URP101logo California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
URP 101/101A--Introduction to Cities and Planning
Fall 2013
Dr. Gwen Urey, Professor
email: gurey@csupomona.edu and
: (909) 869-2725
Office hours: Monday: 3:00-5:30 pm Tuesday: 10:30-noon. Thursday: 2:45-3:45 pm in 7-204
Professor Kipp Kobayashi
email: khkobayashi@csupomona.eduor khk@mythograph.com and
: 800 419 1585 extension 10
Office hours:Thursday: 2-3 pm in 3-1421
  1. CATALOG DESCRIPTION and notes about lecture and activity
    Study of the contemporary American city, with emphasis on observing and understanding urban phenomena. Uses examples from Southern California with field trips. This course, required of all incoming planning majors, includes orientation to the planning curriculum and the profession. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour activity section (concurrent enrollment required). Prerequisites: none.

    URP 101 (CRN 70496) meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. in 15-1823. URP 101A has three sections, with meeting times and locations as follows:

    section CRN instructor day and time room
    101A.01 70507 Kobayashi Tu 10–11:50 am 7-215
    101A.02 70508 Urey Tu 1-2:50 pm 7-215
    101A.03 70509 Kobayashi Tu 1-2:50 pm 7-214

  2. EXPECTED OUTCOMES: To succeed in this class, students will:
    a. Develop awareness of the urban environment and the ability to detect clues about urban settings.
    b. Increase understanding of the social uses and users of urban space.
    c. Improve oral and written communication skills necessary for professional planners.
    d. Master and use basic word processing skills
    e. Gain skills for team work and coordinating individual efforts to achieve group goals.

    1. Attendance at all lectures and assigned activity sessions. Be aware that class activities will involve field research, including an all-day field trip on Tuesday, 6 November. If you have other classes on Tuesdays, you need to request permission to be absent that day. Do this NOW. If you need a letter from Dr. Urey to your instructor, get on it NOW.
    2. Timely completion and submission of all activity assignments. Your activity instructor will inform you of his or her policy concerning late assignments.
    3. Successful completion of quizzes and exams covering the lecture material.
    4. Students will work in teams to complete assignments and class activities throughout the quarter. Learning to work collaboratively is an part of a planning education and the planning profession.

    : A total of eight weekly quizzes will be given during the quarter. The quizzes will cover the reading and lecture material. The quizzes must be done outside of class, using Blackboard. You may take each quiz up to three times within the week that it is available. The questions may change from each time you take it to the next (questions are drawn from a question bank). Only the best score will count. All quizzes are available for one week only. Blackboard informs you when a new quiz becomes available and also provides the deadline for completing the quiz. Each quiz becomes available on a Friday and must be completed by the following Thursday, before class. Each quiz covers the reading for the current week and lecture material from the previous week: e.g., Quiz 2 covers the lecture material from 25 and 27 Sep. and the Bess, Clay, Lemann and CPP plagiarism readings.

  5. EXAMS: Two examinations will be given—the first on Thursday, 1 November during class, and the second during the exam period on Tuesday, 10 December, from 3:50 p.m. - 5:50 p.m. Each exam will cover 5 weeks of material; the midterm will count for 10 percent of your final grade; the final will count for 15 percent. You will be allowed to use your "urban sketchbook" during each exam. No other materials are allowed.

    Two texts are required, and both may be purchased at the Bronco Bookstore. The texts are:
    Grady Clay (1973) Close Up: How to read the American City (University of Chicago).
    Jan Venolia (2003) Write Right! 4th ed. (Ten Speed Press).

    Reader 1 and online readings: Additional materials will be made available online and in one or more readers available for purchase at "Ask Copy & Printing" (3530 West Temple Ave., Pomona, (909) 594-9490). (Reader 1 is available now). When possible, readings will be made available on the class website. The class website will be managed through "Blackboard" Students must use their Cal Poly USERIDs to log into Blackboard. See the Blackboard page for further instruction and for information about Blackboard workshops for students. Log on to the Blackboard web page at Cal Poly Pomona at: blackboard.csupomona.edu.
          During specified hours of the early morning, Blackboard may be down for maintenance. Consult the log-in page to see if this is the case. When Blackboard is down, you cannot take quizzes or submit assignments. Please plan accordingly. For assistance in getting access to your Blackboard account, visit the I&IT help desk in Building 1:100. Their office hours are Monday through Thursday: 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM and Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Their website is here: http://www.csupomona.edu/~iit/support/helpdesk.shtml

  7. MINIMUM STUDENT MATERIALS Students will be expected to have access to computers in their homes or in University labs; word-processing software will be used, and access to the world wide web will be required for weekly quizzes and to access class materials. Students should respond to email sent to their Cal Poly Pomona account.

    Urban sketchbook
    : Students will be required to keep a sketchbook. It should be brought to every lecture and to every activity section. It can be collected by the instructor at any time. You must use it to record field notes and sketches for writing assignments and for the three class field trips. You also may use it to take notes during class if you wish, and you will be allowed to use it during the midterm and the final exam. You may choose your own format, but a sketchbook of at least 5" by 7" with a spiral binding is recommended. You should not add pages to it or stick things into it. Such insertions will be considered "unauthorized study aids" during the exams, resulting in a zero on the test. It is recommended that you NOT combine your URP 101 and ENV 101 sketchbooks.

    : Students will be required to use photography during the Pomona fieldtrip on Tuesday, 23 October and during the LA fieldtrip on Tuesday, 6 November. Digital cameras are preferred.


    a. 15 % quizzes
    b. 25 % exams
        -midterm = 10%
        -final = 15 %
    c. 10% attendance and participation in lecture
    d. 50 % Activity attendance and assignments (This portion of you grade will be decided by your 101A instructor). All papers must be typed. Consult you 101A instructor concerning policies about late papers. Hard copies of each assignment will be distributed during your activity section; the assignments will also be available for downloading from BB.
        o Urban sketchbook = 12%
        o Paper 1 = 4%
        o Paper 2 (field trip 1) = 6%
        o Paper 3 (field trip 2) = 8%
        o attendance and participation in activity and on field trips = 5%
        o 15 % LA field trip project (Individual paper and group presentation. This portion of you grade also will be decided by your 101A instructor)

    100 % Total --your grades for the lecture and activity section are added together; your recorded grades for URP 101 and URP 101A will be the same.

    Be aware of University guidelines regarding academic integrity ("Student Conduct and Discipline" section of the 2012-13 University Catalog): All forms of academic dishonesty at Cal Poly are a violation of University policy and will be considered a serious offense. That is, violations will be referred to the Office of Judicial Affairs and will result in failing grades on the assignment in question. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:
  1. "Plagiarism, falsification, fabrication is intentionally or knowingly presenting words, ideas or work of others as one’s own work.. . . .
  2. Cheating during exams. . .
  3. Use of unauthorized study aids . . .
  4. Falsifying any University document--this includes . . .falsifying prerequisite requirements."
  5. Falsification and fabrication also includes making stuff up and presenting it as authentic observation of phenomena, as on a field trip report.

    Students with special needs of which the instructor should be aware should register with the Disability Resource Center and advise the instructor as soon as possible.

  2. COURSE OUTLINE: Schedule of activities

Week/Quiz due by Thursday



Details and reading to be completed before class

Activity section notes

week 0

26 Sep


Get acquainted, talk about course and about learning about cities.


week 1

1 Oct

Writing what you see

Activity section:
Complete in-class sketchbook assignment #1.

Clay: "Introduction," "Wordgames,"
readings and videos:
-- Paul Goldberger (2011), "New York's High Line," National Geographic (April).
-- video: Colin Rich (2012), "Night Fall," Atlantic Monthly Cities web site.
Paper 1 out

quiz 1 due

3 Oct Honing skills for urban observation
Sketching lecture, Dr. Willson
Reader 1
*: Anne Lamott (1995). "Polaroids."
BBeadings: Ian Frazier (2013). "By the numbers." New Yorker (26 August), 22.

week 2

10 Oct

The case of Pomona
and meeting student club officers

Activity section: go over first paper, prepare for field trip 1, Complete in-class sketchbook assignment #2, discussion

Reader 1*: excerpt from Charles Phoenix (1999), Cruising the Pomona Valley.
APSA visitors
Faculty visitors: TBA

Paper 1 due
quiz 2 due

12 Oct

Seeing cities--frameworks vs "fixes"

Clay: "Fixes," 23-37.
BB reading: Streetmix
Reader 1*: Alan Ehrenhalt (2012). "A backward glance," chapter 1 in The great inversion and the future of the American city. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 22-40.
BB reading: Flint, Anthony. "Smart Growth." Planning 77, no. 1 (January 2011): 20-24.
Student codes of conduct--academic integrity and respect & civility--read policies and watch the film clips at http://www.dsa.csupomona.edu/judicialaffairs/
take the "plagiarism quiz."

Faculty visitors: TBA


week 3

15 Oct

Planners and environmental "fixes"

Activity section: Field trip 1

No lecture: lecture will not meet after field trip.
Field trip 1
Paper 2 out

quiz 3 due

17 Oct


BB readings: Josh Stephens (22 June 2012), "Climate Change Study Projects Which Places Will Beat the Heat--And Which Won't," California Planning and Development Report. http://www.cp-dr.com/node/3227.
BB readings
: Bill McKibben(2 August 2012). "The reckoning." Rolling Stone no. 1162: 52-60.
BB readings
: What are Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32) and Senate Bill 375 (SB 375)?" web links:
    AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006
    Committed the state to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
    SB 375 California Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008
    Provided more direction to the state towards achieving AB 32's goals. Specifically, it required regional and local planning to address land use and transportation.
week 4

22 Oct Epitome Districts

Activity section: go over second paper, prepare for field trip 2, discussion
Clay: "Epitome Districts," 38-65

BB Readings:*: Boyle Heights Beat
Paper 2 due

quiz 4 due

24 Oct

The case of Boyle Heights

BB Readings*: Jennifer Medina(2013). "Los Angeles Neighborhood Tries to Change, but Avoid the Pitfalls."
BB Readings*: Emily Badger (2013). "The Extraordinary 30-Year Growth of the U.S. Hispanic Population."
Reader 1*: Richard Sennett (2009). "Urban disorder today."  

week 5

29 Oct


Activity section: Field trip 2
No lecture
lecture will not meet after field trip.
Paper 3 out
Field trip 2
quiz 5 due

31 Oct

MIDTERM review

Discussion: Clay: "Beats," and "Stacks,"110-144--note this skips ahead
Reader 1*
David Bess, "Quick fix on a new place."
Reader 1*:
Harvey Molotch, “Standing Around”

week 6

5 Nov


Activity section:
Prepare for LA field trip


Paper 3 due

  7 Nov


Clay: "Fronts," 66-84 and
BB Readings*: Tom Downey(2013). "What Urban Planners Can Learn From a Hindu Religious Festival."More prep for LA field trip.

week 7

12 Nov

LA Field trip


quiz 6 due 14 Nov

Bankruptcy and abandonment   Lecture:
Clay: "Sinks," 145-152, and
Reader 1*: Margaret Dewar and June Manning Thomas (2013). "Introduction: The City after Abandonment." Intro to The City after Abandonment.
BB reading: Kevin Parrish (2013). "A tale of two broke cities," Recordnet.com (27 May). (Alternative link to same story at Huff post: .


week 8

19 Nov

"Strips" and "Sinks"

Activity section: Prepare LA presentations in consultation with instructor
Clay: "Strips," 85-109 and
Reader 1*: Ian Frazier, "Route 3."
BB readings: Alex Kotlowitz (2013)."The Price of Public Violence." New York Times.
BB readings
: Nickol, Joe. "Great Places Stuck in No Place at All: It's time to fix the energy leak inherent in our conventional retail centers." Planning 78, no. 6 (July 2012): 14-18.
LA field trip field notes and photos
Strip sketch exercise

quiz 7 due

21 Nov


Clay: "Turf" 153-175
BB Readings*: Paul Rosenfeld (2013). "What Do Sneakers on Telephone Wires Really Mean?"



week 9

26 Nov


Activity section: LA presentations and discussion

Clay: "Vantages," 176-181.
BB readings: Adam Gopnik (2011), "The information: how the internet gets inside us," New Yorker (14 & 21 Feb.), 124-130.
LA field trip group presentation

  28 Nov

Thanksgiving Day Holiday (no class)



week 10

3 Dec

More vantages

Activity section: LA presentations and discussion

Utopia or Dystopia? What is our urban future?
BB readings: Chris Hedges (2013). "The business of mass incarceration" Truthdig.com.
BB readings: Alex Kotlowitz (2012). "There grows the neighborhood," Mother Jones (July/August), 38-43.
LA field trip individual paper due

quiz 8 due

5 Dec Review and parting shots

Review for final



10 Dec

FINAL, 3:50-5:50