UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Community Planning

Prospective students: As of fall 2013, CAFES is no longer accepting new students to the Community Planning major.

Community Planning (sometime referred to as "urban" or "city" planning) is the profession that concerns itself with the design and functioning of communities, including cities and their suburbs, small towns and rural villages.

What Do Planners Do?

  • Work to create communities with a "sense of place" that people feel connected to, and build economic stability while minimizing the negative impacts on the natural environment.

  • Focus on the future of the community. They employ a comprehensive approach to identifying a community's goals and vision, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and propose plans and solutions that help all members of the community.

  • Given that communities are complex places, planners learn to understand the environment, the economy, law and politics, transportation and energy systems, urban design, public finance, social needs and issues, and physical facilities such as buildings and infrastructure.

Our Program

The Community Planning program will prepare you for employment in city or county government, private consulting, nonprofit advocacy, natural resources management, and real estate development. It is also excellent preparation for studying planning at the graduate level. While we offer a broad, comprehensive curriculum, we are particularly strong in the areas of environmental and sustainability planning.

Given our reasonable proximity to the Twin Cities and our focus on experiential learning, we are able to utilize place-based learning to help students understand firsthand the challenges faced at the rural-urban fringe of a growing metropolitan region. 

Why Major in Community Planning?

Students major in Community Planning for a variety of reasons. Usually they have an interest in:

  • Protecting the environment and encouraging more sustainable lifestyles, business practices, and local development.
  • Designing great places that improve peoples' lives and make them proud of their community.
  • Ensuring housing is affordable and that a variety of choices are available for people at all socio-economic levels.
  • Improving and stabilizing the local job market and ensuring that the goods and services needed are readily available to all.
  • Engaging residents of a community in local decision-making concerning the optimal future conditions of the community.

Plant and Earth Science
324 Agricultural Science - 611 S. 3rd St.
Mail: 410 S. 3rd St., River Falls, WI 54022
715-425-3345 | pes@uwrf.edu