Regional Growth and Regional Governance:
The Development of Urban Regions in the US and Germany

Case Studies in Housing
City and Regional Planning 815 (4 credit hours)
and Independent Study CRP 793 (2 credit hours)
International Studies 697 (6 credit hours)

Hazel A. Morrow-Jones
Ohio State University
City and Regional Planning
Knowlton School of Architecture

Columbus, Ohio, USA

Spring 1999
More Columbus-Dresden syllabi

Introduction and Overview | Course Topic
Books | Class Meetings | Grading and Group Projects | Trip Notes

  • Hazel A. Morrow-Jones (Ohio State University)
    Professor Dale Bertsch, Planning Division of the City of Columbus

  • Bernhard Müller (Technical University, Dresden)
  • Olaf Schmidt (Technical University, Dresden)
  • Planning Department of City of Dresden
  • and many others
Course Home Page:

Introduction and Overview
Professor Bernhard Müller, at the Technical University in Dresden (TUD) and Professor Hazel Morrow-Jones at the Ohio State University (OSU) teach joint seminars on Regional Growth and Regional Governance in Germany and the US during the spring term of 1999. The classes include reading, field work and cooperative work with professional planners in both countries.

The OSU course, taught by Professor Morrow-Jones, is a seminar/discussion class with a small number of students (we aim for approximately 12 students in each country). We make use of guest speakers and other faculty members from both countries as much as possible. Students will work in small groups on papers and in different small groups on field projects. Each group will contain students from both countries. We will work jointly with the German class during the spring quarter via electronic-mail, fax, the world wide web and video conferencing. We hope to make the video conferencing available for small group and individual use as well as classroom use. At the end of the quarter we plan to have all of the OSU students go to Dresden for two weeks to complete the group projects and do one of the field analyses (the German class will still be in session at that time). I will offer Seminar in Housing (CRP 816) during the second term of summer quarter and the German students will join us in Columbus for the last two weeks of that class in order to undertake field work in Columbus.

We encourage a broad interdisciplinary mix of students and welcome participation from those with many different backgrounds. For students at OSU, the only requirements are graduate standing or permission of the instructor, the ability to go to Dresden for at least two or three weeks after spring quarter finals, and availability to help with the visit of the TUD students in August of 1999. Knowledge of German is not be required - readings will be in English and our colleagues in Dresden will be able to work with us in English. Previous classes in planning or in housing studies are not be required. If more students want to take the joint seminar than space permits, selection will be made on the basis of the formal requirements, followed by the student's background and ability to contribute to the class (including enthusiasm for the topic). We are searching for funds to help defray student expenses, but students will probably have to pay for at least the airfare. In the summer of 1998, students from OSU visited Dresden for two weeks for the cost of airfare and incidentals. We were able to cover room (in a youth hostel), most meals, ground transportation and most admission fees.

Course Topic
This year’s Dresden exchange seminar will focus on the broad topic of Regional Growth and Regional Governance. The idea is to study problems that cannot be handled by individual local jurisdictions, or are not being handled by local jurisdictions in one or both countries (e.g., pollution, traffic congestion, open space provision, fair housing, and so on).

These regional problems are often viewed as examples of issues that should have regional solutions. Germany has a regional level of planning regulation. The U.S. does not. However, the lack of a standardized approach in the U.S. means that many more experiments are being tried around the country. We want to explore the efficacy of the German system and of these different U.S. experiments in handling regional problems. Examples of some of the regional solutions we will examine include: urban growth boundaries; “smart growth”; regional taxation schemes (e.g., revenue sharing); and regional land use legislation, including American zoning and German regional planning.

We have the unusual opportunity of working electronically with a seminar at the Technical University of Dresden (TUD) during the quarter and then completing our work in the field by visiting Dresden in June and hosting our German colleagues in Columbus in late August. The class will be conducted in English or, when German is necessary, with a translator.

During the first ten weeks (before we travel to Germany) students will read extensively, work with their groups to define their topics and base information and write background papers on those topics for their own country.

The course is international in scope and experimental in nature. Consequently we need to be as flexible as possible to take advantage of opportunities or to work around problems as they arise. This syllabus describes my best estimate of our situation. Please feel free to suggest changes or other ways of doing things.


Timothy Beatley and Kristy Manning. 1997. The Ecology of Place. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Tom Daniels, 1999. When City and Country Collide: Managing Growth in the Metropolitan Fringe. Island Press, Washington, D.C.

Douglas R. Porter. 1997. Managing Growth in America’s Communities. Island Press, Washington, DC.

David Rusk. 1999. Inside Game Outside Game: Winning Strategies for Saving Urban America. The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC.

We will read a great deal of other material, but it will mainly be from the shelves of our conference/reference room. Anything can be copied, but I would prefer that things not leave that room except to be photocopied and returned. That will help protect the resources for other students in this class and for future classes.

Class Meetings
The class will meet at least once a week during Spring Quarter. We are scheduled to meet in Brown Hall 270 on 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. I want to change our meeting location to Brown Hall 271. We may need to discuss changing the time or meeting at a different time each week to accommodate all class members.

At least once during the quarter, I would like to have a social gathering at my home and we may also decide to have some class meetings there. Last year, we discovered that one-day a week wasn’t really enough time for the discussions and material we wanted to cover. Class meetings will usually involve discussion and short presentations from class members. The discussions will focus on readings, questions, and concerns from class members in either country.

I plan to begin our work by discussing and reading about the kinds of problems that might need regional solutions, and then linking those problems to regional growth (whether that growth is positive or negative, i.e. decline). We will then look at solutions to problems in the American context.

During the quarter we will also try to prepare everyone as much as possible for the trip to Dresden. Consequently, class time will also be spent discussing readings on Germany and the German planning system, as well as familiarizing everyone with Dresden and its surroundings.

Grading and Group Projects
Each class member will be part of a cross-national team for a group project. Depending on the size of the two classes there may be more than one member of each class in each group.

During the first ten weeks (before we travel to Germany) students will read extensively, work with their groups to write background papers, and undertake a variety of small assignments. Some of those assignments will require that the American students get information from their German colleagues and vice versa.

We expect to have each group focus on one of six topics. All of these topics will need to be more narrowly defined by the group. I am in touch with Professor Mueller to finalize the list, but at the moment it contains:

1. Transportation
2. Housing (residential development, redevelopment, social issues)
3. Industrial development
4. Commercial development
5. Infrastructure (other than transportation) provision -- water/sewer, storm water, etc.
6. Open Space provision – protection and recreation

For each question you and your German counterparts will have to narrow the focus of the question and decide what you will concentrate on for each county.

Grades for the course will be based on the following assignments:

35%  Group Project
10%  Posters
15%  Individual Journal
40%  Participation

Group Projects
During the ten-week seminar you will write a background paper on the U.S. and your German colleagues will write one on Germany.

We will explore as many of the salient regional strategies as possible, including (but not limited to) growth boundaries, fair share housing provisions, revenue sharing, land use planning, transportation financing, and so on.

In each of these topics the groups will address questions about the need (if any) for regional action, the kinds of regional action needed, the pros and cons of regional action, and proposals for action within the constraints of the two national systems.

The due date for your first draft is: May 11, 1999. I will return them to you by May 18 and you will rewrite them by June 1. Each paper must be presented in both hard copy and electronic form. On June 1, you will e-mail the papers to Germany, sending by email a copy to me as well.

The draft of the final paper from each group will be due on Oct. 15, 1999. This paper will use the original two background papers (one from the U.S. and one from Germany) as the base, but will continue the discussion, examining various possible solutions to the problems and issues you identified as well as discussing their positive and negative points. The due date for the final rewrite will be no later than Nov. 15, 1999.

Everyone will be assigned an incomplete until these papers are turned in and rewritten if requested.


Posters | Participation/Contribution | Journals | Notes

After spring quarter is over, we will travel to Dresden for two weeks of intensive fieldwork. The fieldwork may involve visiting developments; interviewing planning officials, developers, etc.; collecting data; doing survey work; . . . and lots of other things. Unless you have specifically arranged it with me, I expect you to make the trip with us, and for those two weeks, to remain with the group, undertaking all of the activities that our hosts plan for us. In Dresden we will work and travel together as a class (in 1998 we visited Berlin, Leipzig, the Saxon Switzerland, the Czech Republic and many places in and around Dresden). Students will also work with their German colleagues on small group focused field projects, which will culminate in poster presentations.

In the second half of August the TUD students will come to Columbus for fieldwork here. I hope that everyone will be able and willing to participate actively for the two weeks they will be here. If you are working try to arrange your schedules so that you will have time to attend our events (all day every day for two weeks). I will offer CRP 816 in the second term of summer quarter so that you can get course credit for strong participation with the German students’ visit.

When the German students visit Columbus we will undertake a similar schedule including the small group field projects and poster presentations. In 1998 the Columbus schedule for the German visit included: a weekend in Cleveland, a hard hat tour of COSI's new site, several neighborhood tours, lunch on the 34th floor of the Huntington Tower, a visit to the Longaberger Basket Company Headquarters, lunch at the Kahiki, talks from the Columbus Auditor and Columbus Planners, a tour of the Darby Creek and many other activities. The local poster projects in central Ohio examined Campus Partners' plans, the Morse-Bethel Connector, residential development near a landfill in Delaware County, Gahanna's plans for riverfront development, and the problems of inner suburban areas.

For background information on Columbus and Dresden, see:
Americanization of German Cities: Case Studies in Housing (1998)

During the two weeks we are in Dresden and the two weeks the German students are in Columbus you will work in small groups (probably different people from the main group project above) to study a specific problem at a specific site in each city. The outcome of this study will be two posters, one presented at the end of the two weeks in Dresden on the German study and one presented at the end of the two weeks in Columbus on a local study.

This is a difficult area to define, but it is crucial to the whole class’s experience. I expect this class to be a major focus of your effort for the term. That means, among other things, being prepared, attending class (and other activities that we schedule), participating constructively in class discussions, volunteering for tasks that will need to be done during the quarter, being flexible, helping out wherever help is needed, and so on. The jobs that need done during the quarter will cover a range of skills and will also range from large to very small, so there should be plenty for everyone to volunteer for.

Ideally, everyone in class will attend all sessions, will travel to Dresden with us and will be available in August to work with the Dresden students when they come here. The final aspects of the group projects cannot be completed until the Columbus field portion of the class is done – and that will happen in August.

Some examples of the kinds of tasks we’ll need to get done over the course of the seminar include:

  • Scanning photos and maps and putting them up on the web site,
  • Writing a brief biography of yourself and adding a picture so we can put those on the web site,
  • Continuing upgrades and maintenance on the web site,
  • Preparing our classroom for use and moving materials into it,
  • Sorting and cataloguing those materials,
  • Acting as librarian of the materials,
  • Helping with logistics for the Dresden students’ visit to Columbus in the fall
  • ,
  • Keeping especially good notes on what does and doesn’t work as far as course logistics, the technology, the approach – these will go in your journal (see below),
  • Volunteering for small errands, short reports, additional information-gathering or other tasks.

Keep track of what contributions you have made (I may not realize all the things you’ve done or forget in the rush of other things going on), and include the list as a separate page with your journal when you turn it in.

Individual Journals
Everyone in class will keep a journal. The document may include text, photos, drawings, and materials you pick up on trips and so on. I suggest that you keep the journal very honestly and completely for yourself, and then edit it if you feel the need for more privacy before you hand it in. At different times in the quarter I will give you lists of questions I’d like you to think about and answer in your journal – this may be especially useful for the video conferencing events. I am trying to do several things with this assignment:

  1. Help you create a record of your experiences in class and on the trips so you can remember all the parts. Finding time to write may be difficult during the time in Dresden, but you should make every effort anyway – maybe a small tape recorder would help. These are the things you will most want to remember.

  2. Increase the amount of information I glean from the class – every one of you will learn things that I don’t during the term and this will give me a chance to pick up on those things too.

  3. Improve the class the next time it is offered. Keep a record of things that worked or didn’t work, ideas you have to improve things, readings or videos you come across, etc.

  4. Do some research on the value of video conferencing and electronic communications in distance learning efforts. That’s why I will give you questions to answer about those experiences.

The journals will be due Sept. 27, 1999.

Important Notes

  1. To take this class, please sign up for six (6) hours of International Studies 697 (10362-7). When grades are assigned this will change to four (4) hours of CRP 815 and two (2) hours of CRP independent study. Grace Johnson is our international studies coordinator; her e-mail is:; or phone: 292-6101.

  2. Before we go to Germany I will ask everyone to meet with me individually. Please be sure to let me know about any special aspects of your situation of which I need to be aware. For example, I need to know about chronic conditions like diabetes, fear of heights, claustrophobia, etc., in order to help arrange things so you can cope.

    If you have specific tools that you need, like contact lenses or hearing aids (even rubber bands for your braces), I need to know in case of emergencies. In general, I need to be aware of any special circumstances in order to make sure things go as smoothly and safely as possible.

  3. Check your final exam schedule now. Then get your travel plans made as early as possible. You must be in Dresden and ready to start by 8 a.m. on Monday, June 14, 1999. I suggest you get there earlier if at all possible.

    We will need to know your travel plans early enough to get room reservations arranged. Everyone will need a passport. If you are not an American citizen, you may need visas – be prepared to go to Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic at least.

  4. Pay close attention all through the quarter for announcements, changes and information on what to take along and a myriad of other things. Try to stay pretty flexible and prepared to roll with the punches.

Syllabus prepared for the H-Urban Syllabus Archive 3 January 2003;
updated 14 October 2004.