The University of Arizona College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture has received unanimous approval to change its name to the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, or CAPLA.
The change was made in order to represent all of the professions housed in the college, and to indicate the planning program’s importance to the strategic future of the college, the University and the state of Arizona.
Originally called the College of Architecture when it was established in 1964, the college has undergone several name changes over the years, representing a long history of evolving programs.
Janice Cervelli, dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, is a strong supporter of the planning program and the role it plays within the college and the three professions.
“The mission of the college is the education of highly skilled interdisciplinary design and planning practitioners,” Cervelli said. “Accordingly, it is fitting to formally recognize the profession of planning in the college name. Highly skilled urban planners are more essential now than ever before, as Arizona and the Southwest U.S. face the challenges of being the second fastest growing region in the nation.”
Planning students and planners in the community have said the new name is an uplifting change and is representative of the college’s commitment to the planning program.
“All of us in the professional planning community, especially those of us who are UA grads, are excited to see planning return first in program and now in the title of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture,” said Arlan M. Colton, graduate of the UA Master of Science in Urban Planning program and current member of the Friends of Planning group.
“This shows the strong commitment of the University to the urban planning profession and the recognition of its importance to our community and our state. Dean Jan Cervelli and the college leadership are to be commended for following through to reunite our three related professions under one roof.”
Colton added: “The professional cross collaboration, the new programs being instituted and the active presence of the college at UA’s downtown campus and thereby working in our communities and neighborhoods will provide opportunities for current and future students that only the most foresighted could imagine.”
Garrett Smith, Master of Science in Planning student and current president of the Graduate Planning Students organization, said the addition of the 'P' to the CAPLA acronym is something for the planning program to be proud of.
“With formal acknowledgment, the planning program here at the University of Arizona takes on an added dimension where the new CAPLA represents a true recognition of the relational bonds established among architecture, landscape architecture and planning, both academically and in the real world,” Smith said. “Ultimately, I believe this formal recognition will lead to greater exposure of the program, which in turn will have a positive effect on past, current and future students alike.”
CAPLA will implement the name change through branding materials and the college website over the upcoming months.
The UA College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture leads the nation in sustainable design and planning for arid regions. CAPLA faculty members work at the forefront of sustainability and regenerative development, specifically alternative energy, water conservation, landscape ecology, climate change adaptation, affordable housing and heritage preservation.
Inspired by a strong passion for place and its people, CAPLA produces practitioners and scholars that champion the importance of regionalism in design and planning. The CAPLA curriculum is highly integrated across the professions of architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning and is delivered within a small, caring and diverse community strongly rooted in practice.
CAPLA alumni are recognized internationally for modern desert architecture, landscape architecture and urban and regional planning and design, comprising what is known as the "Arizona School."