Graduate Urban Regional Planning

Community and Economic Development

The ultimate purpose of planning is the development of land in the public interest. Simply, plans in the public interest are made useful if they are implemented. Traditionally, the channel for this is community development, and this remains our focus.

Community development shifts the focus of planners to community organization, to neighborhoods, towns, and cities in distress, and to action plans that guide a vision through a process of implementation.

This field infuses the real estate development process with the values of planning and renders both more sophisticated and effective. Development demands the partnering of players in all three economic sectors: for-profit land developers, financiers, and both professional and industry entities; nonprofit community development corporations, affordable housing sponsors, and other such public interest organizations; and public agencies, serving as regulator or partner in the enterprise.

This concentration focuses on inducement and action, on risk-taking and the rewards of an ambitious enterprise, providing public benefits while addressing the bottom line for each participant group. The development process for the entrepreneurial planner requires high levels of innovation and sound judgment, negotiation in forming strategic alliances, the ability to control events, technical knowledge of site assessment, finance, marketing, and project management, and the quality of perseverance.

Public-private partnerships, development that is community- or neighborhood-based, affordable housing, economic development and downtown revitalization, and private development guided by the public interest are all subsets of this concentration.
Department of Urban Planning
Architecture Building (AB), Room 327
Ball State University
Muncie , IN 47306

Phone: 765-285-1963
Fax: 765-285-2648