Community Health and Food Systems

Niagara Falls.

The profession of urban planning aims to create places where people can lead full, healthy lives. The Community Health and Food Systems specialization at the University at Buffalo prepares students to use planning and built environment policy tools to improve public health and strengthen communities’ food systems ecologically, especially in low-resource settings.

Students have the opportunity to take graduate seminars that frame the many links between urban planning and public health, methodological courses that build students’ skills, and practica that provide an opportunity to students to enrich their learning by preparing sustainable plans on behalf of community clients in local and global settings.   Students in this specialization also have the opportunity to engage with action-based research initiatives across campus through independent study and internships. Faculty in this specialization are engaged in research projects locally, nationally, and globally.  Action research opportunities for students exist through UB’s Community for Global Health Equity and the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab. 

  • Introductory:  URP 605, Built Environment and Health, 3 crd
  • Advanced: URP 604, Food Systems Planning or URP 558, Design for Inclusive Environments, 3 crd
  • URP 581 or URP 582, Planning Practicum, related to specialization, 6 credits
  • Specialization paper, consisting of one of the following, as approved by the specialization director:
    • Masters Project relevant to the specialization
    • Thesis relevant to the specialization
    • Independent study relevant to the specialization

Specialization Director:
Samina Raja, Ph.D.