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Cal Poly SLO City and Regional Planning Department Marks its 50th Anniversary

By Ray Hashimoto, AICP

The Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo was established in the fall of 1968. The first home for the CRP Department classes and labs was Engineering West-Second floor, prime real estate on the Cal Poly campus nestled in among the School of Architecture, Business School and Engineering School buildings. This location is telling as it reflects how city planners must bridge the gap between many disciplines not only in the design world but also the business world outside academia. After a series of relocations on campus over the 50 years, CRP now resides back in Engineering West as it was in the beginning and still fostering the relationship between the built environment and business.

The first graduating class was comprised of 20 students, 18 men and 2 women; six faculty members supported the first CRP students. In comparison, there are now 39 undergrad students in this year’s graduating class as well as 22 masters candidates. 29 female students and 32 male students which seem to mirror the rise of women in the profession of city and regional planning. Currently, the department’s staff and faculty has grown to 15. The City and Regional Planning Department has over 1,500 alumni that are practicing land use planning in the public and private sectors throughout California and the rest of the country.

Of course, the Cal Poly mantra “Learn by Doing” is very prevalent in the CRP curriculum. Urban design studio work, preparation of Master/Specific Plans, General Plans, Transportation and Sustainability and CEQA studies have always been front and center piece with this program. The City and Regional program consistently ranks near the top of planning programs nationally ever year. As a member of the Advisory Council for the CRP Department and a proud member of the class of 1981, I would like to invite all alums of our program to take part in the 50th Anniversary Celebration that will be held in San Luis Obispo/Cal Poly Campus on April 27th and 28th 2018. Please visit the CRP Department website at for further information on scheduled events, sponsorships and networking opportunities.

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