International Comparative Urban Planning "Studio"
2008 Heiskell Award Honorable Mention: Study Abroad
Nomination submitted by: Naraj Verma, Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning
The Urban and Regional Planning Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo created the International Comparative Urban Planning Studio to provide students with the global skills imperative to their future careers and address the limited participation in study abroad by its Masters-level students.
Students who participated in the Studio visited the University of Stuttgart in Germany for two weeks during the summer, then returned and spent two weeks with their German counterparts who were studying in Buffalo. Part of the program’s success resulted from partnerships formed with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the University of Stuttgart, the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo, and the Green and Growing Group, which gave the studio feedback on its efforts to plan for a greener and healthier Buffalo-Niagara region.
Especially exemplary is the way the International Comparative Urban Planning Studio was designed to cater directly to the needs of the Urban Planning Masters students. “This new studio identifies and removes institutional barriers that are present with regular study abroad programs,” says Satish K. Tripathi, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. The comparative nature of the project, for example, allows for students to obtain substantive international experience with a relatively short amount of time spent overseas. This enables students to work during the summer and reduces their anxiety over foregone wages.