URP 544 - Behavior and Environment
Fall 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Urban and Regional Planning (URP)
Department: CAUP Taubman College of Arch + Urban Planning
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3 (Non-LSA credit).
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course deals with two central themes:

  1. First, environmental problems are people's problems. To promote environmental stewardship we must understand how we think, what we care about, what motivates us, and the conditions under which we behave more reasonably.

  2. Second, our behavior closely interacts with the environments we find ourselves in. To understand why we act as we do, it is useful to understand the demands environments place upon, and the opportunities they afford human cognition.

The course explores a model of human nature which includes:

  • How people come to know and understand environments

  • Which types of environments humans prefer

  • How humans cope with non-preferred environments

  • The role that mental fatigue and restoration have in everyday functioning

The course:

  • Presents evidence of the strong connection between human health/well-being and the environment

  • Discusses what human information processing has to say about:

    • Design (e.g., architecture, landscapes, planning, urban settings,institutions)

    • Effective communication (e.g., teaching in general, communicating about the environment)

    • Program implementation (e.g., behavior change in general, promoting environmentally sustainable lifestyles)

  • Explores strategies for better managing our time and choosing settings in which we function more effectively

Students taking the course often have no previous experience in the psychology of human-environment interaction. The course is useful to any field of study dealing with human behavior (e.g., environmental studies; education and communication; health education and behavior; conservation psychology; resource policy, planning, and management; organizational and institutional studies; landscape architecture and urban planning; green and sustainable business)

Class Format:

Learning Mode: As a DC (Distance due to COVID) Lecture, all aspects of the Lecture section (001) will be fully compatible with remote online learning for the Fall 2021 term.*

*Please Note: Discussion sections for this course will be offered as In-Person Only sections.

Instruction Mode: The Lecture section (001) will meet synchronously Remote/Online twice per week. Each Discussion section will meet synchronously In-Person once per week.


URP 544 - Behavior and Environment
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (DIS)
 In Person
Th 1:00PM - 2:00PM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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