Community & Regional Planning

What is Community Planning?

Professional planners:

  • Help communities manage changes to their economy and environment
  • Improve quality of life through recommendations such as the use of public transit systems, development of walkable communities, development of affordable housing, sustainable practices, or historic preservation
  • Make communities more livable by regulating land use, creating design guidelines, or developing finance packages
  • Ensure that all members of the community are involved and represented in decision making processes

The Department of Community and Regional Planning at Iowa State University is one of the nation's largest and longest-established planning programs, and one of only 16 accredited undergraduate planning programs in the United States. The department has an outstanding international faculty committed to excellence in the teaching of planning at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

We are dedicated to working with students to develop the skills and experience to become practicing planning professionals in a variety of contexts. Students learn about:

  • Land-use planning and zoning
  • Environmental planning
  • Transportation planning
  • Site planning
  • Urban design

Our students regularly work with real communities to understand the challenges and achievements of planning.

We also undertake high-quality research on behalf of federal and state government, business, the nonprofit sector and other funding agencies, all of which feeds into the courses we teach. This is combined with strong linkages to planning practice and other professions, which ensures our graduates are fully prepared for exciting careers in planning, urban and regional governance, and a wide range of related activities.