Urban Politics and Planning

Examines the politics of urban planning, land use, environmental regulation, and economic development. Principal aim is to help students think strategically about the roles of government and of politics in shaping the physical, social, and economic character of urban places. Focuses mainly on U.S. experience, but with attention as well to international comparisons. Policy topics include land use planning, zoning, downtown revitalization, transportation; public-private partnerships for economic development; and efforts to move from urban sprawl to \”smart growth.\” Cross-cutting topics include the causes and consequences of sprawl and racial-class segregation in U.S. metropolitan areas; business-government relations; and contending ideas about the balance of forces in U.S. urban politics. Emphasis placed throughout on the special roles of business and of grass-roots democracy in U.S. urban governance; on tensions among the core values of capitalism, democracy, and planning; and on strategies that politicians and planners employ to ameliorate these tensions. No prerequisites, but reading and writing assignments are at an intermediate level and student participation is expected. Grades are based 80% on writing assignment grades, and 20 percent on class participation. Jointly listed with, and taught physically at, the Kennedy School. The HKS course listing will be SUP 601.The times and places of course meeting will be: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:40am-10:00am, in Littauer 230 at HKS. There will be four optional review sessions, on Fridays 8:40-10:00am in Taubman 301.