Geography includes the study of human interaction with both natural ecosystems and the human-built environment. Land use policy and planning is at the nexus of this spatial interaction. In the U.S. over 80% of the population lives in a metropolitan area, and this has a significant impact on environmental and social problems found at local, regional, national, and global scales. In this course we will survey contemporary land use and urban growth issues common in the Bay Area and in other US metropolitan areas. The course will review the land use planning process, and consider the problems of sprawl and the package of “smart growth” solutions currently being promoted. The course covers general plans, zoning, environmental review, and selected topics of relevance to the Bay Area such as housing and open space.