GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2012
This term's information was last refreshed on 12 MAY 2015 14:54:06.
Courses taught by Neil Brenner
04115: History and Theory of Urban Interventions (HIS 0411500)
Urban Planning and Design
Lecture - 4 credits
Monday Wednesday 11:30 - 1:00 Gund 111
This class provides a high-intensity introduction the history and theory of urban planning practice under modern capitalism. Building upon an interdisciplinary literature drawn from planning theory and history as well as urban social science (geography, sociology, political science, history), we explore the emergence, development and continual transformation of urban planning in relation to changing configurations of capitalist urbanization, modern state power and sociopolitical struggle. We also explore (a) the changing sites and targets of planning intervention, from the neighborhood, city and regional scales to those of the metropolis, national economy and beyond, and (b) the evolution of political and institutional struggles regarding its instruments, goals and constituencies. The course is organized in three main parts.
- Part One surveys several key intellectual perspectives on the nature of planning in modern capitalist social formations. Key questions include: What is planning, and how and why does it emerge? How are planning practices and visions linked to broader structures of economic and political life, including formations of social power? How are the sites and targets of planning constructed, and how do they change across time and space? Do planners serve private interests or the public good?
- Part Two explores some of the key episodes, movements and pioneering figures in the history of modern urban planning since the first industrial revolution of the 19th century. Although we focus in some detail on the ideas, visions and practices of well-known urban, regional and territorial planners, we embed their activities within the historically and geographically specific constraints, opportunities and struggles associated with each of the major phases of modern capitalist urbanization and associated formations of national state power. In thus proceeding, we explore the conflictual interaction of capitalist firms, property developers (rentiers), political institutions and social movements at various spatial scales, and the consequences of that interaction for the institutional, legal, spatial and ideological terrains of "planning" and for the broader geographies of urban development.
- Part Three offers a broad overview of some key lines of debate in contemporary planning theory. What is the appropriate role of planning in a period of heightened fiscal austerity and global financial crisis, in which dominant ideologies promote a reduced role of state institutions in reorganizing the social fabric and the built environment? We consider several approaches that attempt to illuminate the changing nature of contemporary urbanism and the possible role of planning in reshaping cities, regions, territories and the planet as a whole.
Previously offered as 5101.
05503: Neoliberal Urbanism, North and South (SES 0550300)
Urban Planning and Design
Lecture - 4 credits
Wednesday 2:00 - 5:00 Gund 318
Urban development is shaped not only through planning and design strategies, but through broader processes of political-economic restructuring associated with the (il)logics of capitalism, modern state power and diverse forms of sociopolitical mobilization. This lecture course offers a broad overview of major approaches to the political economy of urbanization with specific reference to the forms of market-oriented restructuring and associated crisis-tendencies that have unfolded across the world economy since the 1970s. In addition to offering students a wide-ranging introduction to key topics in contemporary geographical political economy, the class will survey a variety of methodological strategies through which scholars have attempted to decipher the variegated forces shaping contemporary cities and city-regions under conditions of heightened geoeconomic volatility. These include contradictory forces of geoeconomic integration and fragmentation; an intensified financialization of investment processes; an ongoing reorganization of state institutional apparatuses, governance priorities, fiscal capacities and modes of spatial intervention; the widespread adoption of “austerity” politics and new forms of “fast policy” transfer to confront place-specific forms of crisis; and intensifying resistance from popular movements. After covering a variety of foundational readings on theory and method, and surveying some of the key positions in recent debates on neoliberal urbanism, we explore topics such as state restructuring, urban governance, the politics of housing, sociospatial polarization and mega-projects, and emergent social struggles over the “right to the city”. Throughout the course, we attend carefully to questions of local specificity and macrogeographical comparison, particularly across the North/South divide in the world economy.
09304: Independent Thesis for the Degree Master in Design Studies (ADV 0930400)
Research Seminar - 8 credits
Neil Brenner, Jana Cephas, Diane Davis, Gareth Doherty, Richard T.T. Forman, K. Michael Hays, Michael Hooper, Timothy Hyde, Joyce Klein-Rosenthal, Sanford Kwinter, Miho Mazereeuw, Panagiotis Michalatos, Kiel Moe, Christoph Reinhart, Holly Samuelson, Andrew Witt, Allen Sayegh
A student who selects this independent thesis for the degree Master in Design Studies pursues independent research of relevance to the selected course of study within the Master in Design Studies program, under the direction of a GSD faculty member. This option precludes taking any other independent study.