The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning

Housing & Community Development

This specialization focuses on building thriving communities and neighborhood by enhancing social, economic, and environmental conditions through capacity building, collaborative planning, community organizing, asset-based development, and advocacy.  Faculty and students work in underserved urban and rural areas with a particular focus on Salt Lake City’s diverse westside, as well as the rapidly growing gateway and natural amenity resource areas in the western United States. In these contexts, we explore the relationships between such things as the local and the global; theory and practice; experiential and technical knowledge; equity and equality. Students learn how to effect change by building bridges and finding common ground in complex systems.

Career Paths

Employment opportunities in municipal and regional government (planning, community development, housing, neighborhood improvement, redevelopment, community outreach); nonprofit sector (community development agencies, community organizing, labor unions), foundations and philanthropic organizations, private consultants as well as academic institutions (community engagement programs, university extension offices).


The primary CMP faculty teaching and conducting research in this area include:

Sarah Canham – resilient places for aging, social justice, homelessness and housing security, affordable housing, community-engaged methods, healthcare and social service utilization

Divya Chandrasekhar – environmental policy and planning, disaster recovery and mitigation policy, community-based disaster recover planning, international development and planning

Ivis García – asset-based community development, community participation, diversity in planning, affordable housing, neighborhood business development, leadership theory, transit-oriented development, active transportation

Stacy Harwood – community economic development, neighborhood planning, gentrification, scenario planning, local immigrant integration, planning in multicultural communities, race and space, cross-racial coalition building

Divya Chandrasekhar – environmental policy and planning, disaster recovery and mitigation policy, community-based disaster recover planning, international development and planning

Danya Rumore – gateway and natural amenity region communities, environmental policy and planning, dispute resolution, conflict management, collaborative planning, consensus building, small town and resort town planning

Practitioners who teach CMP courses:
Thomas Eddington – Integrated Planning & Design, LLC
Jordan Katcher –  Utah Community Development Office

Faculty from other departments:
Adrienne Cachelin – Environment & Sustainability
Jeff Rose – Parks, Recreation & Tourism


Complete a total of 4 courses, including one Foundational Course, plus 3 electives from the elective list. Substitutions must be approved prior to taking the course.

Foundational course (take at least one)

CMP 6260 Graduate Workshop: Westside Studio (3)
CMP 6280 Housing Affordability Lab (taught through Business School) (3)
CMP 6260 Graduate Workshop: Listening to… (3)
CMP 6260 Graduate Workshop: Affordable Housing (3)
CMP 6260 Graduate Workshop: Puerto Rico Lab (3)



CMP 6030 Leadership & Community Engagement (3)
CMP 6140 Planning for Disasters & Environmental Change (3)
CMP 6380 Green Communities (3)
CMP 6620 Negotiation & Dispute Resolution (3)

Approved electives in other departments:

ANTH 6245 Human Migration & Social Change
ECS 7665 Visual Arts & Social Justice
ECS 7826 Youth & Action Research
ECS 6822 Pacific Islander Indigenous Education
ECS 6857 Education and Sustainability in Biocapitalist Society
ELP 6260 Critical Race Theory
ELP 6290 Community Engaged Partnership
FCS 6730 Community Development & Environmental Chang
FCS 6400 Nonprofit Community Organizations
NURS 7510 Social Determinants of Health
OCTH 6720 Immigration & Resettlement
PRT 6046 Advanced Culture Studies
PRT 6680 Parks & Community Relations
PHIL 6710 International Human Rights
SOC 6050 Classical Social Theory
SOC 6674 Global Health
SOC 6085 Cities & Communities
SUST 6870 Environmental Justice