urp521 logo California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
URP 521/ URP 521L Research Design for Planning
Winter 2012
Dr. Gwen Urey, Professor, Urban and Regional Planning
email: gurey@csupomona.edu and phone: (909) 869-2725
Office hours: Monday: 5 - 7 pm Tuesday: 2-4 pm, Wednesday: 6 - 7 pm in 7-204
  1. CATALOG DESCRIPTION:  Introduction to use of probability and statistics in urban and regional planning research. Basic planning techniques; data analysis and display; projection techniques; land use surveys and coding; simple models; economic base and locational analysis; electronic data processing. 3 lecture/discussions; 1 three-hour laboratory. Concurrent enrollment required.

    URP 521 (CRN 10252) meets on Mondays in 7-235 from 7 to 9:50 p.m. URP 521L (CRN 10253) meets on Wednesdays in 7-235 from 7 to 9:50 p.m. The class will occasionally meet in a community setting and in a campus computer lab.

  2. EXPECTED OUTCOMES: On successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate:
    1. a basic knowledge of elementary research methods, data sources, and analytical techniques used by planners;   
    2. competence in microcomputer-based methods of analysis and research. Student work will involve both computer-mediated and non computer-mediated methods;
    3. understanding of the role of quantitative and qualitative methods or reserach in the plan-making process;    
    4. skills in the oral, written, and graphic presentation of data obtained from urban settings;
    5. competentence in working professionally with others.
    1. Attendance at all lectures and assigned lab sessions. Be aware that class activities will involve field research.
    2. Timely completion and submission of all laboratory projects. Late lab assignments will not be accepted unless specifically and individually allowed by the instructor.
    3. Timely completion and submission of weekly homework assignments based on the text and lecture material. Assignments will be distributed each Wednesday and will be due the following Wednesday at the beginning of class. Each assignment may consist of two parts--a part that must be submitted online using the Bb "drop box" and /or a Bb Quiz, and another part that must be submitted as hard copy. The assignments will clearly specify which portion should be submitted online, which in hard copy. Late assignments will receive no credit. Assignments submitted after the beginning of class on the day they are due will be considered late. If you fear being late, you may mail a hard copy of your assignment through the U.S. Post Office. It will be considered "submitted" on the day it is postmarked. Bring two copies of your homework to class on the due date; we will go over it in class that day. Absolutely do not email or fax assignments unless specifically requested to do so. Unsolicited emailed or faxed assignments will not be acknowledged.
    4. Students will work in teams to complete assignments and class activities throughout the quarter: students are expected to have a positive attitude about collaborating with other students in the course.

    Two examinations will be given, the first on 30 January and 1 February and the second on Monday, 12 March. Each will cover 5 weeks of material and each will count for 15 percent of the final grade. Students may use books, class notes, and calculators during each exam.

    The required text, Remler and Van Ryzin's (2011) Research Methods in Practice, may be purchased at the Bronco Bookstore Additional supplemental reading material may be provided as hard copy or electronic handouts during the quarter.

    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: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM and Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (excluding state holidays).

    Students will be expected to have access to computers in their homes or in University labs; word-processing and spreadsheet software will be used, and access to the world wide web will be required at times. Students will need simple calculators--they must have a square root function. Students should have an email account, either through the University (free) or a private provider. Responses to questions about current homework that are posed via email will be posted on the class web page (anonymously).

    • 10 % Class attendance and participation, including in-class assignments
    • 30 % Assignments 1-8 each worth 3.75 points towards your final grade
    • 30 % Exams (15 @ )
    • 30 % Lab assignments
            • Lab I = 5 %
          • Lab II = 10 %
          • Lab III = 15 %

  9. Be aware of University guidelines regarding academic integrity ("Policies and Regulations" section of the 2011-12 University Catalog, especially pages 54-55): 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. Academic dishonesty also includes presenting fabricated data, such as field notes, as authentic.

    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.

  11. COURSE OUTLINE: Schedule of activities

Schedule of activities (revised Sunday, 1 January, 2012 )
Week Topic and assigned reading Assignment dates
1 Research, theories and models
Remler & Van Ryzin, Chapters 1-2
4 Jan.- Assignment 1 out
4 Jan.-Lab I out
2 Measurement
Remler & Van Ryzin, Chapter 4
11 Jan.-Assignment 1 in
11 Jan.-Assignment 2 out
13 Jan. (Friday, by midnight) Lab I in--online submission
3 Sampling
Remler & Van Ryzin, Chapter 5
16 January--Martin Luther King Holiday, no class
18 Jan. Assignment 2 in
18 Jan. Assignment 3 out
4 Primary & secondary data
Remler & Van Ryzin, Chapter 6-7

25 Jan. Assignment 3 in
25 Jan.Assignment 4 out
 Jan. Lab II out

Midterm  30 Jan and 1 Feb. midterm

Data analysis
Remler & Van Ryzin, Chapter 8

8 Feb Assignment 4 in
8 Feb. Assignment 5 out 
10 Feb. Lab III out

7 Causation
Remler & Van Ryzin, Chapters 10-11
15 Feb: Assignment 5 in
15 Feb. Assignment 6 out

17 Feb: (Friday, by midnight) Lab II in--online submission

8 Qualitative research
Remler & Van Ryzin, Chapter 3
22 Feb. Assignment 6 in
22 Feb. 
Assignment 7 out
9 "Experiments"
Remler & Van Ryzin, Chapters 12 and 13
29 Feb. Assignment 7 in.
29 Feb. Assignment 8 out
10 Ethics, catch up and review
Remler & Van Ryzin, Chapter 14
5 Mar. Assignment 8 in (note this is a Monday), review for final, start Lab III presentations
7 Mar. 
Lab III presentations
9 Mar
: (Friday, by midnight) Lab III in--online submission
FINAL exam: Monday, 12 March       7-9 pm
  • For your information: The faculty union is in the midst of contract negotiations and there is a possibility
    of a work interruption. Updates on this situation will be provided throughout the course.