Housing and Urbanization in Global Cities

This course analyzes housing policy and planning in developing urban societies around the world but especially in the Global South. Through slide presentations, lectures, presentations by distinguished guests, texts, and class discussions, we will examine the significance of shelter and its production in urban contexts ranging from informal settlements to booming neighborhoods.

To understand the effects of different national and cultural environments, we will study the ways private developers, planners, designers, non-government organization officers, and government officials work within local systems of land use, law, and finance to produce homes for people. We will investigate issues related to slums, such as irregular land tenure; housing microfinance; upgrading and redevelopment schemes; the capacity of municipal governance and planning; and the role of bi-lateral and multilateral organizations. In addition, we will analyze the way that the production of residences shapes the spatial forms of global cities. After exploring urban development and residential practices and policies around the world, the class will delve into particular housing and planning issues in four global cities: Mumbai, India; Bogotá, Colombia; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Beijing, China.

This course will prepare students for international planning and design studios, housing studios, and courses on housing or social policy in general, as well as be of interest to designers and planners interested in social engagement and the diverse methods of producing low-income housing in global cities.