Histories and Theories of Urban Planning and Design

This course surveys the evolution of city form and the history of urban design around the world. We will compare and analyze urban interventions and morphology in a variety of cultural contexts, and study the development of both vernacular urbanism as well as cities built de novo (or extensively reconfigured) according to a particular schema of societal order or Utopianism. Throughout the course we will evaluate the fitness of cities as physical vessels for human endeavor, as well as probe the deeper ideals and values that have guided and given meaning to urban design through the ages.The parts of the course involve a global survey of urban interventions from antiquity to the present, concluding with analysis of the explosive growth of Chinese cities since the 1980s. In the last third we will examine the intellectual roots of urban design in the West, and survey some of the influential theories related to placemaking and \”good city form.\”