GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2010

05101: History and Theory of Urban Planning and Design (SES 0510100)

Urban Planning and Design
Lecture - 4 credits
Monday Wednesday 11:30 - 1:00   Gund 111

Course Tools for this course (Canvas)

Susan Fainstein

Course Description

This course uses historical and analytical readings and case studies to address several major theoretical questions concerning the aims and outcomes of urban interventions. The overall theme is the relationship between conscious public policy and the economic, social, and political framework in which it operates and which it affects. To what extent are planning, design, and policy simply the resultant of social forces and to what degree do they shape those forces? Where do planners and policy makers derive their goals; what is the relationship between the goal-setting process, the quality of policy, and the character of cities and regions; what are the values that should govern practice; how can the planner enhance his or her control over social outputs, and, in turn, by what mechanisms should the public control him or her? Who benefits from urban and regional planning? What is the relationship between race and gender and urban outcomes? Topics include the history of urban planning and its relationship with the history of urban development; a comparison of American, European, and developing country examples of urban interventions; modernism and post-modernism; Fordism and post-Fordism; development theory; cities and social inequality. The course will be a mix of lecture and discussion. Written work consists of two papers. The course relies on a combination of paperback books and readings posted on the intranet classroom page for this course.