Alternate Route


Winter 2015 quarter

Taught by

urban planning
political science

Far more than simply a means of getting somewhere, our roads, trails and paths have significance beyond their everyday utility. From historic trading linkages to the design patterns of a city’s master plan, some routes achieve a permanence we appreciate today while others are eliminated or redirected altogether. We will consider historic and contemporary roads and trails in the U.S. and abroad, from ancient pilgrimage routes in Europe to scenic byways in the U.S. - or today’s planning goals to create “complete streets” (bicycles, cars and pedestrians). How do these routes affect us as human beings, and how do they shape cities and other landscapes?

A wide variety of material will address larger theoretical concepts about the role of the street in urban, suburban and rural contexts as well as how roads, paths, and trails are planned and paid for in practice today. Moreover, we will explore formal and less formal arrangements of connecting places (e.g., neighborhood paths, rails-to-trails, and easements). This program theme will be approached from the disciplines of urban planning, political science, and history through readings, lectures, workshops and field trips. Student learning will be achieved through the close examination of texts, papers, explorations in the field, and group work.

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

land use planning, transportation policy, and local government.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

More information about online learning.


Date Revision
March 19th, 2014 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Winter)

Class standing: Junior–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 50


Course Reference Numbers

Jr (16 credits): 20150
Sr (16 credits): 20151

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