City Structure and Planning

Assignment 2—Local Government Structure
Assignment Overview
In order to understand the role of government and public sector planning in the shaping of US cities, it is first
important to have a solid understanding of the structure of local government and political systems in which
public sector planning takes place.
Completing the Essay
Your task for this assignment is to conduct online research to analyze and report the structure of local
government within your hometown. When analyzing the government structure that exists, consider the
following questions: Is there a mayor? If so, how is the mayor elected and what are the powers of the
mayoral office? Is there a city manager or supervisor? If so, how is this person selected for the position, and
what are the powers and responsibilities entrusted to this individual? Is there a city council or other governing
body? If so, how are city council members elected and what are their primary responsibilities? Is there a
planning commission, zoning commission, design review board, etc. and if so, what are the responsibilities of
these commissions and how are members appointed? These are just a few of the questions to consider when
analyzing and determining the government structure that exists in your hometown.
After you have conducted your research, write an essay that details each of the key components that make up
this local government structure in your hometown. In your assessment, also briefly discuss how each level of
government is involved (if at all) in the process of urban planning.
Your written essay should be roughly 1-2 single-spaced pages in length. Essays are due Mon 2/8 by 4:30PM.
Assignments should be submitted electronically as a Word or PDF document under the “Assignments” tab on
Blackboard before the due date and time. After that point, the link will no longer be visible.
NO late essays will be accepted.
All essays should reflect your own individual work. Direct quotes from any outside sources must be cited
properly with page numbers using a consistent citation style throughout and listed in a reference section.
Your essay should be thoroughly proofread for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. Essays
containing excessive proofreading errors will not be accepted for credit.


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