School of Planning, Design and Construction

Read about the School of Planning, Design, and Construction (SPDC) and their work internationally

Group of Urban & Regional Planning students

About Us:

The School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) is jointly administered by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and the College of Social Science (CSS) at Michigan State University. It consists of four separately accredited programs:

  • Bicycle Group Rotterdam SS 2018
    Bicycle group of Landscape Architecture students abroad in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Spring Semester 2018
    Construction Management
  • Interior Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Urban & Regional Planning

It also includes the National Charrette Institute, a training, outreach, and research unit. SPDC provides quality education for students in these fields related to the built environment and encouraging the creativity and innovation that drive these industries. SPDC pursues academic excellence, nurture a culture of respect, trust, support and empowerment.

SPDC values interdisciplinary collaboration and embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion. Faculty research focuses on core societal needs within and across disciplines and seeks to enrich community and quality of life at local, state, national and international levels. SPDC works closely with professionals and conducts workshops and training on current practices and skills. The school offers certified training, online courses and specialized workshops on an ongoing basis, as well as on request to interested groups. SPDC has bachelor, master, and Ph.D. programs in diverse areas of planning, design and construction.

International Collaborations:

  • The Urban and Regional Planning program has a 30-year history of cooperation with the Spatial Planning Program at the Dortmund University of Technology (DUT). MSU students travel to DUT every other year and work with students from Spatial Planning Program on a joint workshop around a redevelopment project in the Ruhr region. Students from DUT visit MSU for a week, during the opposite year, and work with SPDC students on a joint workshop on a planning issue in East Lansing.
  • The Urban and Regional Planning program has an Erasmus Plus Mobility Grant (2019-2021) with Tartu College, Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia to further student and staff mobility. Two individuals from each university visit the partner university for a two-week timeframe to further research and teaching scholarship.
Urban & Regional Planning Students abroad in Europe
Urban & Regional Planning students abroad in Europe
Urban & Regional Planning students abroad in Europe
Urban & Regional Planning students abroad in Europe

International Focus: Asia, Germany, Estonia other European Countries

Study Abroad Program:

  • European Planning and Redevelopment: The European Planning and Redevelopment study abroad is a four-week program that runs every odd year. Two weeks are spent in Germany (Berlin and Dortmund) working with German students on such topics as urban planning and redevelopment issues, such as brownfield redevelopment, urban agriculture, alternative energies and sustainable development, tourism and historic preservation. In addition to Germany, participants visit two additional European countries (2019: Estonia and Romania; 2021: Spain and Portugal). During the even years, German students visit MSU and work with URP students on a workshop dealing with a planning issue in East Lansing. In 2020, students will be working on developing a multi-use open space plan for the Grand River corridor in Old Town Lansing.
  • Landscape Architecture: In spring semester, faculty take students to Europe to study iconic and sustainable landscape design for eight weeks. This program is credit bearing for landscape architecture students who can make the trip.
Landscape Architecture Study Abroad: Anna, Jeremy and Team
Landscape Architecture students abroad in Europe
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park SS18
Landscape Architecture students in front of Olympic Rings at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (Spring Semester 2018)
  • Interior Design: In summer semester, faculty take students to either Europe or Asia to study sustainable communities that cover multiple subjects, including architecture, transportation, water and energy.
Interior Design Study Abroad
Interior Design students abroad in Asia
Interior Design Study Abroad
Interior Design students abroad in Asia

Selected Publications and Sharing of Knowledge and Experiences with Global Community:

  1. Interior Design Study Abroad
    Interior Design students abroad in Asia
    Kotval, Zenia, Christiane Ziegler-Hennings, and Anne Budinger, “Experiential Learning within the Context of International Partnerships and Study Abroad Programs:  A Case Study of the Cooperation between the Urban and Regional Planning Program at Michigan State University and the School of Spatial Planning at the Dortmund University of Technology” in Crawford, P. & Berquist, B. (Eds.). Community Engagement Abroad: Perspectives and practices on service, engagement, and learning overseas. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press. (forthcoming).
  2. Million, Angela, Patricia Machmer and Zenia Kotval, “Engaging and educating young people in sustainable development: communicating research findings and planning practice in an active learning environment” in The Routledge Handbook of Planning Research Methods. Editors: Elisabete Silva et al.  Routledge: Taylor and Frances Group, NY and London (2014) pp. 502-518.
  3. Kotval, Zenia and John Mullin, “IBA Emscher Park: An American Perspective”, in IBA Emscher Park: Impulse – National, Regional and International, by Crhista Reicher, Lars Niemann and Angela Uttke (Eds.). Klartext Verlag: Essen. 2011, pp 200-209.
  4. Tintěra, J., Zenia Kotval and Aime Ruus, “Inadequacies of Heritage Protection Regulations in an Era of Shrinking Communities: A Case Study of Valga, Estonia”, European Planning Studies. (2018)Vol. 26, #12, (2018) 2448-2469, DOI: 1080/09654313.2018.1518409
  5. Tintěra, J., et al., Urban brownfields in Estonia: scope, consequences and redevelopment barriers as perceived by local governments. Moravian Geographical Reports, February 2015, Vol. 22, No. 4, p. 25–38.
  6. Nurme, Sulev et al., “Baroque manorial cores and the landscape” Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, November 2014. 4(2): 166-183.
  7. Nutt, Nele et al., "Restoring manor parks: exploring and specifying original design and character through the study of dendrologous plants in Estonian historical manor parks", Baltic Forestry. February 2014.  19(2): 280-288.
  8. Kotval, Zenia, Patricia Machemer and Jeff Keesler: Experiential Learning Within the Context of International Partnerships and Study Abroad Programs, Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, Special Issue: February 2013. 68-80. 

For more information, contact:

Dr. Ming-Han Li, Ph.D.

Professor and Chairperson

School of Planning, Design, and Construction

Email: minghan@msu.edu

Website: www.canr.msu.edu/spdc/index

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