Urban planning, property taxes, and infrastructure: learn the latest approaches to public finance.

This five-day professional credential program provides a thorough foundation in municipal finance with a focus on urban planning and economic development in the United States.

Note: The 2022 Municipal Finance Professional Credential is currently offered in a fully-virtual format. 

Program Overview

This program is created by Harris Public Policy's Center for Municipal Finance in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The program is led by Professor Christopher Berry, Academic Director of the Center for Municipal Finance at Harris Public Policy; Jenna DeAngelo, Associate Director of Local and Regional Fiscal Health at the Lincoln Institute; and Ge Vue, Director of Learning Design, Lincoln Institute. 


The program includes modules on the following topics:

  • Urban Economics and Growth

  • Intergovernmental Fiscal Frameworks, Revenues, Budgeting

  • Capital Budgeting/Accounting and Infrastructure Maintenance

  • Debt/Municipal Securities 

  • Land-Based Finance/Land Value Capture

  • Public-Private Partnerships 

  • Paying for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

  • Social Equity in Municipal Finance

  • Financial Analysis for Land Use and Development Decision Making

For planners maintaining their AICP credentials, this course provides Certification Maintenance (CM) credits from the APA.

Note: While the University appreciates international perspectives in all of our courses, this program is currently limited to municipal finance topics within the United States and does not include any content within an international context. 

Who Should Attend

This course is for professionals with limited or no knowledge of how public finance works in the United States. The goal of this course is not to teach you to be a finance expert, but rather, to help you understand the field of municipal finance so that you can make better informed decisions in your current or future careers. Those with the following experience will be given preference for admission:

  • New to senior-level urban planners who work in both the private and public sectors, as well as individuals in the land development industry at large.

  • Job titles including:

    • Urban Planners 

    • Community and Economic Development Staff

    • Developers and real estate professionals 

    • Real Estate Attorneys

Gain the Skills You Need

As state and local governments rise to meet the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession, many are facing fiscal pressures like never before. Even before this, events in communities like Detroit, Stockton, Flint, and Puerto Rico highlight the severe challenges related to fiscal systems that support public services and the continued stress they face given the shrinking revenue streams facing many local governments.

Whether you want to better understand public-private partnerships, debt and municipal securities, or leading land-based finance strategies to finance infrastructure projects, this program will give you the skills and insights you need as you advance your career in urban planning, real estate, or community development.

“We need to rethink the practices and techniques of contemporary municipal finance to provide government services more efficiently and to manage pressing problems related to the public sector.”

Christopher Berry, Harris Public Policy Professor and Academic Director, Center for Municipal Finance

The Municipal Finance Professional Credential is an ongoing credential program created by the Center for Municipal Finance at Harris Public Policy.

Lincoln InstituteThis course has been developed in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy seeks to improve quality of life through the effective use, taxation, and stewardship of land. A nonprofit private operating foundation whose origins date to 1946, the Lincoln Institute researches and recommends creative approaches to land as a solution to economic, social, and environmental challenges. Through education, training, publications, and events, we integrate theory and practice to inform public policy decisions worldwide.