PUP 301 Introduction to Urban Planning Assignment 1—Wicked Urban Problems in the News

PUP 301 Introduction to Urban Planning
Assignment 1—Wicked Urban Problems in the News

Assignment Overview

Wicked urban problems are all around us. They also appear in the news…often surrounded by controversy. Such wicked problems help illustrate the politically-charged nature of urban planning. This assignment requires you to conduct an analysis of the news to identify an example of a “wicked” urban problem that is making headlines.

Completing the Essay

Search the news for articles addressing urban issues that fit the four criteria for “wicked” problems discussed in class. Your task for this assignment is to identify a real-life example that illustrates the political, and often controversial, nature of the planning process. The example you find can be local or in another city, can relate to any of the functional areas of planning (e.g. transportation, housing, economic development, environmental planning, etc.), and may be project-specific or focused on larger comprehensive planning activities. Pick a case study (NOT the South Mountain Freeway discussed in class) for which you can find adequate details and information about the urban problem being addressed. You must find a minimum of three sources of information about your case study. All sources must be properly cited and referenced.

Write an essay that clearly addresses the following for the wicked problem you identified:

–Explain the background of the urban planning problem being addressed –Discuss why the problem is a “wicked” one:
–Why is the problem itself difficult to define?
–Why are the causes of the problem uncertain?
–Why is there no obvious solution?
–How is the problem linked to other problems?
–Discuss the public sector and private sector stakeholders involved, and how conflicting values contribute to the “wicked” nature of the problem

Your written essay should be roughly 2-3 single-spaced pages in length, and should be written in essay format (i.e. include an introductory and concluding paragraph, and content paragraphs consisting of well-structured complete sentences).

Assignments are due Thursday 5/24 by 3:00PM. Assignments should be submitted electronically as a Word or PDF document under the “Assignments” tab on Blackboard before the due date and time. After that point, the link will no longer be visible. NO late essays will be accepted.

All essays should reflect your own individual work. Direct quotes must be cited properly using a consistent citation style throughout. Be sure to include a list of the 3 (minimum) sources used to complete the assignment.

Your essay should be thoroughly proofread for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. Essays containing excessive proofreading errors will not be accepted for credit.

Worth 100 points total. See the grading rubric on Blackboard for the breakdown of points possible.

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