Terence Milstead

Director of Research and Planning, Portfolio Associates, Inc.

Dr. Terence Milstead is currently Director of Research and Planning at Portfolio Associates, Inc. (PAI), a Philadelphia-based private consulting firm that develops research-based civic engagement & communication strategies related to urban development & social policy.  Clients have included Philadelphia International Airport, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the City of Philadelphia Department of Revenue (DOR) and many others.

He received a Masters degree (2005) and a PhD (2008) in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University with a focus on housing and community development.  He was also the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to Lithuania (2006-2007) where he conducted field research on housing issues in the former Soviet Union. 

During his career he has been responsible for coordinating Citizens' Advisory Committees (CACs) to three Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and developing civic engagement strategies across an eight-county coastal region in his native Florida, served as a Community & Economic Development Volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Bulgaria and in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina where he worked on civil society-building, and spent extended periods living and working both in Asia and South America. 

From 2008-2014, he was an Assistant Professor of Community and Regional Planning at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC where he specialized in teaching applied planning studio courses, both in the U.S. and abroad. He has also taught as adjunct faculty at both Temple and Penn State, including courses on International Development, Creative Place-Making and Non-Motorized Transportation Planning.

Courses Taught

Instructor: Terence Milstead
Course Section: 022
Online Day(s): Wednesday
Online Time: 6:00pm-9:00pm
Course Description:

Urban planning and community development involve attempting to understand (and then propose methods for solving) complex problems arising from our shared experience of living together in communities. These wicked problems (Rittel & Weber, 1973) often arise from multiple co-occurring influences; economic, socio-cultural, political, geographic/geological, psychological, etc. The fluid and multi-dimensional nature of these problems, therefore, calls for a fluid and multi-dimensional approach to understanding them. Nonetheless, for the better part of the last half a century the majority of efforts to approach such dilemmas has relied largely on quantitative research methods. While quantitative approaches to understanding community dynamics certainly have a demonstrated value, an over-reliance on such methods can come at the expense of the more nuanced understanding available through qualitative research approaches. Quantitative methods are useful in exploring questions such as where, when, who and how many. They are less effective, however, in answering questions of why and how. For answers to these sorts of questions we must turn to qualitative research methods. This course will introduce students to qualitative research approaches currently used in urban planning/community development, along with methods NOT currently in use, but that hold the potential to yield insights into community dynamics. In addition, this course will teach students how to apply these research techniques in the service of producing a professional-quality outcome, as opposed to producing a purely academic end result. To this end, attention will be given to the process by which these research methods are applied, or would be applied, in the professional consulting world and the language and concepts that would be used in that process and setting. Each student will leave the course with a firm understanding of terms and concepts such as: project scope; sub-deliverable(s); final deliverable(s); benchmarks; Notice to Proceed (NTP); project kick-off; out of scope services, front-end and best practices research; and other related professional concepts/terms.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829