Urban Infrastructure Lab


The Urban Infrastructure Lab recommends several programs, certifications, and courses applicable to the study and practice of infrastructure planning and management. The study of infrastructure is compatible with many disciplines within and outside of the programs in the College of Built Environments. Outside of the College, this includes economics, public policy, information science, and various programs in engineering.

Recommended Programs and Certificates at the University of Washington

Recommended Courses at the University of Washington

URBDP 522 Urban and Regional Geospatial Analysis (5)

Provides theoretical and practical skills for analyzing spatial patterns and phenomena in metropolitan areas. Students explore the functionality of GIS as an effective tool for analyzing and modeling complex spatial relationships within urban environments. Emphasis is given to data integration and modeling through both raster and vector systems.

URBDP 553 Urban Land Economics (4)

Introduces urban economics, land markets, and locational decision making; and examines urban spatial structure and the economic, political, social, technological, and historical forces that shape land values and uses. Uses applied spatial analytical tools including geographic information systems and geodemographic software. Offered: jointly with R E 553; A.

URBDP 561 Urban Economics and Public Policy (4)

Examines the rationale for and consequences of public intervention in urban land, housing, and transportation markets through land use regulations such as zoning and growth management, infrastructure investments, and fiscal policies to manage urban development and traffic. Prerequisite: successful completion of an introductory microeconomics course or permission of the instructor. Offered: jointly with PUBPOL 561.

URBDP 566 Infrastructure and Community Facilities (4)

Issues and methods associated with planning for parks, schools, drainage, sewerage, utilities, libraries, solid waste, and transportation. Covers their relationship to comprehensive plans, project permitting, and impact assessment. Financing, regulating, and relationships to social, environmental, and economic goals are discussed.

URBDP 598 Technologies of the City

This course examines how the technologies that cities depend on have been increasingly digitized, interconnected, and viewed as more than the sum of their parts, as well as the social and political issues and controversies this implies. The emergence and economic endurance of cities depends on their ability to establish and maintain efficient, networked technologies for transport, communication, energy, water, public health, and waste. Since the advent of digital and networking technologies, these infrastructures have been more easily monitored, interconnected, and present in our everyday lives, forming what many call “smart cities.” This course examines the evolving uses of technology in cities, the policies that are meant to ensure the public benefits of their application, and the unintended social, political, and economic consequences of this movement.

URBDP 598 UW Solar

We participate in the planning, design, and development of solar and related electrification (e.g., electric vehicles, charging, energy storage) projects and information systems on campus, and advise public organizations off-campus (e.g., other colleges, schools, and large public organizations) in this subject matter. UW-Solar is a registered student organization (RSO) at the University of Washington, Seattle, and a course offered for credit in the Department of Urban Design and Planning of the College of Built Environments (URBDP 498/598) and the College of Engineering (ENGR 297/497).

URBDP 578 Real Estate Development (4)

Introduction and survey of processes and people involved in developing real estate, including issues of site control, public/private approvals, feasibility analysis, project financing, design/construction, marketing, and asset management. Prerequisite: R E 552/URBDP 552. Offered: jointly with R E 550.

ATM S 587 Fundamentals of Climate Change (3)

Examines Earth’s climate system; distribution of temperature, precipitation, wind ice, salinity, and ocean currents; fundamental processes determining Earth’s climate; energy and constituent transport mechanisms; climate sensitivity; natural climate variability on interannual to decadal time scales; global climate models; predicting future climate. Offered: jointly with ESS 587/OCEAN 587.

ATM S 588 The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate (3)

Oceanic and terrestrial biogeochemical processes controlling atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Records of past changes in the earth’s carbon cycle from geological, oceanographic, and terrestrial archives. Anthropogenic perturbations to cycles. Develop simple box models, discuss results of complex models. Offered: jointly with ESS 588/OCEAN 588; W.

URBDP 549: Hazards Mitigation

This course surveys the field of planning for managing risks of natural hazards — earthquakes, floods, coastal/meteorological hazards and human-caused technological hazards and terrorism. It covers pre-event mitigation through building and land-use controls; disaster preparedness; post-event response, recovery and mitigation of future hazards. The curriculum emphasizes hazard mitigation as a long-term strategy for achieving community resilience.

CEE 429 Sustainability in Building Infrastructure (3)

Provides an overview of how to plan, design, construct, and manage high performance building infrastructures. Topics include integrated project delivery, green building rating systems, green building design codes and energy standards, measurement and verification of building performance, and retrofitting existing building through building energy audit. Prerequisite: CEE 307. Offered: A.

CESI 504 Buildings, LEED, and Energy Use (3)

Overview on how to plan, design, construct and manage high performance building infrastructures. Topics include integrated project delivery, green building rating systems, building energy modeling, indoor environmental qualities, and green building economics. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing Offered: S.

CESI 588 Energy Infrastructure and the Environment (3)

Focuses on energy infrastructure, including site selection, permitting, design, construction, and maintenance. Includes electrical production facilities as well as transmission, focusing on permitting and construction of renewable energy facilities. Covers renewable energy infrastructure, emphasizing wind, solar, and geothermal. Offered: A.

CET 565 Climate Change and Energy (5)

Covers the nature of global climate systems, global warming, ozone depletion, and human influences. Introduces tools to evaluate current and alternative energy production and conversion options for transportation. Explores the nexus between transportation and energy in the context of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Offered: W.

IPM 510: Water Systems

This course emphasizes water as a systems element and how the supply of water is dynamic. Explore how water, especially fresh water, is a chemically unique and limited resource. Students learn about these special properties, how distribution of water is changing as our climate changes and what the consequences are of these changes. Gain insight into intergovernmental policy, programs and relationships and their effect on water and water supply, as well as how to apply risk management and risk reduction techniques to water problems.

IPM 512: Public Health Systems

This course focuses on the intersection of private and public health systems that are most relevant for coping with critical events. The course looks at the history of public health, the underlying science of epidemiology as a driver of public health decision making, and examines the distinct cultures of private health care, public health and emergency services with emphasis on the interrelation and existing communication channels between the sectors and how they coordinate in times of emergency. Government funding and issues of balancing ongoing public health needs against emergency preparedness is covered as well as how the public health system might adapt for future climate induced scenarios.

IPM 509: Communications & Cyber Infrastructure Systems

The networking of control systems for critical infrastructures – such as the power grid, gas and electric pipelines, and water systems – has had unintended consequences. The enormous potential for disruption of these networks poses a major threat to our society. This course covers the complexities and subtleties of telecommunication and computer infrastructures and their interrelationship with other critical infrastructures. It also examines these systems’ vulnerabilities to environmental damage, hackers and terrorists. Explore ways to maintain confidentiality, integrity and availability of data both before and after disasters strike.

IPM 506: Energy Systems

This course explores the supply and delivery of carbon-based fuels, including petroleum, natural gas and coal balanced with content that explores the benefits of renewable energy sources. Examine energy resources, the generation and delivery of energy to meet demand, and emerging federal and global policies on climate change and their potential impacts on energy demands and supply. The course also reviews the history of energy regulation, exploring its influence on utility business practices. Students will gain a better understanding of the complex societal challenges that produces safe and reliable energy infrastructure and the need to adapt to changing energy markets.