Western Washington University Urban Planning & Sustainable Development Program Updates

The UPSD program is happy to introduce our newest faculty member, and give updates on our accreditation progress, a recent student project award and scholarship recipient, and insights from our student planning club.

James Miller, a Kanaka Maoli scholar, architect, and urbanist with a joint appointment in Canadian-American Studies and Salish Sea Studies, joined our program this fall. Dr. Miller runs a design lab, ’Ike Honua', centering Indigenous knowledge in building resilient communities through architectural and planning frameworks. 

The UPSD program hosted a Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) Site Visit Team in February, for our second round of accreditation. We are waiting to hear the PAB’s final decision on accreditation at their November meeting. 

The Planning Association of Washington awarded the Student Project Award to the UPSD program’s year-long studio project with the City of Ferndale. The City Center Project, supported by WWU’s Sustainable Communities Partnership, resulted in updated architectural and design standards and at least three new mixed-use development proposals in the downtown. Here are links to the Design Concepts report, Implementation report, and the Design Guidelines.

The NW Section of the APA awarded a $500 grant to UPSD senior Zinta Lucans at their October 20, 2020 Zoom meeting.

And finally, a word from the Western Urban Planners Club: COVID-19 has created some unexpected barriers within the educational system including how clubs meet. To address this challenge, our club has created an online meeting place using Microsoft Teams! In teams, the UPSD community can meet, share ideas, and talk about planning and related fields. Some channels under the team’s platform include: Class Confusion, Disaster Devotion, Event Excursion, and more. We plan to bring in speakers and have meetings on this online channel to continue building community and sharing resources.