\’Cities by Design\’ is a year-long course that studies urban form. In the fall semester, \’Cities by Design\’ will explore six urban case studies to expose students to a range of factors that affect the design of contemporary cities in various geographical contexts. In the spring, the course will look at four cities and conclude with a panel discussion to synthesize the conclusions drawn from cases from the entire year. The case studies will focus on both the urban condition as a whole by exploring processes of urban evolution, and on the study of urban fragments or projects. Each case study will be taught during a two-week module, comprised of four lectures and one discussion section. Term grades will be based on attendance and participation in both lectures and sections, biweekly response papers based on assigned readings, and a final term paper.
Two main pedagogical objectives guide the course. The course will allow students to establish a broader definition of the \’urban,\’ forging commonalities amongst a diversity of cities. It will also provide the historical and comparative material to identify the urban characteristics and design strategies that render particular cities distinct. Comparative analyses of the urban case studies will be guided by the following eight themes, which will be explored through the lectures, section discussions, and assigned readings:
1. The city\’s genealogy and key historical events, phases of development, and patterns of growth
2. The ways in which the terrain, geography, and infrastructural development constrain and present opportunities for the city\’s development and ambitions
3. The city\’s planning and design culture and decision-making institutions
4. The challenges that social equity present to planning and design in the city
5. The orchestration of the city\’s relationship to the broader region
6. How the particular city contributes to a definition of the \’urban\’ condition
7. The framing and design of key urban projects/case studies
8. The city\’s planning institutions, historical conditions, urban forms, or ambitions, etc. that have contributed to its iconicity in a global context
No Prerequisites; Course is required of all entering UD students.