Monday, November 15, 2010

"Smart Growth and Sustainability: Principles and Practices" to be Offered in Spring 2011 and Taught by Professor William Shutkin

A new course that addresses smart growth and sustainability has been added to the University of Denver Sturm College of Law Spring 2011 curriculum. "Smart Growth and Sustainability: Principles and Practices" will be taught by William Shutkin, director of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute that is affiliated with the College of Law.

According to Professor Shutkin:
"To be successful and to ensure a resilient, prosperous America in the twenty-first century, sustainable development professionals will need to understand the many forces driving our land use and development patterns, forces that cut across geography, disciplines, fields and sectors – from global warming to globalization, housing to transportation, energy to economic development, public policy to politics. They will need to be prepared to work in and among many different contexts – urban and rural, commercial and residential, agricultural and recreational – and social groups – affluent and low-income, from an increasingly rich mix of ethnic and racial backgrounds. And most importantly, emerging sustainable development professionals will need a new mind- and skill-set capable of integrating the economic, social and environmental goals that define sustainability. Like never before, they will be called upon to design new business models, policies and strategies, to join profitability, community and ecology in a bold development vision tailored to the needs of a radically changing region in a radically changing world.

"This course is designed to help equip next-generation sustainable development professionals with the foundational knowledge and tools they’ll need to make the most of this extraordinary opportunity disguised as a singular challenge. It will introduce them to the companion concepts of smart growth and sustainability, nested frameworks for physical and economic development born of a desire to redress the perceived past failures of markets and public policies while providing an affirmative alternative for the future. It explores the policies, processes, techniques and capabilities required to effectively and creatively manage growth and land use change in the light of the dramatic shifts beginning to transform the way we approach and even conceive land use and development.

"With an emphasis on practical knowledge, the course will examine the history and fundamentals of the land use planning and regulation and growth management systems, covering a range of cultural, legal and ecological issues in the process. By way of case studies and best practices, we will focus on new, “sustainable” approaches at the intersection of real estate development, land use planning, economic and community development and environmental law and policy, and will try to anticipate innovations in practice, policy and technology on both the near and far horizons. We will also pay attention to the different scales – individual, corporate, community, region, state, nation and beyond – at which sustainability methods are applied and consider the many legal, political as well as cognitive/behavioral forces that influence land use and development patterns and practices."
The course works products and performance evaluation include:
  • Preparation for and participation in each class session (15 percent): In advance of each class session, Professor Shutkin will randomly select up to 4 students to be discussion leaders for that session. The selected students will be required to carefully read the assigned materials, synthesize them and, with the session’s core questions (listed in the syllabus) as a guide, help lead the class. In addition, discussion leaders and class members as a whole should review periodicals (e.g., major newspapers or trade journals) and websites on a weekly basis so as to be able to introduce each week timely, late-breaking events or information bearing on the session’s subject matter.
  • Personal/career vision statement (10 percent)
  • Smart growth/sustainable development policy memorandum (25 percent)
  • Innovation report and presentation (team) (50 percent)
The course will meet from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays beginning Jan. 12, 2011.

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