A Hands-on "Introduction to Community Planning" Course


By Steve Butler

City of Mill Creek planners went into a Jackson High School class for a five-day course called “Introduction to City Planning and Mixed-Use Development” at the end of the 2010-2011 school year, and the results were impressive.

The course started with an interactive introduction to community planning. After learning some key planning principles, students divided into teams and set off on creating their own designs for an older, auto-oriented commercial shopping center. The teams had two class periods to come up with different design options and then decide on a final preferred alternative. In the final class, each team presented their final design concept to a City Councilmember, the Public Works Director, the Community Development Director, and their other classmates.

Redevelopment ideas included completely converting the existing center into a mixed use center (ground floor retail, with residential and office above), building a parking garage, adding public plazas, constructing a rooftop park on top of a commercial building, building a small water park, and adding an overpass to connect the site with another commercial site on the other side of a busy roadway.

Supporting materials include: Course outline

For more information contact: Tom Rogers at the City of Mill Creek [email protected] or Steve Butler at MRSC [email protected].

Image: Jackson High School student team presenting their final redevelopment concepts.

Tags: Planners, Teachers, Comprehensive Planning, Social Studies


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