 10% of your final grade.

Missed Modules

Students are expected to turn work in on the dates announced in the course. However, we realize that most of you are working professionals and will, from time to time, have to do something that will keep you from completing module work on time. If you have a conflict for work, travel, or family, please notify your instructors as soon as you can BEFORE your scheduled conflict. We are willing to work with you, but you have to work with us, too! Likewise, this is a privilege and not a right--if you abuse it, we have the option of not accepting your work for that module or modules.

Grading Policy

I will do my best to have your assignments graded within one week.

The following table is the grading criteria for the course.

Grading Criteria
Requirement Cumulative Point Value Weight
Assignments 700  50%
Discussions 400  20%
Group Discussion 400  20%
Points to Ponder 600  10%
TOTAL: 2100 100%
Extra Credit 100 2%

The following table is the grading scheme for the course.

Grading Scheme
Letter Grade Percentage
A 100% – 94%
A- < 94% – 90%
B+ < 90% – 87%
B < 87% – 84%
B- < 84% – 80%
C+ < 80% – 77%
C < 77% – 70%
D < 70% – 60%
F < 60%

Please refer to the University Grading Policy for Graduate Courses for additional information.

NOTE: If you are planning to graduate this semester, please communicate your intent to graduate to your instructor. This will alert your instructor to the need to submit your final grade in time to meet the published graduation deadlines. For more information about graduation policies and deadlines, please see "Graduation" under World Campus Student Resources.

Online Students Use of the Library

As Penn State World Campus students, you have access to many of the materials that the library offers to students. The library website has a lot to offer, but can be overwhelming. A guide has been created to serve as your introduction to important library resources, services, and important pages within the library. The Online Student Library Guide is updated regularly by the online librarian and is intended to provide a level of comfort through an introduction to help you feel comfortable navigating the library website to find valuable information for your coursework.

Technical Requirements

This course is offered online and it is assumed you possess the minimum system requirements and computing skills to participate effectively. A list of technical requirements is listed on World Campus' Penn State Technical Requirements page.

Minimum Skills

  • You should have an understanding of basic computer usage (creating folders/directories, switching between programs, formatting and backing up media, accessing the internet).
  • You must be able to conduct word processing tasks such as creating, editing, saving, and retrieving documents.
  • You must be able to use a web browser to open web pages, download files, and search the internet.
  • You must be able to use an e-mail program to send and receive messages and to attach and download documents/files.
  • You must be able to download and install programs or plug-ins from the internet.

Getting Help With Canvas Courses

Canvas support is available 24/7 via chat or phone.

It is in your own best interest to be as specific as you possibly can. Try to include information such as the specific course page, quiz question, etc. you were on; what you attempted to do when that failed; the exact language of any error message displayed on your screen; the date and time when your problem occurred; and any other pertinent information (does the problem happen consistently and always in the same way, etc.).

Support Services

As a student, you have access to a variety of services and resources, including advising, tutoring, library services, career services, and more. Please visit the following resources for more information:

Accessibility Information


The term "Netiquette" refers to the etiquette guidelines for electronic communications, such as e-mail and discussion postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of messages. Please review Virginia Shea's "The Core Rules of Netiquette" for general guidelines that should be followed when communicating in this course.

Penn State Policies

Login Policy

Students are expected to log in regularly to keep up to date with announcements, discussions, etc. The class will progress at a regular pace throughout the semester and there are specific due dates and times for assignments, etc.

Course Availability

Your course will be available to you beginning the first day of class and will remain open for one year. After one year the course will close.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights, and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others (see Faculty Senate Policy 49-20, G-9 Procedures, and the Code of Conduct).

Please read the academic integrity guidelines for the College of Agricultural Sciences.

A lack of knowledge or understanding of the University's academic integrity policy and the types of actions it prohibits and/or requires does not excuse one from complying with the policy. Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences take violations of academic integrity very seriously. Faculty, alumni, staff, and fellow students expect each student to uphold the University's standards of academic integrity both inside and outside of the classroom.

Educational Equity Statement

Penn State takes great pride in fostering a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity on the Bias Response page.

Privacy Policies

For information about Penn State's privacy statement and what it encompasses, please read their Web Privacy Statement. Visit Penn State's FERPA Guidelines for Faculty and Staff page for information regarding its rules governing the privacy of student educational records.

Copyright Notice

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor's express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD40, Recording of Classroom Activities and Note-Taking Services, addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University's Code of Conduct, and/or liable under federal and state laws.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional well-being. The University offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings. These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients' cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Accommodations for Persons With Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources website provides contact information for every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources page.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus' disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Accommodations for Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Use of Trade Names

Where trade names are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by World Campus, Outreach and Cooperative Extension, the College of Agricultural Sciences, or The Pennsylvania State University is implied.

Subject to Change Statement

Please note that this Course Syllabus is subject to change. Students are responsible for abiding by such changes.

Course Availability

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