Masters in Regional Planning Projects

MRP Studio Projects

Below are Master of Regional Planning students' completed studio projects from 1993 to present.

UAlbany MRP students staffed information tables at public events and open houses in Menands in 2018 to inform residents about the Village of Menands Comprehensive Plan.
UAlbany MRP students staffed information tables at public events and open houses in Menands in 2018 to inform residents about the Village of Menands Comprehensive Plan.

Mitigating Vacancy in Arbor Hill & West Hill: An Asset-Based Approach

The Fall 2021 Planning Studio focused on the problem of vacancy in the Arbor Hill and West Hill communities in the City of Albany. In partnership with the Arbor Hill Development Corporation, the studio’s overarching goals included strengthening and expanding our collaborative networks with racially diverse communities to promote racial justice and highlight potential strategies for preventing and mitigating vacancy.  The findings of this document provide a framework for future development which is available through a combination of existing assets and the ability to transform vacant areas.


Delaware County Hazard Mitigation Plan Update: Mitigation and Adaption Opportunities

Like many communities in the United States, Delaware County, NY is committed to reducing the impacts of severe and frequent disaster risks for its residents. Integrating mitigation and adaptation solutions within community planning efforts can reduce exposure to the losses of life and property posed by natural hazards and climate change. The best time to implement mitigation measures is before disaster strikes.

Under the Federal Stafford Act, jurisdictions must update their hazard mitigation plans to maintain eligibility for financial and program assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) serves as the lead state agency responsible for the maintenance and 5-year update of the State Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP).The Delaware County Hazard Mitigation Plan Update is currently being compiled as part of the DHSES four-countyPilot Study Project. The Albany Visualizations and Informatics Laboratory (AVAIL) in the Lewis Mumford Center at the University at Albany has partnered with DHSES for this study.

This planning studio seeks to identify mitigation and adaptation solutions appropriate for supplementing Delaware County’s 2020 Hazard Mitigation Plan Update. FEMA requires that jurisdictions updating their Hazard Mitigation Plans identify how stakeholders were invited to participate in the update process. Stakeholder engagement can include partners in academia.


Reviving Capital District’s Neglected Neighborhoods: An Investigation of Affordable Housing’s Evolving Landscape

Over the course of the Fall semester, the University at Albany Planning Studio class researched the historic perspective on affordable housing, researched urban geography trends, made recommendations on best practices, and even dove deeper into cases of significance. The Planning Studio class was also assisted by undergraduate student Ryan Brown, who provided the team with maps.

We participated in a walking tour of our focus areas with community builders - In Albany; The Sheridan Hollow Neighborhood with the Albany Housing Partnership; The South End Neighborhood with the South End Improvement Corporation and in Troy - The North Central Neighborhood with the Troy Rehabilitation & Improvement Program, Rensselaer County Housing Resources and Troy Architectural Program. Finally, we presented our findings to the communities and received valuable feedback on our project.


Information for Natural Resource Inventory for City of Saratoga Springs, New York

This studio aided the City of Saratoga Springs in the compilation of a Natural Resource Inventory (NRI). An NRI helps to establish conservation priorities and provides a foundation for informed land use planning and decision making. The city's NRI will be used in the update of the Saratoga Springs Open Space Plan. Student material was immediately incorporated into the draft NRI, which was open to public review and comment before production of the final NRI.

Spring Semester 2018


A Village Vision: Village of Menands, New York.

Two Studio classes worked with the Village of Menands over a nine-month period to assist the village in starting the process of producing the first comprehensive plan for the Village. The student initiatives focused on an extensive public engagement process including a community survey, two open houses, stakeholder interviews, establishment of an internet presence, and publicity through several mediums. The two Studios produced eight individual reports and two power point presentations. These efforts created a solid foundation for a Village of Menands Comprehensive Plan.

Fall Semester 2017


City of Cohoes Land Use and Zoning Recommendations

The Studio assisted the City of Cohoes and planning consultants in conducting research and gathering public input to develop a set of land use recommendations and suggested zoning revisions for three areas of expected land use change: the downtown, the waterfront and the Ontario Street / Rt. 47 corridor where Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is anticipated. The Studio work contributed directly to the production of the Cohoes Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted by the City in August 2017.


Beyond Central: A Community Moving Forward

The purpose of the studio was to deliver a set of innovative recommendations to the City of Albany and the Central Avenue Business Improvement District to assist in the revitalization of the Central Avenue corridor in a manner that encourages citizen involvement, social equity, urban livability, and economic stimulus through public and private investment. The study area focused on a one-mile stretch of Central Avenue between Lark Street and Quail Street.


NYS Canal Recreationway Plan: Opportunity Analysis, Public Meetings, Stakeholder Interviews

This Studio project provided the New York State Canal Corporation with a series of recommendations for consideration and incorporation in the update of the New York State Canal Recreationway Plan. Student research and evaluation of common themes, issues and opportunities for the historic NYS Canal System resulted in three reports. A planning initiative on this scale provided students with exposure to numerous issues of state, regional and local importance.

Palenville, NY Greeneways Plan

The students in this planning studio worked to develop an action plan for this historic Greene County hamlet focusing on Economic Development; Transit, Mobility and Parking,; Trail Connections and Green Space; Streetscapes, and Future Visions. The studio proposed reconnecting residents, visitors and businesses with trails, parks, and support facilities in this important gateway to the Catskill Mountains.