This is an introductory course in transportation planning with an emphasis on sustainable transportation systems. In response to growing concerns about climate change, air quality, health, equity, economic recession, accessibility and other sustainability issues, many government agencies and advocacy organizations are focusing on planning for alternatives to single occupancy vehicle trips. This course provides a general background on transportation planning in the U.S. with special focus on the relationship of land use and transportation, smart growth, transit, and bicycle and pedestrian planning. The social, environmental and health implications of transportation choices will be explored.
While this course looks at the national and at times, international transportation systems, there will be emphasis on the Tucson region. Guest speakers from local and state governments, consultants and advocates will supplement the readings and lectures.
Students will work in teams on a research project on an approved topic that has to do with a real transportation planning issue in the community. Graduate students will be required to complete a separate position paper in addition to the rest of the class assignments.
Learning Objectives:
  • To gain a basic understanding of transportation planning and funding mechanisms in the U.S.;
  • To become familiar with different transportation indicators and both the limitations and advantages of using certain indicators;
  • To understand how transportation systems impact sustainability including the social, environmental and economic viability of a community;
  • To understand how land use and the built environment can influence travel behavior and public health;
  • To know the prevalent contemporary sustainable transportation techniques, their applications and shortcomings; and
  • To learn basic planning elements of different modes including transit, bicycle and pedestrian.


Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E