Field Studies in Real Estate, Planning & Urban Design: Slum Rehabilitation in Mumbai, India & Urban Regeneration in Lowell, Massachusetts

Credits4 units. Students who want to do more in-depth design work may also register for a 2 unit Independent Study with the professors, augmenting the Field Study class.Class Limit: 6 students will be selected for Mumbai by course lottery. Unlimited number of students for Lowell. Course Description: This 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. The pedagogical objectives of this Field Study course are as following:1. to introduce students to the intrinsic linkage between financial soundness and design creativity required in the process of urban development 2. to introduce students to the framework of capital market mechanisms and the broad range of activities involved in achieving the success of urban development with special attention to the various roles played by professional service providers 3. to expose students to as many aspects of urban development issues and decision-making challenges as possible, both from the private developer???s perspective and the public sector\’s view.Students will work in teams of three members undertaking the Field Study projects sponsored by government, non-profit organizations, financial sectors, or private developers.. Under the guidance of the professors and in cooperation with the sponsor, students will act as professional consultants to provide vision and solutions to the project. Students will visit the sites in late February. Travel expenses are covered by the sponsors. During the semester, investigations include development feasibility studies (market, physical, environmental, and political), site planning, urban design massing/guidelines, financing framework, public/private joint-venture structure and other critical factors affecting the solutions to planning, design and development of the project. The course is one of \”learning through doing.\” The cases are designed to place students in decision-making situations commonly faced by real estate, design and planning professionals in the reality of market economy. Students must come to the first class or they will lose their lottery preference. Field study projects for Spring 2011 are (1) Slum redevelopment of a fishing village on the harbor in Mumbai, India; and (2) post-industrial urban regeneration for the city of Lowell, Massachusetts, taking advantage of the national historic park, canals and surrounding areas within the context of a rapidly growing immigrant population. Project Descriptions: Mumbai, India Sponsored by the Real Estate Academic Initiative (REAI) at Harvard, the Mumbai Field Study will focus on a unique site in the heart of Mumbai\’s harbor – the Back Bay between Nariman Point and Cuffee Parade. An old fishing village occupies the core of the site, surrounded by slums. The area has been proposed for the new opera house as well as intensive office, residential, and retail development. The area is contested by long-term fishing villagers, neighboring slum dwellers, government, commercial, and business interests. Urban redevelopment must provide housing on-site or off-site for current inhabitants. Students in the Mumbai Field Study will work in parallel with students in Rahul Mehrotra???s option studio (GSD 1508) on the same site. There will be four joint revie