First Essay

This first assignment is a reflection essay on the field of planning. You are expected to probe and discuss in depth one of the major arguments that were brought against the field of planning in the late 1950s and take a position as to why you still believe that planning is needed and is able to push forward the development agenda. The driving question for this essay is: Which anti-planning argument is most convincing to you, and why? Please provide counter-points drawing on different examples.

We expect you to think through your arguments very carefully, as this essay should also be an exercise for defining your position relative to the field and developing a stand as a future practitioner. In elaborating your argument please use as many examples as possible. This assignment should not be more than five pages double-spaced.

The due date is Lec #10 in class.

Final Assignment

Due Lec #25

Term paper (10 pages plus references)

You are expected to probe and discuss in depth one particular planning sensibility you think you need to cultivate the most for effective planning practice. Drawing on the extensive references provided for each section of the course, select one section and a particular sensibility - e.g. legal awareness, or organizational understanding - and describe how your thinking on this aspect of planning expertise has changed and evolved over the semester.

To do this, you should first state how you thought about this aspect at the beginning of the semester, and then explain what led you to change your views, and finally, what are the questions you may be asking yourselves by the end of the semester. In writing this self-reflective essay, you should use evidences and examples, as many as possible, in support of your arguments. You can draw on your own work experiences, others' experiences, and evidences provided in the references. The key point to note is: We want to understand each student's intellectual trajectory, and the work will be graded according to the complexity of each student's journey and how well a student is able to capture his or her thoughts in writing.

The following selection of student work represents exemplary term paper projects written by students in the course. All work is courtesy of the student named and used with permission.

Anna Brown - "Questioning Assumptions: Understanding Non-Governmental Organizations" (PDF)

Catherine Seaborn - "Planning to Plan with Market Institutions" (PDF)

Sharlene Leurig - "Collective Action and the State: From Remedy to Panacea" (PDF)