Housing and Urbanization in Global Cities

Housing and Urbanization in Global Cities examines housing policy and planning in urban societies around the world and especially in the Global South.  Through slide presentations, discussions, guest lectures, texts, and exercises, we examine the dynamic growth of cities; the ideological impulses to combat slum conditions and provide mass housing; the resulting anti-slum and housing programs; the means of financing such programs; and the effects of design and planning on people and their communities.

The first part of the course is devoted to the history and theory of housing and urbanization. We examine the effects of intense urban growth in Europe, especially the emergence of the twin problems of slums and housing; the export of Western housing and anti-slum policies to the developing world; the furious debate over the nature of informal settlements in the Global South; and the fundamental concepts of land use and housing policy. 

In the second part of the course, we take up the practical application of housing policies in different national environments around the globe.  Using the cases of Bogotá, Mumbai, Johannesburg, and Beijing, we 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 respond to informal settlements and produce homes for people. Working in teams, students evaluate specific housing programs in Bogotá, Mumbai, and Johannesburg, and propose a planning strategy to improve particular sites in the outer section of Beijing. 

This course helps prepare students for international planning and design studios, housing studios, and courses on housing or social policy in general.  It will appeal to graduate school designers, planners, and public policy students interested in social engagement and the diverse methods of producing low-income housing in global cities. There are no prerequisites.

Course structure: The format of classes will vary. Most classes will be synchronous, and all students will attend on Zoom for the full hour-and-a-half. Usually these classes will be comprised of lectures during the first 50 minutes or so, to be followed by a short break and then class discussion for about 30 minutes. Some classes may start later and last 30-45 minutes. All lectures will be recorded and available to students living in time zones that make it difficult to attend synchronous classes.

Jointly Offered Course: HKS SUP-662

Note: Shopping Day Schedule for SES-5337/SUP-662 at HKS: Thursday, January 23rd from 2:45-4:00 pm in R304.

Note: the instructor will offer live course presentations on 01/19-01/21. To access the detailed schedule and Zoom links, please visit the Live Course Presentations Website. If you need assistance, please contact Estefanía Ibáñez.&nbs