Urbanization and Development

This course examines the relationship between urbanization and development through a historical and contemporary lens, paying close attention to the ways that the growth and structure of cities have influenced the economic, social, and political prospects of residents and their host nations, as well as vice-versa. The main objective of the course is to interrogate and deconstruct the assumed relationships between spatial change and economic development with the latter understood as employment and prosperity conditions driven by market and investment dynamics at territorial scales that both include and transcend the city. In addition to highlighting the inter-relationships between urban growth and national or global economic priorities, on one hand, and the connections between cities and their surrounding hinterlands on the other, we are interested in the implications of these relationships for equity and inclusion, ecological sustainability, and thus social as well as environmental justice. Beyond examining the social and economic exigencies of citizens in the face of these relationships and examining their capacities to accommodate, modify, or reject the priorities, projects, and policies imposed by planners, designers, governing authorities, investors or other capitalists, and multilateral development agencies with specific urban development agendas, the course focuses considerable attention on the notion of regions, regional planning, and how climate crisis is transforming the territorial scale at which planners and designers will need to operation. Readings draw primarily from Latin America, South Asia, East Asia, and the Middle East, although evidence from Europe and the United States is used for contrast, particularly in the focus on regionalism.

The first day of GSD classes, Tuesday, September 5th, is held as a MONDAY schedule at the GSD. As this course meets on Monday, the first meeting of this course will be on Tuesday, September 5th. It will meet regularly thereafter. 

SPECIAL SCHEDULE NOTE: This course will meet ONLINE for the first course meeting, on Tuesday, September 5th. See Canvas site for more information.