Urban Systems Strategy


Units: 6

Description: While integrated design has made considerable progress at the individual building and site levels, increasing sustainable performance on a larger scale has remained more challenging. This class will explore processes and outcomes that provide human-centered approaches and new sets of filters for infrastructure investment. Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving pioneered by the design firm IDEO. It is a methodology for design and management that creates solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the process. Traditional human-centered design in the A/E/C industry has focused on workplace strategy. This class will make the case for the value of this approach in infrastructure and system solutions for our cities. To provide just, sustainable and resilient systems, we must re-engineer our infrastructure with new approaches versus traditional, business-as-usual mentality. "Hardening, redundancy, first cost" must weigh equally with "social awareness, educational benefits, and total costs of ownership". Learn approaches and outcomes for rethinking existing systems to provide human-scale intervention in cities around the world. The class will guide students through facilitated lectures and 'real-world' examples of projects and processes. This class will explore examples of systems approaches in urban developments, focused on energy and water infrastructure. It will balance developed and developing countries and provide insights into various system flows. This class will also align with the efforts of the City of Pittsburgh and its communities through investigative trips, discussions and workshops.