Cities are palimpsests. They are the spatial manifestations of a layering and re-layering of social and environmental systems over time. Through a case study approach including lectures, readings, and class discussions, this course will examine cities at the scale of the urban project. GSD faculty and outside experts will present approximately 15-20 projects, each operating within particular urban conditions and emphasizing the politics, institutional structures, and stakeholder interests involved from planning to design and implementation. Case studies will be framed and organized by three overarching agencies: State-led: Public Sector; Market-driven: Private Sector; and, Community-powered: Civil Society. Beyond familiarizing students with contemporary urban design projects, the lectures, readings, and class discussions will equip students with an understanding of the broader implications of urban design. There are two main pedagogical objectives that guide the course: (1) to engage students in a comparative study of contemporary urban design projects as a way to broaden their understanding of how urban design happens, and (2) to explore the interrelationship of urban politics and urban design through projects that range in context, scale, and operational capacity. This course will equip students with an understanding of the social, economic, political, and environmental implications of urban design. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Understand the interrelationship of urban politics and urban design
- Identify the political, institutional, and governing structures involved in urban design and implementation
- Assess social, economic, political, and environmental implications of urban design
- Identify and visualize the major phases and critical milestones in planning, design, and implementation
- Contextualize a project within historical forces, trends, or pressures that shape urban design
- Develop new methods of story-telling through cartographic and literary narratives
Term grades will be based on attendance and participation in lectures and section discussions, student group presentations, and a final paper or project. The year-long ‘Cities by Design’ course is mandatory for all incoming Masters of Urban Design Students. All other students are welcome to enroll in the course by semester, and need not do so in sequence. No Prerequisites. Faculty lecturers: Alex Krieger, Joan Busquets, Peter Rowe, Rahul Mehrotra, Michael Murphy, Stephen Gray.