Top Rated Program

Jan 28, 2015

CRP is again a top planning program in North America. For the past 12 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 2019 guide, the program is the #9 small program in the country and the #25 overall program in the country according to planning educators. More information about the Planetizen guide can be found here:

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Democratic Planning and Design

Feb 4, 2021

Democratic Planning and Design

A zoom talk by Henry Sanoff, AIA

to CRP students and faculty


Thursday, January 28, 2021


Available in YouTube:


Henry Sanoff is Professor Emeritus at the College of Design, North Carolina State University. With over four decades of research and professional practice, he is specialized in participatory methods and democratic design. He is widely published and known for his many books, including Democratic Design, Community Participation Methods in Design and Planning, Integrating Programming, Evaluation and Participation in Design, Visual Research Methods in Design, and Methods of Architectural Programming --several of them published in other languages including Japanese, Korean, and Russian.

He has lectured in more than 85 institutions around the world and was a visiting scholar in universities such as the University of London, Oxford Polytechnic, Royal College of Art, Monterrey Technical Institute, Tokyo University, University of Sydney, Royal Danish Academy of Art, University of Thessaloniki, University of Hamburg, Seoul National University, Qatar University, and Warsaw and Lodz Universities in Polland.

Among Professor Sanoff’s many awards are the NCSU Holladay Medal of Excellence, Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Achievement Award, Sigma Iota Rho award for Distinguished International Service, ACSA Architecture Distinguished Professor, ACSA Community Design Award, Distinguished Fulbright Award, Fulbright Senior Specialists Award, the EDRA Honor and Service Awards, Progressive Architecture Design Awards, and Design Award and a Post Occupancy Evaluation Award from the School Construction News/Design Share Awards program.

Professor Sanoff’s article Multiple Views of Participatory Design, published in CRP’s FOCUS vol. 8, is available at

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In Memoriam - Bill Howard

Oct 26, 2020


In Memoriam - William "Bill" Howard

William "Bill" Howard, 88, Cal Poly Professor Emeritus passed away on August 29, 2020 surrounded by family and friends at his home in San Luis Obispo. Bill received a BA in history and philosophy and a master's in Geography from the University of Denver, and a Ph.D. in Geography and Urban Planning from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. After teaching at the University of Denver, the University of Colorado Denver, and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, he was hired to head Cal Poly’s City and Regional Planning Department in 1980, a position he retained until 1989; he retired a professor emeritus in 1994. He was responsible for the department’s first professional accreditation in 1984, and during his tenure the total students enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate programs increased from 84 to 251. Bill was a cherished professor and department head whose passion for city planning and endless energy continuously enriched students' education and preparedness for the "real world" through projects assisting communities in their planning efforts.  

In honor of Bill's legacy, a scholarship in his name has been established to support students in Cal Poly’s Master of City and Regional Planning program. Contributions can be made by online ( or by sending a check to: City and Regional Planning Department, Cal Poly, 1 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0283. If sending a check, please reference the "William Howard Scholarship" in the memo line. 

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CRP's Spring 2020 ZOOM Series of International Speakers

Jul 7, 2020

Over the Spring 2020 quarter, the CRP Department hosted a series of Zoom speakers. Click here to view video's of the speakers and the following subjects:

  • Engendering Cities: Designing Sustainable Urban Spaces for All
  • The Urban Land and Affordable Housing Global Crisis
  • Place Marketing and Destination Branding
  • Sustainable Urban Design in a Post COFID-19 Era

Support CRP students through the Cal Poly Scholars scholarship program

Jul 6, 2020

The Cal Poly Scholars program aims to recruit and retain high-achieving students with financial need from California high schools and community colleges. Click here to learn more about this scholarship program.

Alumni Profile: Claire Fliesler, BSCRP '10

Nov 13, 2019

Alumni Profile: Claire Fliesler, BSCRP ‘10

By Josie Buchanan, MCRP ‘21


“Do the right thing, even when it’s hard, and let the decision-makers be the ones to say no. Be brave enough to have the conversation.” This is the best career advice that Claire Fliesler has ever been given. Now a Transportation Planner for the City of Santa Cruz, Claire Fliesler graduated with a Bachelor of Science in City and Regional Planning from Cal Poly in 2010. After her time at Cal Poly, Claire immediately pursued her Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning with an emphasis in Transportation and Land Use at San Jose State, balancing this program with a part-time position at the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transportation District doing public transportation work that included: transit planning, grant writing, legislative analysis, and land surveyance.


Claire accredits Cal Poly’s emphasis on a ‘learn-by-doing model’ that enabled her to immediately jump in and work alongside other seasoned planners to represent the $55 Million agency. Claire also gives a lot of credit to her professor and mentor Dr. Cornelius Nuworsoo, who was responsible for her attending her first transportation planning conference which led to her first internship at Fehr and Peers, things that solidified her passion for the field of transportation planning. After earning two planning degrees and with over ten years of active planning experience, Claire is passionate to the point of giddiness to work for the City of Santa Cruz, which is the city she grew up in. Claire moved into her current role as a transportation planner for the city after working with the Santa Cruz Metropolitan District for almost five years.


Claire has made significant contributions to the small coastal city in the realm of active and multimodal transportation. Her self-declared proudest accomplishment as a planner was the implementation of a bike-share program; a partnership between the city and JUMP Bikes. The program, which costs the city nothing to implement, was an incredible feat facing obstacles of neighborhood opposition and the fact the company had never signed on a city so small. Claire persevered standing firmly in her belief that “These are a public benefit, they can improve the public's experience in the public realm. This isn’t about the individual, this is about the entire community.” Signing on to a bike-share system levels the playing field of mobility for everyone in the community, something that is stated directly in the City’s general plan and climate action plan. 


The implementation of e-transportation has been incredibly successful in Santa Cruz. In the city JUMP bikes are ridden an average of 5 times a day and have clocked over half a million miles ridden in the last 18 months - numbers that challenge cities with populations that dwarf the coastal college town. The success of this program and others led to the launch of a Transit Demand Management (TDM) program for downtown employees--a district that includes 4,000 employers and a known parking shortage. The TDM Program includes things like discounted JUMP bike memberships, free bus passes, and subsidized bike locker cards. With Claire Fliesler steering the way, the City of Santa Cruz is challenging its residents to rethink their commute. Claire’s next goal? Reduce Santa Cruz’s drive-alone rate from the existing 56% to below 50% an achievement that would bring them closer to America’s #1 bicycle commuter city - they are currently second behind Davis, CA. 

So, Why be a planner? “Because every day is interesting.” Claire’s passion for her work comes through in every word she says, but never more than this: “You’re never doing the same things, every day there’s something different, projects to work on, areas to improve, and new and emerging tools. It’s exciting, fun, not monotonous, and always keeps you curious.” Claire is grateful for her time at Cal Poly, she cites that it was this program that oriented and engaged her in what it is to build good cities, and is especially grateful for the studios and practical experience she received, as well as the network and lifelong friendships she made along the way. A proud Mustang, Claire Fliesler would urge any member of the Cal Poly City and Regional Planning Department to consider Transportation Planning and to reach out to her anytime.


Joe Horwedel Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser

Oct 24, 2019

The Cal Poly City and Regional Planning Advisory Council is hosting a fundraising event on Thursday, November 7, to benefit the Joe Horwedel Memorial Scholarship. In honor of his memory, the family created the scholarship fund to provide educational assistance for Cal Poly students. Click here for more details and to RSVP.

CRP Professors Publish Books

Sep 26, 2019

Professors from the City and Regional Planning Department have recently published books.

Climate Action Planning: A Guide to Creating Low-Carbon, Resilient Communities

Authors: CRP Professor Michael R. Boswell, CRP Professor Adrienne I. Greve, and Tammy L. Seale

Climate change continues to impact our health and safety, the economy, and natural systems.  With climate-related protections and programs under attack at the federal level, it is critical for cities to address climate impacts locally. Every day there are new examples of cities approaching the challenge of climate change in creative and innovative ways—from rethinking transportation, to greening city buildings, to protecting against sea-level rise.   
Climate Action Planning is designed to help planners, municipal staff and officials, citizens and others working at local levels to develop and implement plans to mitigate a community's greenhouse gas emissions and increase the resilience of communities against climate change impacts. This fully revised and expanded edition goes well beyond climate action plans to examine the mix of policy and planning instruments available to every community. Boswell, Greve, and Seale also look at process and communication: How does a community bring diverse voices to the table? What do recent examples and research tell us about successful communication strategies?

Click here to read more about this book.

The Planner's Use of Information

Author: Professor Hemalata C. Dandekar

This completely revised and updated third edition of this popular book will serve the new generation of planners who work in a world where social media, cell phones, community embedded development, and a changing population have revolutionized the practice of planning. Edited again by Hemalata C. Dandekar, with chapters by leading experts in data collection, analysis, presentation, and management, The Planner's Use of Information empowers practitioners to use and address the impacts of twenty-first century technologies. The Planner's Use of Information offers a range of methods for addressing many kinds of information needs in myriad situations.

Click here to read more about this book.


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Dr. Nuworsoo Advocates for Railway Development in Ghana

Sep 26, 2019


Dr. Nuworsoo, Professor of City and Regional Planning, presented ideas about “rail as a catalyst for change” in Ghana at the invitation of the Minister of Railways Development 

By Josie Buchanan, MCRP ‘21

(San Luis Obispo, California, December 2019) – California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Professor Cornelius Nuworsoo served as the keynote speaker at a Railway Dialogue in Ghana at the invitation of the Minister of Railways Development, Joe Ghartey. His keynote address was part of a new monthly dialogue program created by Minister Ghartey to ensure local stakeholders are actively participating in the development of the railway sector.

This interest in rail development comes from the recent $440 million investment into the 99-kilometer Tema-Mpakadan railway project in Ghana. Professor Nuworsoo’s subject, ‘The Rail Sector as a Catalyst for Growth: the Role of Station Area Development and Other Associated Infrastructure,’ centers around the concept that rail transport enhances productivity and efficiency, facilitates human activity, and promotes growth and development. Professor Nuworsoo conducted extensive research, synthesis, and comparative analysis of the networks of intercity rail and intercity express roads in the US, Europe, and Asia. He also documented success stories of station area development in those regions. From these findings, Professor Nuworsoo confirmed the case for a national railway network, the advantages of rail in nation-building, and lessons from successful station area developments to guide Ghana in its quest to deploy a national railway network as a catalyst for economic development. 

Professor Nuworsoo believes that expansion in infrastructure growth is essential for Ghana’s future economic growth. In most developed nations, Professor Nuworsoo noted, there are complementary centerline mileage between rail and road infrastructure, a structure that is important because transporting freight and heavy or bulky goods by train can cut the transportation cost as much as three times. 

“A developed rail station area can improve economic activities to generate revenue for the nation and investing in it could significantly reduce the negative environmental impacts both locally and beyond,” said Professor Nuworsoo on the potential significance of rail investment in Ghana.

Cal Poly’s City and Regional Planning Department is proud to represent and share the work and research of our staff. You can learn more about Professor Nuworsoo’s speech and work in the region here.

Image Source: Dr. Cornelius Nuworsoo


Cal Poly Students Draft General Plan for Oceano

Mar 7, 2019

A group of Cal Poly graduate students is helping draft Oceano’s new general development plan.

One Cal Poly professor says Oceano hasn’t updated its general plan since the 1990s. General plans guide how and where communities should develop. They are required by state law.

“It’s supposed to be based on broad community support, not to be influenced by one person or a group of people. What is the aspiration of the broad mass of the people? said Cornelius Nuworsoo, a Cal Poly professor.

Students are drafting a plan for Oceano for their yearly project.

See the complete story and video on KSBY TV.


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