This course will examine policies and forces that have shaped our modern urban form. We will set our analysis in the context of a review of the historic development of cities. After an overview of early history, we will concentrate on late 19th and 20th century city development. We will examine the series of post war government and private sector policies that supported anti urban trends that led to current urban patterns. The course will conclude with a discussion of policies and remedies that can support sustainable urban growth. The course will concentrate on the physical, geographical and built aspects of cities -- the "public realm", the spaces we all share -- but it will also address the relation between the physical nature of cities and the quality of community that develops. In addition to class discussions, students will be asked to develop an independent brief research project that explores in depth one of the aspects of the course content. Student presentations of their research will be used to augment class discussions.
You will be able to identify policies that have shaped the physical environment of cities and metropolitan areas and understand their impact on low-income populations, the role of cities and NGOs as change agents and the importance of civic engagement in a region's quality of life.