Gateway Cities Field Study

This learning experience is conducted jointly by Professor Nicolas Retsinas (HBS), Professor David Barron, Harvard Law School (HLS) and Professor Ann Forsyth, Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD).

HBS, HLS, and GSD students will work in teams on interdisciplinary projects relating to the redevelopment of Gateway Cities. Gateway cities are critical sites of redevelopment in Massachusetts, but can also be found throughout the Northeast and the Midwest. They are former industrial cities that experienced hard economic times in the wake of economic shifts but are receiving renewed attention from policymakers to see how they can be redeveloped to make them important, successful places for the 21st Century. A key feature of these cities is that they are home to new waves of immigration, a dimension that makes them especially important to the broader economic strategy for Massachusetts and other states that are home to gateway cities.

In this field study, the interdisciplinary teams will work on site specific projects by partnering with state, local and community representatives on ongoing redevelopment projects and policies. Each team will be assigned to a project for the semester and work collaboratively to provide project reports to the point people in the city, state or community working on those projects. In addition to the field work and final project reports, students will meet with the course faculty for six sessions throughout the semester to receive an introduction to the relevant concepts relating to urban redevelopment in these gateway cities, as well as an introduction to the three major disciplines that are relevant — planning and design, law, and business.