Geography and Planning

Why Geography? Why Planning?

Intervention in an urban neighborhood, a degraded wetlands, or any of the other tissues of the living landscape requires courage. To heal places, landscape architects and ecological planners must not only have the knowledge and skill to make reasonable diagnoses and to prescribe sound actions, but also the courage to take on difficult challenges.
- Ian McHarg (1998), father of Environmental Planning in U.S.


Geography is about understanding people and the environment, space, place, and patterns--and understanding processes over space and time. It is the most international area of study and the original "global study." Geographers study where phenomena are located, how they got there, where they are going in the future, and why.

The Geography major at GVSU is very research-oriented and provides the student with the hard skills and content knowledge necessary to get a well-paying and rewarding job with the B.S. degree. Our majors are very competitive for admission to graduate school and have a competitive edge for paid graduate research assistantships.

Urban Planning combines skills and content from geography and other physical and social sciences to develop policies and land use designs that help communities manage the built and natural environment.

Our planning courses explore "best practices" around the world in transportation infrastructure, main street revitalization, watershed protection, fair housing opportunities and more.

We welcome you to our program and invite you to come and visit

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Page last modified March 11, 2014