Urban and Regional Planning

History of the Department

The planning programs at Cal Poly Pomona evolved from the undergraduate landscape architecture program at the University. The Department of Landscape Architecture was, at that time, part of the School of Agriculture. At first, students were given an opportunity to obtain an "option" in planning as part of their landscape architecture education. William R. Dale, a planner with public agency experience in Florida, was hired in 1964 to develop classes for them. In 1966, Sherman Griselle replaced Dale (who had resigned to pursue other interests).

In 1967, approval was given for a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Planning. It received American Institute of Planners recognition as soon as it was eligible in 1972.

In 1970, approval was given for the creation of a new School of Environmental Design. William Dale returned to the campus to become its first dean. The landscape and urban planning programs moved into their current building in January 1971. The Department of Urban Planning was created with Sherman Griselle as its first department chair. Soon after, the School added a Department of Architecture.

In 1971, the Department received approval for the creation of a Master of Urban Planning degree, and added a second program. It received American Institute of Planning recognition in 1974. The program is unique in that it offers evening classes that accommodate practicing planners interested in expanding their education.

After Sherman Griselle completed his term, other Department chairs included Harry Anthony (1973-1976), Charles Stapleton (1976-1977), Margarita McCoy (1977-1983), David Bess (1983-1984 and 1985-1988), Charles Loggins (1984), Charles Hotchkiss (1988-1994), Richard Willson (1994 to 2000, 2004 to 2008, 2012-2016), Gwendolyn Urey (2000 to 2004), Jerry Mitchell (2008 to 2012). Dohyung Kim is the current Department chair.

In 1983, the Department was renamed "Department of Urban and Regional Planning" to reflect more closely the expanded program orientation. The degree title was changed to "Bachelor of Science, Urban and Regional Planning".

In 1984, planning graduates organized the first formal alumni organization in the School of Environmental Design. The group has been active in developing scholarship assistance, and it created a mentor program to help counsel students in the program.

In 1988, the School was renamed the College of Environmental Design. In 1992, the Department of Art was transferred to Environmental Design from the College of Arts. In 1994 the Center for Regenerative Studies (now the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies) was transferred from the University to the College.

Accreditation for both programs was last reviewed in 2016. At that time, both programs received a seven-year extension of accreditation from the Planning Accreditation Board. Since that time, the department has enhanced its graduate and undergraduate curricula and more deeply institutionalized its community outreach and service activities through participation in the University’s and the CSU’s service learning. Research and teaching in the areas of GIS analysis, transit-oriented development, and climate change planning have increased.