Thursday, June 16, 2011

Service Learning Projects in Land Use Classes: Louisville's Urban Forestry Example

Mapping-the-Landscape-Logo 
I teach an interdisciplinary Land Use and Planning Law course, which is composed of both law students and graduate students in urban planning.  The course has a heavy skills development focus with students participating in interdisicplinary teams on a simulated board of zoning adjustment hearing on a CUP application for a biofuel plant in a low-income minority neighborhood (based on a real case study) and preparing substantial service-learning reports on complex land-use issues for government agencies and nonprofit organizations.  The students learn a lot by working on real-world problems and having to work in teams.  The projects also pull the students much more deeply into cutting-edge issues than merely reading and discussing cases in the classroom can do (although we do some of that, as well, to prepare them for their projects).

I just blogged on my law school blog about a very cool outcome of one of this past semester's service-learning projects, which I've pasted below:

Law & urban planning students in my Spring 2011 Land Use & Planning Law course prepared an Urban Tree Canopy Plan as a service learning project for the Partnership for a Green City, the Louisville Metro Parks Department, and Community of Trees, an association of government agencies, organizations, and individuals.  This plan and its recommendations will be a base from which Community of Trees develops an "Action Plan for Louisville's Urban Forest."  A meeting to consider my students' recommendations and to select recommendations for near-future action will be held Wednesday, June 22, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. at 415 W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard, Louisville, KY.  The students' Urban Tree Canopy plan can be downloaded at:

http://www.jefferson.k12.ky.us/Departments/EnvironmentalEd/GreenCity/UrbanTreeCanopyPlan.pdf 

This was one of 3 service learning projects prepared in the Spring 2011 offering of the innovative and interdisciplinary Land Use & Planning Law course at the University of Louisville.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/land_use/2011/06/service-learning-projects-in-land-use-classes-louisvilles-urban-forestry-example.html

Environmentalism, Local Government, Planning, Smart Growth, Sustainability, Teaching | Permalink

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