About Us

About City & Regional Planning

City & Regional Planning (CRP) at Cal Poly is an integral part of the nationally recognized five department College of Architecture and Environmental Design. The CRP program began in 1968 and has nearly 1,500 graduates (Bachelors and Masters level). The program evolved in the College where the planning laboratory (studio) has been the core of the curriculum. We are proud of the program's strengths in urban design, transportation, land use and environmental planning, and community sustainability.

The profession of city and regional planning is primarily involved in helping people and communities manage growth and change in their physical, social and economic environments. The focus is on understanding how cities and towns (human settlements) function and how to make them better places for people to live and to prosper. Planning has its roots in engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, law, social welfare and government reform. The practice of city and regional planning is both science and art. It involves technical competence, creativity, hard-headed pragmatism and the ability to develop a vision of the future and to build on that vision. Planners today combine design, quantitative and people-skills to assist communities and society.

The program prepares students for professional careers in the design of human settlements in harmony with the natural environment and the needs of society. Practicing planners work in public agencies and private consulting firms, preparing comprehensive plans for projects, neighborhoods, cities, and entire regions. They deal with the use of land, housing, transportation, public facilities, and open space. In addition, they are responsible for finding the means to make their plans become a reality by budgeting for public projects and programs and by reviewing and regulating private development.

Students often use the phrase "get an education, get a job, make a difference" when talking about being at Cal Poly.

The strength of the Cal Poly City & Regional Planning department is its focus on community-based studios that provide students a “real world” planning experience and an opportunity to make a difference in California communities. CRP partners with communities to develop and deliver consultant-quality plans and designs. This planning and design work usually includes meeting with local government staff, conducting workshops with the public, presenting to elected officials, and gathering and analyzing community data. Recent community partners include: San Luis Obispo County, City of Ventura, City of Grover Beach, City of Ventura, and the City of San Francisco.

CRP is a top planning program in North America. For the past 10 years Cal Poly has consistently ranked near the top of programs for planning in the country according to the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs. According to the 2017 guide, the program is the #5 small program in the country and the #20 program overall in the country according to planning educators. More information about the Planetizen guide can be found here: https://www.planetizen.com/topschools

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Faculty & Staff

 Click Here for Faculty Office Hours - Fall 2017

Faculty Members


 michael boswell         chris clark              hemalata dandekar



  kelly main               Cornelius nuworsoo      william siembieda     

    Part-Time Lecturers

  • Zeljka Pavlovich-Howard
  • Beate von Bischopinck
  • Laura Tate
  • Michael Multari
  • Ryan Trapp
  • Christopher Steins
  • Tammy Seale
  • Martha Miller




    janet murrieta          melanni wiedrich

Emeritus Faculty

Linda Dalton 1983-2016
William Howard 1980-1994
Zeljka Howard 1986-2014
Joe Kourakis 1970-1997
William Siembieda 1997-2015
Paul Wack 1979-2011
Linda Day 1993-2004
In Memoriam
David Conn 1999-2014
David Dubbink 1989-2006 
Michael McDougall 1972-1992

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Focus Journal

Focus is an online, open access journal published annually by the Department of City & Regional Planning at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo since 2004. The journal is dedicated to the professional practice of city planning and urban design, publishing peer-reviewed research, case studies, exceptional student projects and opinion and editorial pieces each year. Its key mission is to keep professionals, students, and alumni informed about recent and changing planning issues. Focus has won several awards of excellence since its inception, including recognition from the American Planning Association and the Urban Land Institute.

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Research & Publications

Click here to view faculty research and publications.

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Studios & Projects 

Extensive, hands-on studio work, projects and applied scholarship are defining traits of the CalPoly, San Luis Obispo City and Regional Planning (CRP) undergraduate and graduate programs. Our project and studio courses serve a diverse group of California communities who contract with us to fund these learning opportunities. This provides students the opportunity to engage in real-world problem solving, evaluating the fabric of cities at different scales -- from the project site, to city-wide, to the region. The CRP project-based perspective is consistent with the CalPoly 'learn by doing' philosophy. It gives CRP students a cross-sectional set of experiences in dealing with planning issues throughout the state. Our projects have been recognized many awards, including state and national awards from the American Planning Association and Urban Land Institute. This success, as well as the quality of our projects in meeting the needs of diverse client-communities, is an indication that our students are well prepared to address the increasingly complex problems that are present in villages, towns and cities across the globe. To view projects, click here.

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Public Information

Planning Accreditation Board Criterion 1F Public Information


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Related Content

CRP's 50th Anniversary: 1968-2018

Focus Journal


Areas of Excellence

  • Urban Design
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Transportation
  • Housing, Economic, & Community Development

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