Urban and regional planning is a continually developing field, so trends come and go as demographics, needs and demands change. Many of these trends — such as multifamily housing construction, bicycle paths, car-free zones, green building materials and storm water capture — have been around for years. Now, however, many of these ideas are getting a second look from professional planners, architects, real estate developers, government officials and others involved in creating safer, cleaner and more efficient communities.
What’s Ahead in Urban Planning?
Emerging ideas about how people in urban areas can live smarter, healthier and longer are driving new trends in urban and regional planning. Urban planner Stephen B. Friedman, president of SB Friedman Development Advisors, a Chicago-based national development advisory firm specializing in public-private partnerships, predicts that in the next five to ten years, in big and small cities alike, there will be anÂ increased trend toward urban living among both Boomers and Millennials. Those age groups are leading the charge for an urban renaissance.
According to Henry Cisneros, chairman of the Cisneros Group, which invests in urban real estate and infrastructure projects, Boomers, Millennials and Gen Xers are converging to create a new urban reality. Cisneros identifies 13 urban trends to watch in Urban Real Estate Investment: A New Era of Opportunity.
Among the trends on his list are modernizing urban infrastructure; building light rail systems; developing communications equipment, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals; and the “smart” anchor institutions such as research universities, medical centers and corporate headquarters. Cisneros writes that, “The city-building professions — urban planning and design, architecture, municipal governance and administration, real estate development and construction, capital and finance, transportation and infrastructure — must understand how [these] trends are together creating a new moment of opportunity for the nation’s metro areas.”
Topics in an Online MPA Program
An online MPA program combines elements of an MBA and an MPA with examinations of theory, strategic management and ethics to prepare students to become public servants in public, private and nonprofit organizations. Students in an online MPA program will analyze urban trends to gain a better understanding of urban and regional planning. Additionally, students will apply planning theory, methods and skills to real-world urban problems. Earning a degree from an online MPA program is an important step for those who want to help shape the future of cities, large and small.
Learn more about the UT Arlington online MPA program.
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