Planetizen has just published its 2007 Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs, ranking the top 25 schools in the U.S. and Canada. (The top 25, both overall and by reputation alone, were all in the U.S.). My school did well enough -- number 9 overall on a list populated by Berkeley, MIT, and some Ivies -- but the results are definitely skewed towards the coasts, with a few outliers in the Great Lakes, Ohio, and the western coast of Florida. It's a bit sad that our major universities aren't better-distributed across the country. I think our fixation on Ivies (and maybe the top California schools?) has created a brain drain on parts of the U.S. that desperately need that intelligence. Moreover, cities in the inner South and New West (Phoenix, et al) are only going to move further towards complete privatization and increasingly piss-poor social services unless someone steps in and gets people thinking about public planning, civic engagement, and issues that are more important than just protecting property values and shutting down adult bookstores. I realize that the deck is stacked against universities that don't already have built-in "reputations" -- and many of those less-famous universities are in those critical geographical areas, e.g. Nevada. But with Nevada's population growing tremendously, what can it do to retain bright students and put a school like UNLV on the map for more than just sports? Because the image above troubles me.