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USP_480_syllb_F10[1] - USP/PLSI 480 INTRODUCTION TO URBAN...

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1 USP/PLSI 480: INTRODUCTION TO URBAN POLICY AND ANALYSIS (4 units) Ashok Das Fall 2010 Tel: (415)-338-3689 Email: [email protected] Office: HSS 136 Office Hours: Tuesdays 4:15-5:30pm or by appointment About the subject ‘Public policy’ commonly refers to decisions made by the government, at various levels and by its various agencies, to guide development and the public realm, in general, in an efficient and equitable manner. Public policy usually manifests itself as laws, rules, and regulations. It is required to address specific problems and issues in society in ways such that the intended benefits are maximized. Tough choices regarding morals, values, ideologies, and politics have to be made in the creation of public policy. While traditionally associated with the public sector, public policy is now also increasingly becoming important to the nonprofit and corporate sectors. ‘Policy analysis’, as the name suggests, involves analyzing public policies with the intention of critically assessing extant policies and continually improving them. This usually requires considering alternative policy measures. Since the 1960s, policy analysis has evolved into a distinct professional field, with its own professional associations, scholarly journals, and degree programs in universities. Policy analysts work for the government, independent think-tanks, nonprofit organizations, multilateral institutions, as well as in private consulting firms. Although all policy analysis is founded on common principles, and policy analysts speak a similar language, nevertheless, one can specialize in analyzing policy in a specific area such as education, public health, the environment, transportation, energy, security, international trade, foreign affairs, etc. In this course, we will focus on understanding and analyzing urban public policy or urban policy – policies impacting developmental, socio-economic, and environmental issues in cities. Major debates in urban public policy address land use, transportation, environmental protection, housing, community development, crime and security, and other such areas that affect the lives of urban residents. Course description This course will familiarize upper division undergraduate students with the common language (framework and tools) and logic of policy analysis, along with special attention to its application to urban policy. It will also help them develop some fundamental analytical skills which they can apply toward more informed decision making. The course covers generic methods of policy analysis as well as discusses challenges of crafting unique policy solutions for local-level urban policy problems at the local level. Course readings will cover certain key urban public policy issues at different levels (local, state, national, and international), and responses to them. The course will enable the student to appreciate
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2 broad similarities but also major distinctions between policy challenges in US cities and
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USP_480_syllb_F10[1] - USP/PLSI 480 INTRODUCTION TO URBAN...

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