Urban Politics and Planning

Examines the politics of urban planning, land use, environmental regulation, and economic development. Principal aim is to help students think strategically about the roles of government and of politics in shaping the physical, social, and economic character of urban places. Focuses mainly on U.S. experience, but with attention as well to international comparisons. Policy topics include land use planning, zoning, downtown revitalization, transportation and other types of infrastructure investment; public-private partnerships for economic development; and efforts to move from urban sprawl to \”smart growth.\” Cross-cutting topics include the causes and consequences of sprawl and racial-class segregation in U.S. metropolitan areas; business-government relations; and contending ideas about the balance of forces in U.S. urban politics. Emphasis placed throughout on the special roles of business and of grass-roots democracy in U.S. urban governance; on tensions among the core values of capitalism, democracy, and planning; and on strategies that politicians and planners employ to ameliorate these tensions. Notes: 1.This course will also be listed at the Kennedy School (HKS) as HUT 201. 2.It will be taught this year at the Kennedy School. Room still to be assigned.3.Its time slot will be: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:40am-10:00am. 4.There will also be several optional review sessions, taught every third or fourth Friday in the same time slot. 5.The first class session will be Thursday, September 3.