PLA 6550 - FALL 2001



(Some additions pending)



  • Cornell course - Vietorisz. Special topics: Regional Development Planning and the Market, with Emphasis on the Third World - I. Historical and Theoretical Perspective. City and Regional Planning Department, Cornell University. (pls note: underscore after "intro")

M.I.T. free audit model. The designation of this model is taken from an article in the New York Times of April 4, 2001, Auditing Classes at M.I.T., on the Web and Free, by Carey Goldberg, whose first three paragraphs run as follows:

"CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 3 —Other universities may be striving to market their courses to the Internet masses in hopes of dot-com wealth. But the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has chosen the opposite path: to post virtually all its course materials on the Web, free to everybody.

"M.I.T. plans on Wednesday to announce a 10-year initiative, apparently the biggest of its kind, that intends to create public Web sites for almost all of its 2,000 courses and to post materials like lecture notes, problem sets, syllabuses, exams, simulations, even video lectures. Professors' participation will be voluntary, but the university is committing itself to post sites for all its courses, at a cost of up to $100 million.

"Visitors will not earn college credits."

PlaNet -- the international student planning network --

PlaNet has been in operation since 1996 and was officially registered in 1998. Today it has fifteen local groups established at European universities in seven countries, plus the group at Columbia, the first associated group in the United States. PlaNet's international program of conferences focuses directly on globalization, with emphasis on three key topics: general aspects, mega-projects, and sustainability.

Planners Network --
Questions, comments, or suggestions to:

This U.S. based professional planners' organization is committed to the principle "that planning should be a tool for allocating resources and developing the environment in order to eliminate the great inequalities of wealth and power in our society, rather than to maintain and justify the status quo." Its orientation is primarily to the U.S., with an all-U.S. steering committee except for one Canadian member, but with a sprinkling of international themes among its working papers, case studies, and conference topics.

Trading Places --
phone: 212 854 3513 -- fax:212 854 90 92 - - e-mail:

This student group was established in 1999 at the Urban Planning Department of Columbia University with sponsorship of the Department Chair, Eliot Sclar, and Prof. Thomas Vietorisz, as an associated local group of PlaNet.

The program of the group at Columbia University started off with an emphasis on comparing and contrasting U.S. and European planning experiences. Hence the name, "Trading Places," which was also the designation of a four-week U.S.-European student exchange trip and travelling conference organized for the Summer of 2000, s well as the title of a collection of documents which resulted from that exchange trip. The second travelling conference, during the Summer of 2001, was extended to cover cities in China and India.

During the academic year 2000-2001, the Columbia group has put out feelers to Cornell University in upstate New York and to York Universdity, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Toronto in Canada, with a view to catalyzing the formation of new local groups associated with PlaNet. Such an expansion of the network is, however, much harder to achieve than in Europe, because the training of planners in Europe stretches over five years of post- Baccalaureate university education, while in the U.S. and Canada it is compressed into two years at the Master's level. As a result, planning students on this side of the Atlantic are overloaded and hardly have any time to devote to the activities of student organizations. Moreover, their curricula are weighed down by a surfeit of required courses that all focus on domestic planning problems, leaving little slack even for elective courses with an international emphasis.

Despite these impediments, one half of an exchange trip between planning students at Columbia and Cornell universities has been undertaken before Thanksgiving in 2000, the other half early in 2001. Cornell students have made it clear that, if they are to join the network, their interests demand the expansion of transatlantic activities to include the Third World. This, together with the 2001 Summer travelling conference, represented a first, highly welcome, stirring in the direction of true globalization of the international student planning network.

Support of the Columbia group in organizing travelling summer conferences worldwide will continue. and it is hoped to launch initiatives for starting an international knowledge bank of planning projects as well as an on-line guide to planning courses at universities worldwide.