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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

Photo of Boise

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.

Community and Regional Planning Teachout

The Department of Community and Regional Planning at Boise State University is in the process of being phased out and no longer accepting new students. As the University announced in February, the 2015-2016 academic year will be the final year this program is offered.

We remain committed to providing the highest level of planning education for our dedicated students and seeing them through to graduation. We have retained our talented faculty through the Spring 2016 semester in order to offer our full curriculum for existing students.

Former CRP director, Dr. Jaap Vos, has taken a new appointment as director of Bioregional Planning and Design at the University of Idaho College of Art and Architecture. Dr. Eric Lindquist, director of the Public Policy Research Center at Boise State will serve as CRP Interim Director. Please contact Dr. Lindquist with any questions about the teachout.

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…

Diversity Redefined

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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?


Photo of Downtown Boise

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.