Russell Fricano, Associate Professor | Institute Director

Address: 106D Morris Hall
Phone: 507-389-1540


Dr. Russell Fricano, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, brings to URSI over 20 years of professional planning experience and seven years of teaching in higher education. His work has included the training and assessment of urban planning practitioners and students, research and community outreach.  

Dr. Fricano has served as a Section Head for Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning (LADRP), an organization which provides planning services to the nation’s most populous county. He also applies his experience in teaching and training students and planning practitioners. Prior to his position at URSI, Dr. Fricano worked as an instructor in Environmental Planning and Policy, Planning Theory, Urban Economics and Planning Studio at Alabama A&M University. At URSI, he currently teaches Long Range and Strategic Planning, Urban Design, Housing, Transportation Planning, Program Evaluation, Urban Analysis, Community Leadership and Urban Studies Studio.

As a planning educator, Dr. Fricano believes that planning practitioners and students should be well rounded in knowledge, skills and applications.  This has included the “cross-training” and introduction of practitioners in other sections of LADRP to concepts in land use analysis and zoning administration. Dr. Fricano also developed a diagnostic tool similar to Concept Inventories which evaluates planning practitioners’ knowledge of over 30 topics in the urban planning field. Dr. Fricano’s training has also successfully prepared practitioners for the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Exam, the certification exam in the urban planning field.   For students, Dr. Fricano also stresses the interrelationships of various facets of the planning field and an applications approach in his courses. He has developed exercises and capstone projects which provide students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world problems.

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