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Social Studies

Create Your Dream City! An Introduction to City, Urban & Regional Planning

This is a fun and hands-on nine-week workshop series, where students will get to learn about the exciting inter-disciplinary field of City, Urban & Regional Planning, by designing and creating maps of their dream city.
Mara Latorre, MURP
21 total reviews for this teacher
3 reviews for this class
Completed by 13 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
60 minutes
per class
Once per week
over 9 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does a "Multi-Day" course work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

Goal: By the end of this multi-part workshop, I want students to not only learn more about the field of Urban and Regional Planning but to be inspired to become positive agents of change within their own communities. More specifically, these are my goals for each session:

-The goal of the Landuse and Zoning class is for students to become familiarized with the general concepts of Zoning, Land Use, and how their localities are segmented into these manners. 
-The goal of the Transportation and Transit class is to introduce students to the topic of transportation and to familiarize them with the different ways in which people, goods, and services go from one location to the other. 
-The goal of the Housing class is to introduce students to the concept of housing, different types of housing, and its importance to the built environment and humanity. 
-The goal of the Master project is for the students to think creatively, spatially, and critically about how city planning impacts the natural and built environment. My goal is that students will also discuss challenges they stumbled upon along the way of designing their city maps. 
Mara Latorre is a hybrid between a visual artist and an Urban Planner. Back in 2011, she received her bachelor's degree in Sociology, with an emphasis in Urban Studies, from the University of South Florida. Mara Latorre had her first exposure to community development programming during her duration with the University Area Community Development Corporation (UACDC), from 2011-2014. During her time with Prodigy Cultural Arts, a youth-based arts enrichment program of the UACDC, she was able to help connect parents and community members to community-based programming offered with the organization, and local partnerships. 

In 2016, Latorre received her Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning, and Certificate of Community Real Estate Development from the University of South Florida. Latorre formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. From 2016-2019, she served as one of the City Planners for the City of Plant City’s Planning & Zoning Division. She also served as a Plant City representative for the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee and served as an appointed City Liaison for Plant City Main Street. 

Other initiatives Mara has worked on was through her coordination of ‘Arts Rise! North Tampa’s Festival of the Arts’ (2013), and a planning committee member for ‘Lights on Tampa’ (2015), East Hillsborough Discovery Quest (2018), A Taste of Laura Street food festival (2018) and has co-founded Plant City’s annual Bike Ride with the Mayor event (since 2017).  Mara also facilitates 'art jams', organic community-based space that helps to connect people through collaborative art projects. Latorre is also the creator behind The Funky Spork, a blogging platform where she teaches others how to cook and prepare delicious & healthy recipes. 

Latorre is currently an ESL educator, where she integrates her background in art and community-based youth education to teach her learners. Nevertheless, she continues to fuse her Visual Art & Planning knowledge and experience to empower and advocate for others within her community. 
As discussed, students will design, create, and present their city maps towards the end of the course. While each of the Planning related topics will be discussed as a class, this particular project will be individually completed. I anticipate that the map will take approximately 3 hours to complete. 
Materials: Since there is art involved in the class, students will need the following supplies: • Drawing Paper- Minimum 11”x14” • Graphite Pencils • Markers, or colored pencils • Ruler • Notepad & pencil for note-taking (optional, but highly recommended!)
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
I will not be grading the students. However, I will issue the students a PDF of the project assignment, and the specifics of what I will be requiring for the city maps. As discussed, I will expect that the students incorporate the following aspects in their maps: 

-Name of city or town
-Total population
-Type of geography
-Types of zoning & land use districts
-Major amenities, like landmarks?
-Modes of transportation

I will review the PDF and discuss this project with them in greater detail during class 4, as they will have attained more knowledge on planning topics by that point. The city maps shall be completed prior to the 9th (final) class, in time for their presentation. 
1 hour per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
During the housing unit, we will discuss homelessness. Although the goal of the class will be to discuss ways in which housing can be provided for all, I want parents to be aware of this particular topic. 

Because of the sensitivity of the nature of the topics that might be addressed by the students, I will be very intentional about placing a trigger waring to both this course description, as well as providing a disclaimer prior to the beginning of each workshop. In order to address the concern of navigating sensitive topics, I will also do the following:

1.	Allow students to privately message me via the zoom chat box if they do not feel comfortable about a topic or would prefer to leave the classroom and wait in the waiting area, during times of triggering conversations. Once we have finished discussing any triggering topic, I will privately message the student and after them the opportunity to re-enter the classroom.
2.	Not only will I serve as the workshop facilitator, but I will also serve as the discussion moderator. If I feel that any topic is getting out of hand, I will immediately address it then, and either end the topic, or safely find ways to reintroduce another topic that will be more inclusive and comfortable to all of the students to discuss.
3.	I will make myself available to any student that may want to individually reach out to me regarding any ideas or thoughts that may have been generated after the workshop. 

I will reference the following sources:

1. For the Love of Cities, by Jane Jacobs
2. The American Planning Association 
3. I will reference actual zoning maps and transit systems used by actual municipalities. 


Mara Latorre, MURP
Lives in the United States
Learning is a creative, inspirational, and fun experience in my classroom!
21 total reviews
37 completed classes

About Me

Hello, my name is Mara, and I have over four years of teaching experience.  Have a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning, and a B.A. in Sociology, with an emphasis in Urban Studies. I have a combined background in Urban Planning and... 
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