The year-long Cities by Design course is mandatory for all incoming Masters of Urban Design Students. All other students are welcome to enroll in the course by semester, and need not do so in sequence.
\’Cities by Design\’ is a year-long course that studies urban form. Each semester, \’Cities by Design\’ will explore six urban case studies to expose students to a range of factors that affect the design of contemporary cities in various geographical contexts. The case studies will focus on both the urban condition as a whole by exploring processes of urban evolution, and on the study of urban fragments or projects. Each case study will be taught during a two-week module, comprised of four lectures and one discussion section. The Spring Case Studies include: Rio, Mexico City, Paris, Shanghai, Detroit, Mumbai. These are distinct from those presented in prior semesters.
Two main pedagogical objectives guide the course. The course will allow students to establish a broader definition of the \’urban,\’ forging commonalities amongst a diversity of cities. It will also provide the historical and comparative material to identify the urban characteristics and design strategies that render particular cities distinct. Comparative analyses of the urban case studies will be guided by the following eight themes, which will be explored through the lectures, section discussions, and assigned readings:
1. The city\’s genealogy and key historical events, phases of development & patterns of growth.
2. The ways in which the terrain, geography, and infrastructural development constrain and present opportunities for the city\’s development and ambitions.
3. The city\’s planning and design culture and decision-making institutions.
4. The challenges that social equity present to planning and design in the city.
5. The orchestration of the city\’s relationship to the broader region.
6. How the particular city contributes to a definition of the \’urban\’ condition.
7. The framing and design of key urban projects/case studies.
8. The city\’s planning institutions, historical conditions, urban forms, or ambitions, etc. that have contributed to its iconicity in a global context.
Term grades will be based on attendance and participation in both lectures and section discussions, biweekly response papers based on assigned readings, and a final term paper.
Faculty for Spring 2012 to include: Rahul Mehrotra (course coordinator), with Jana Cephas, Peter Rowe, Antoine Picone, Jose Castillio and Fares el Dahd, Head Teaching Fellow: Christopher Rogacz.