Workshop Series: Urban Planning and Policy Making

Collaborative Techniques for Urban Planning and Policy Making with Dr. Susanne Cowan, Post-Doctorate Fellow at Washington University

9am-1pm Oct 26, Nov 9, Dec 14 (2nd Saturdays)

Single Workshop (Full Tuition)


Single Workshop (Low-Income/Student Tuition)


Series of 3 workshops (Full Tuition)


Single Workshop (Low-Income/Student Tuition)


RSVP by writing to 

Poster PDF for Workshop


Part 1: Facilitating Collaborative Decision Making

This workshop will focus on techniques of meeting management to allow for more open collaboration and brain storming between diverse actors and interests. This class will establish basic techniques that can be used in facilitating many formats of meetings for neighborhood groups, non-profits, and public forums.

Part 2: Techniques for Interest Based Negotiation

This workshop will focus on techniques for negotiating collaborative decisions on challenging policy conflicts. While the class will focus on how to apply these techniques for urban issues, these skills are transferable to many forms of negotiation including personal, professional, and political conflicts.

Part 3: Applying Collaborative Techniques to Urban Problem Solving

This workshop will explore more advanced skills and issues in collaborative urban policymaking. In particular it will question when it is appropriate to use collaboration, who needs to participate, and how to structure the process. A negotiation role play exercise will be followed by an in-depth discussion of the opportunities and challenges of applying these strategies to local urban problems, drawing on the group’s collective experiences here in St. Louis. (Prerequisite: Part 1 or 2)

Dr. Susanne Cowan 

Dr. Susanne Cowan is a Post-Doctorate Fellow in the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University where she teaches courses in urban history and architectural theory. Susanne received a B.S. in Landscape Architecture and a Ph.D. in the History of Architecture and Urbanism from University of California, Berkley. Her dissertation Democracy, Technocracy and Publicity highlighted the failed attempts of British planners to implement public participation and consultation for urban redevelopment in the 1940s. Her recent documentary, Design as a Social Act, co-directed with Ayda Melika, examines the way architects in the 1960s adopted social research and participatory design methods in response to the social upheaval of the Civil Rights era and the failures of urban renewal.

Susanne received training as a Facilitator from David Booher at the Center for Collaborative Policy at Sacramento State University. There she volunteered to help facilitate pull-out groups at a public forum for the National Forest Service. She also contracted with Keystone Center to assist with facilitation of public discussion of the H1N1 vaccine for the Centers for Disease Control. Susanne has taken several courses in participatory planning at U.C. Berkeley with Judith Innes, Randy Hester, and Marcia McNally. During that time she volunteered as a public outreach consultant for the City of Berkeley, helping them conduct a public survey on park maintenance issues and create materials for a public outreach campaign. Susanne has been a guest lecturer teaching facilitation and negotiation skills in several urban planning courses at U.C. Berkeley and Washington University. She looks forward to sharing these skills with other urbanists in St. Louis, and having a discussion about the opportunities and constraints of using these methods to address urban problems.

Comments are closed.