All course information is listed within this syllabus.

CEDEV 550: Principles and Practices of Planning (3 credits). This course explores the foundations, concepts, and techniques of professional planning and how it relates to community and economic development.

Prerequisites: None


Instructor for CEDEV 550

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

Educational and Professional Background

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 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

  • CED 409 — Land Use Planning and Procedure
  • CED 309 — Land Economics and Policy
  • CED 155 — Science, Technology and Public Policy
  • CED 327 — Environment and Society
  • CEDEV 500 — Community and Economic Development: Theory and Practice
  • CEDEV 509 — Population, Land Use, and Municipal Finance
  • Landscape Architecture Studios and Seminars

Course Overview

This course is an overview of the field of planning. It examines the history of planning and the theories behind it, and the corresponding roles that planners can play in their communities. It establishes the legal framework for planning as a profession and examines landmark legal cases involving planning and its tools. It then looks at the different types and levels of planning and examines the process of planning, what data needs to be collected, how a comprehensive plan is made and implemented, and who planners must interact within the course of doing their job. Finally, the course reviews the current issues in planning, such as Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Sustainability. Throughout, the course attempts to emphasize both the positive and negative impacts of planning.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to describe:

    • The reasons for planning, its legal foundations, and its criticisms.
    • The different types of planning and how they relate to community and economic development.
    • How planning can benefit a community, and how it has sometimes been misunderstood and misused.
    • The various theories of planning and how they help shape the different roles a planner can play in their community.
    • The purpose and content of a comprehensive plan and how it relates to specific projects and programs.
    • The various tools and sources of data used by planners in developing their plans and implementing specific projects.
    • The process of getting a plan adopted and the importance of community participation.
    • How planners may deal with the challenges of growth management or planning for cities in transition or decline.
    • The recent trends in planning, including new zoning techniques, new planning theories, and the concepts of Sustainability, Smart Growth, and New Urbanism.

    Course Outline

    Module 1: What is planning

    Module 2: Planning Theory

    Module 3: A Brief History of Planning

    Module 4: The Legal Framework for Planning

    Module 5: Gentrification

    Module 6: Systems Theory and Transportation Planning

    Module 7: Housing

    Module 8: Tools and Techniques

    Module 9: Comprehensive Plan and Planning Process

    Module 10: Growth Management, Land Use Controls, and Zoning

    Module 11: Sustainability, Smart Growth, and New Urbanism

    Module 12: Creating Sustainable Places

    Module 13: Cities in Transitions

    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: 978-1138487321
    Duerksen, C. J., Dale, C. G., & Elliott, D. L. (2009). The Citizen's Guide to Planning (4th ed.). Routledge. (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 Library Resources in the Course Navigation Menu, and then selecting the E-Reserves link. For questions or issues, you can contact the University Libraries Reserve Help (UL-RESERVESHELP@LISTS.PSU.EDU).

    Human Subjects Review

    Finally, if you are thinking about gathering your own information (e.g., interviews or surveys) or using existing data sources (e.g., U.S. Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics data) you must complete the Research with Human Subjects Review Process.

    NOTE: You must have an active Penn State Access Account and be registered with the University Libraries in order to take full advantage of the Libraries' resources and services. Registration and services are free while you are registered for a Penn State course! You must have an active Penn State Access Account to submit materials to the Office of Research Protections. If you are off-campus - as most of you are - you will need to access the Protocol, Review, Approval and Management System (PRAMS) to submit human subjects materials through a secure VPN client. Instructions for doing this are provided on the web page. Be forewarned that many employers and some internet cafes do not allow the installation of a VPN client through their systems.


    Student Introductions

    As one way to get to know one another, students will answer some questions about their background and experiences and post information about themselves on the discussion board. When you are done, take a look at what your classmates have posted to meet the others in the class.


    Online discussions will focus on an assigned topic taken from the readings or other class material. Generally, the assignments will ask you to express your opinion on a matter related to the material. Each of you has your own schedule, but you are expected to contribute to the discussion topic during the period in which it is assigned. I request that you make your initial post by the end of each Wednesday and that you then check back and participate in the discussion before the assignment due date on Sundays at 11:59 p.m.

    Satisfactory participation requires posting your own answer to the assigned question, reviewing posts by other students, and commenting on at least one student's post. In addition, check back to see if any students have commented on your own post and respond if appropriate. Each discussion forum is worth a maximum of five points. Points will be deducted if students do not comment in a meaningful way on other student posts. The class introduction discussion is also graded to ensure that every student introduces themselves.


    Essay questions are expected to be three to five pages in length and should be submitted by the requested due date. These essays should consist of original answers, but draw upon and cite sources in the readings when appropriate. Each assignment will be worth a maximum of ten points.

    Community and Economic Development Project

    The final project/paper is expected to be 10 to 20 pages long, not including supporting information such as tables and charts, and references. The final paper is worth 30 points and should be in a formal format and professionally written. All sources should be cited appropriately. Proper formatting will be part of the grading.

    Grading Policy

    The following table is the grading criteria for the course.

    Grading Criteria
    Requirement Weight
    Discussions  35%
    Assignments 45%
    Community and Economic Development Project  20%
    TOTAL: 100%

    Following is a breakdown of letter grades and their respective percentages.

    Grading Scheme
    Letter Grade Percentage
    A 100% – 93%
    A- < 93% – 90%
    B+ < 90% – 86%
    B < 86% – 83%
    B- < 83% – 80%
    C+ < 80% – 75%
    C < 75% – 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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