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Community and Regional Planning

Planning education in America’s great outdoors

Planners are dedicated to the improvement of communities, regions, natural resources and the quality of life for those who live in them. At Boise State University, our goal is to inspire good planning practices in the growing metropolitan Boise region, the State of Idaho and the Intermountain West.

Our mission is to increase the planning capacity within western communities through leveraging research, instruction, and community engagement. A challenge in doing so is that communities and regions face significant social, political and economic constraints whether they are a rural community, a growing suburban area or a medium sized city. The Community and Regional Planning Department’s curriculum is sensitive to these realities and prepares students to take on a range of positions, including a public planner in a resort town, a community development activist, a private planning consultant, a policy analyst for government entity, or a strategic planner for a corporation and foundation.

A Western Focus

The west tends to conjure images of wide-open spaces, cowboys, gold rushes, distant mountain ranges and National Parks. Yet the suburbanization that has occurred throughout much of the United States has now spread over to the foothills and canyons, bringing with it immense challenges that the region is generally ill equipped to handle. Probably more than anywhere else, the harsh and fragile environment requires thoughtful development that is sensitive to the surrounding natural landscape. In addition, increasing sprawl, lack of affordable housing and congestion are changing the quality-of-life and collective mentality of Western inhabitants.

At Boise State, we consider the past as we approach the present. How do past planning decisions inform future problems? How can we change direction when a specific approach proves problematic? We consider these questions and more as we approach planning in our unique region.

ACSP Administrators Conference

March 25-28 in Boise, ID
Grove Hotel

The Department is honored to host the ACSP Administrators’ Conference in 2015. At this conference administrators of the planning programs in the US will discuss the future of planning education. The theme of the conference is:
Educating an increasingly diverse student body to have a diversity of successful careers in a diversity of diverse places: questioning our assumptions about planning and planning education.
Details of the Conference will be posted as they become available. For more information contact:

Maria Manta Conroy
Chair for the Committee on the Academy

Jaap Vos
Chair of the Local Host Committee

Who We Are

We strongly believe that who we are informs what we do. In Idaho, planners work for local governments or in private practice, more often than not in small towns and communities.
Who We Are…

What We Do

Planning is often an iterative process, requiring committed individuals capable of regularly reevaluating the process at hand, the project’s desired outcomes, and the best path toward achieving them. What We Do…

Where We Are

Idaho varies greatly across its more than 80,000 square miles—from the “panhandle” to the North, to the arid Southeast and Southwest near the borders of Utah and Nevada.
Where We Are…

Today’s economy places diverse demands on new graduates, as well. 50 years ago, new college grads could look forward to a long career, and eventual retirement, with one organization. Now, students bounce between organizations, earning skills across a spectrum of different challenges and opportunities. What is Diversity?

We believe that for the next generation of planners, planning instruction is more impactful when it’s linked to real-world issues and challenges. While CRP students are provided with critical theory, background and focus area instruction in the classroom, each semester students are challenged with an integrated project meant to expand on their learning. Connected to the Community…

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Hero photo courtesy Charles Knowles.