Planning & Community Development

Community development as a field embraces both citizen activists and professionals in planned efforts to create social and physical solutions to improve quality of life. Community development focuses on grass roots, community-based initiatives, complementing the field of Urban Planning, which is often more policy driven and government sponsored.

Students will learn to understand and think critically about the social, political, economic, historic, and cultural dynamics shaping various types of communities. Students will learn how to engage stakeholders; assess a community's assets, needs and opportunities; plan what the community wants to achieve; and develop strategies, programs, and policies to improve quality of life. Learning will extend beyond the classroom with hands-on experience through service learning, field research, informal gatherings, and workshops.

In the community development program students prepare to tackle the challenges of the community development worker in the 21st century, specifically how to empower culturally, economically, or geographically disadvantaged communities to address inequalities and improve their long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Graduates are prepared to serve as the critical link between communities, local governments, and state and federal programs in various positions including community organizing, nonprofit organizations, private foundations, community development corporations, community investment specialists and more.

Sasha W. Eisenman, Ph.D., Chair, Architecture and Environmental Design
Tyler School of Art and Architecture
Dixon Hall, Room 201
580 Meetinghouse Road
Ambler, PA 19002

Jeffrey P. Doshna, Ph.D., AICP, Program Head, Planning and Community Development
Tyler School of Art and Architecture
Architecture Building, Room 213
2001 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122