ENVIRON 408 - Land Use Policy, Law, and the Environment
Fall 2023, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Program in the Environment (ENVIRON)
Department: SNE Program in the Environment
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Junior or senior status.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This undergraduate course is designed to provide students with an overview of the policy and legal implications of land development and use, focusing primarily on the environmental implications of public planning, policy-making, and law at the state and local levels. The course is framed around four general topics, each of which will be addressed specifically to environmental issues: the scientific and moral justifications for undertaking private and public land use management; the state and local institutional structures employed for managing land development and use in the U.S., focusing on planning, infrastructure policy, and regulation; the successes and failures of that state and local land management regime and corresponding efforts to reform it; and the ‘wise-use,’ ‘tea party,’ and other popular back-lash responses to land management reforms.

Students will learn the substance of the topics described. They will also learn to read and brief legal cases related to land use law, to read and interpret local master plans, and to read and interpret local zoning codes.

Course Requirements:

Attendance and participation (15%), 2 1-page legal case briefs (10%), 4 short-answer exercises (20%), midterm exam (20%), planning commission meeting summary report (10%), final exam (25%)

Intended Audience:

This course is intended for undergraduate students who are contemplating careers in urban and regional planning, public policy analysis, environmental management, and law. The course should also be useful for environmental science and engineering students seeking a broad understanding of the issues and institutional approaches we take to managing land development and use in the U.S.


ENVIRON 408 - Land Use Policy, Law, and the Environment
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for ENVIRON 408.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ENVIRON 408 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)