Urban Design Studio

Neighborhood Planning Studio

Neighborhood Planning Studio
University of Louisville
PLAN 652
Master of Urban Planning

Class location: Urban Design Studio
507 S. Third Street , Louisville

Course Instructors

Michael McCoy, RLA
502-435-3324 cell, M-F 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

John I. Trawick, AICP
502-432-3722 cell, M-F 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Also at:
Community Design Center @ Center for Neighborhoods
610 S. Fourth St., Suite 609
Louisville , Kentucky 40202

Office hours: by appointment and/or directly after regular class meeting

Student Projects

Fall 2007 Class

Fall 2006 Class

Fall 2005 Class

Additional Resources


The PURPOSE of the course is:

  • To introduce skills, practices and values fundamental to successful neighborhood planning
  • To explore the various planning approaches upon which the field is based

The OUTCOME of participation should be a broad overview of the purposes of neighborhood planning as well as the basic competence to manage a neighborhood planning process. As a Studio course, participants will assist in developing a neighborhood plan for an urban or suburban neighborhood located in the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro area.

The GOALS of the class are as follows:

  • To introduce the various purposes of neighborhood planning, both as a method for developing an agenda and focus for neighborhood-based organizations and as a type of physical/environmental planning
  • To introduce planning methods appropriate to these various purposes, including process design and facilitation, data analysis, neighborhood strategic planning, and graphic presentation techniques
  • To gain experience via participation in an active neighborhood planning project

The course will include a review of literature and discussions pertaining to the purpose and practice of neighborhood planning. Reading assignments will include course texts and hand-outs provided by the instructors. Evidence of reading and understanding will be evaluated through class discussions and occasional written assignments and will contribute thirty-five percent (35%) to the student's final course grade.

Students will be involved in one or more neighborhood planning activities ongoing in the Louisville Metro area. During this period of the course, students will continue receiving instruction on planning concepts and methods appropriate to their individual assignments and tasks. Students will be graded as an individual or a group, depending upon the exact nature of the planning activity undertaken. Likely projects will include a short-term, model block conceptual design as well as participation in the creation of a Neighborhood Assessment as currently being compiled by the Community Design Center/Center for Neighborhoods for the Louisville Metro Department of Neighborhoods These planning activity products will constitute forty percent (40%) of the student's final grade.

The remaining twenty-five percent (25 %) of each student's grade will be based upon factors such as attendance, participation in class discussions and interaction with instructors and guest speakers, and apparent grasp by course's end of the fundamental skills and attitudes introduced over the length of the course.

The course will be graded on a conventional scale:

  • A+ = 97-100%
  • A = 94-96%
  • A- = 90-93%
  • B+ = 87-89%
  • B = 84-86%
  • B- = 80-83%
  • C+ = 77-79%
  • C = 74-76%
  • C- = 70-73%
  • D+ = 67-69%
  • D = 64-66%
  • D- = 60-63%
  • F = < 60%

Course Reading

Required text ( available for purchase at Borders/Fourth Street Live ):

  • Rohe, W. M. & Gates, L. B. (1985). Planning with Neighborhoods. Chapel Hill , NC : The University of North Carolina Press.

Chapters and articles may be selected and reprinted from the following and others:

  • LeGates, Richard T., & Stout, Frederic (eds.), (2003, 2000, 1996). The City Reader. London and New York : Routledge.
  • Kretzmann, J. P., & McKnight, J. L. (1993). Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets. Chicago , IL : ACTA Publications.
  • Bryson, J. M. (1988). Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations . Jossey-Bass.
  • Journal of the American Planning Association, selected articles; and other special publications of the American Planning Association

Topics to be covered through readings, class discussions, guest speakers and hands-on planning activities include:

  • The Ideal Neighborhood. McCoy, Trawick on visioning/mental maps. Student introduction and exercise. Course outline.
  • Types of Neighborhood Planning. Discuss Rohe & Gates.
  • Neighborhood Planning in Louisville , 1890-2005. Referring to Settlement House, Physical, Advocacy.
  • Historical Sketch of Louisville 's Urban Form and the Evolution of Louisville's Neighborhoods. Trawick on historical overview. McCoy on Olmsted.
  • Plan Graphics and Presentation Techniques. McCoy.
  • Uses and Applications of Data and Information. McCoy, Trawick. Ron Crouch ( State Data Center ), Annetta Arno.
  • Neighborhood Planning as a Platform for Government/Neighborhood Collaboration. Melissa Mershon. Carolyn Gatz on Brookings and Greater Louisville Project. Melissa Mershon on MetroCall, Neighborhood Assessments, cross-functional teams.
  • Fundamental Concepts and Legal Bases for Local Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation. Deborah Belitski, Joe Argabrite, Debra Richards.
  • Local Process and Authority for Establishing Neighborhood Plans. Ken Baker.
  • Grassroots Planning Advocacy and the Politics of Planning & Zoning. Jim Segrest on Neighborhood Planning & Design, Inc.. Michael O'Leary on Clifton Lofts, etc. Nancy Carrington on Belknap School and Belknap Neighborhood Plan.
  • Community Involvement, Resident Organizing and Neighborhood Leadership.
  • The Role of Neighborhood-Based Organizations in Community Planning & Development. Michael O'Leary, Herb Fink, Phil Tom, Mahdi Muhammad/Bob Bell.
  • Strategic Planning and Facilitation Methods. Luckett Davidson. Karen Wunderlin. JJ Davidson. Kevin Connelly/Center for Non-Profit Excellence.
  • Neighborhood Economic Development. Michael Boggs ( Carmichael 's Bookstore). Gary Heine/Mike Mayes (Heine Brothers). Luckett Davidson on East Market Street . Ken Pyle on Oak Street (Rudyard Kipling). Patti Clare on consumer preference studies (housing & commercial development).
  • New Urbanism, Traditional Neighborhood Zoning Districts, and Brownfield Redevelopment. David Tomes, Roberto Bajandas, Susan Hamilton.
  • Transportation & Parks. Dan Curtis (Department of Public Works), Lisa Hite(Metro Parks).
  • Neighborhood Housing Strategies. Carl Malacyz, Lisa Hamilton (Department of Housing & Community Development), Mary Mayrose, Jane Walsh.
  • Comprehensive Neighborhood Strategies. Charles Cash, Carolyn Gatz, Tim Barry.

Plan Graphics “101”

Things to purchase (begging, borrowing and/or “stealing” also work):

  • Triangular Engineer's Scale (six-sided, plastic, 1”=10', 1”=20' . . . . . 1”=60')
  • 45-degree plastic triangle (transparent or green or brown or orange, somewhere in the 5” to 7” size range)
  • Plastic circle template (small circle variety up to 1 ½” or 2” diameter)
  • Mechanical pencil (.5 mm)
  • Non-photo blue pencil
  • Ultra-fine point Sharpie
  • Fine point Sharpie

Prismacolor pencils:

  • Copenhagen blue #906
  • Dark green #908
  • True green #910
  • Olive green #911
  • Apple green #912
  • Canary yellow #916
  • Non-photo blue #919
  • Pink #929
  • Scarlet lake #923
  • Light umber #941
  • Terra Cotta #944
  • Black Grape # 996
  • Warm Grey #1054


  • Electric Blue
  • Preston Arts Supply, Gardiner Lane Shopping Center
  • Office Depot

Image Galleries

610 S. Fourth Street, Suite 609, Louisville, KY 40202   |   Phone: 502-589-0343   |   Fax: 502-589-0616   |   info@centerforneighborhoods.org