The Field Study course is intended to provide students an understanding of the dynamics and complexities of reality that create contemporary urban physical environments. The course emphasizes the integration of design and development aspects of projects that respond to realistic market demand, political, financial and other regulatory constraints. It is designed for real estate professionals, architects, urban/landscape designers and planners, to broaden their understanding of urban development issues and complicated problems, as well as to improve the applicability of their skills in either design or financial analysis in the context of urban developments.
This year\’s sites are:
- Mumbai Port Redevelopment – Mumbai’s historic port in the heart of Mumbai is the subject of this year’s REAI joint studio/field study. The main port has moved across the bay, opening up redevelopment of the 1400 acre area occupied by the historic port. Students will select sites within the port area that are of interest to them for redevelopment. Students will participate in Rahul Mehrotra’s studio which meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00-6:00, and are eligible for an additional 4 units credit through independent study if they wish to fully take part in the studio. The Mumbai Field Study/Studio is a joint studio supported by the REAI with students from HBS, KSG, LAW, and GSD. All but the studio students will travel together in January. (note, Students must have a copy of their birth certificate to get a visa to India.)
- Resort Village Center in New Zealand – This field study will focus on the planning, design, and development of a village center for the new resort at Jacks Point near Queenstown. Queenstown is the major tourist city on the South Island and the closest to several of the most famous national parks. Jacks Point is home to one of the top golf courses in the country. The village center will serve as a magnet for tourists and for people living Jacks Point. It will include retail, entertainment, resort, residential, office, and government uses as well as open space and recreation uses. With breathtaking views of the mountains, the foothills, and Lake Wakatipu, the students will confront the problem of creating a new village center from scratch. Drawing on precedent studies of resorts around the world, students will address the full range of issues in new community development including site constraints, market feasibility, political feasibility, master planning, urban design, and financial feasibility. The owner/developer of Jacks Point is the sponsor of the field study and will be involved both in New Zealand and at Harvard in the progress of the class. The students’ visions and studies will inform the ultimate development of the village center.
Students will work in teams undertaking the field study projects sponsored this year by the Real Estate Academic Initiative for Mumbai and by alumni sponsors of New Zealand. Under the guidance of the professors, students will act as professional consultants to provide vision and solutions to the projects. Students will visit the sites during the January term. During the semester, investigations will include development feasibility studies (market, physical, environmental, and political), site planning, urban design, financing analysis, public/private joint-venture structures and other critical factors affecting the planning, design and development of the two projects.