Political Science




Urban Politics is one of two required courses in the university’s Urban Studies and Planning minor. Planning is a wonderful skill and essential in all careers. The skills of organized and strategic thinking are needed in all professions. All professionals plan.

Planning is an essential skill in governments, non-profit organizations and private companies. City, urban and regional planning projects are often high profile because they impact a community’s overall quality of life. Each year the American Planning Association (APA) recognizes Great Places in America. The revitalization of these facilities and infrastructure result in stronger and healthier neighborhoods and communities.

Many projects are collaborations between the public and private sectors. Public-private partnerships benefit the community by developing large and/or costly projects that are often beyond the resources of what Paul Peterson calls the “Limited City.” Local governments also collaborate with federal and state governments, particularly in developing and improving roads/rights-of-way, and community development projects.


Visit the APA website, planning.org, (Home>InYourCommunity>GreatPlaces) and research the Great Place (project) you have been assigned. Evaluate the Great Place to identify at least three ways in which the project benefits the neighborhood and community, and research the demographics and local politics of the city or town where your Great Place assignment is located.

Your analysis should include:

1. An Overview

a. Population of incorporated area (demographics)

b. Population of town or urban/metro area and the nearest MSA

c. Brief history of urbanization (How did the city/town evolve?)

d. Structure of government

e. Key stakeholders and power-brokers (Mayors, Managers, Council/Commission Members, Community Activists, CEOs…)

f. Major Industries

g. 2018 Operating and Capital Budgets

h. Current political issues

2. Identify what political stakeholder(s) benefits from the project,

3. Identify the project’s benefit to the general public/community,

4. Identify non-governmental entities that benefit from the project,

5. Identify any potential problems with the project, and

6. Share your overall analysis/opinion about the project.

The assignment has two components: a research paper and 10-minute oral presentation. The research paper should contain a minimum of five pages, not including the title and reference pages. This assignment must be submitted to the appropriate folder in the D2L dropbox, in a Microsoft WORD document using the APA citation format.

Due Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 (8:00 p.m.).

The assignments of Great Places are listed on the following page.

Buie, Deasia M. https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/neighborhoods/2017/seward/

Burger, Robert O. https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/spaces/2017/millcreek/
Dilbert, Vernoda T. https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/streets/2017/congress/
Ferrell, David M. https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/neighborhoods/2017/missoula/
Harris, Karonda C. https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/streets/2007/canyonroad.htm
Marin, Isabel E. https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/spaces/2017/rosaparks/
McCullough, Cierra https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/streets/2017/lincolnavenue/
Pinkney, Oriel E. https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/spaces/2017/countyhome/
Price, Samarea G. https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/neighborhoods/2017/rhine/
Sweet, Tieyra D. https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/streets/2017/grandboulevard/
Thaxton, Iman E. https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/neighborhoods/2017/greenwood/
Williams, Nicolas https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/spaces/2017/marketsquare/

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