All Academic Programs

Risk and Resilience

Cities around the world face unpredictable challenges (natural disasters, long-term environmental change, public health crises, extreme social inequity, and violence) in increasing intensity. Despite these risks, cities and their residents are often forced to rely on short-term planning and post-hoc fixes. Risk and Resilience, a concentration area within the Master in Design Studies, sets out to develop an anticipatory approach to spatial planning, providing communities with tools to effectively prepare for, cope with, and manage rapid change and the spatial, social and economic vulnerabilities it produces. The program equips students with the critical and intellectual skills to define new, preemptive forms of practice. Grounded in the physical, students work with populations and sites that are prone to socio-political conflict and environmental change. 

This post-professional program is widely trans-disciplinary, working across Urban Planning and Design, Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Public Policy and Public Health. Students construct their own program of study from course offerings at the GSD as well as from the Harvard Kennedy School, the School of Public Health, Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Harvard Humanitarian Institute or other departments in the University.

Please visit the Risk and Resilience website

Area Coordinators
Diane Davis, Professor of Urbanism and Development
Rosetta Elkin, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
Joyce Klein Rosenthal, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning

Douglas Ahlers, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Diane Davis, Professor of Urbanism and Development
Jill Desimini, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
Rosetta Elkin, 2012-2013 Daniel Urban Kiley Fellow and Lecturer in Landscape Architecture
Ann Forsyth, Professor of Urban Planning
Michael Hooper, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning
Jerold Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design
Niall Kirkwood, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Technology
Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design
Joyce Rosenthal, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning
David Sanderson, Visiting Professor of Urban Planning
John Spengler, Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation 
Delia Wendel, Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design


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