In the face of major challenges to our economy, our environment, and the quality of our everyday lives, urban renewal planners are currently asked to find solutions for new problems and opportunities related to the unprecedented growth of cities. Previously, cities were essentially perceived as repositories of consumption for goods produced in rural outposts. In this context, urban growth, with its associated undeveloped properties and poor neighborhoods, was considered a detriment. However, today these same cities are being transformed into international centers of commerce, trade and human resources –stimulating further urban development and its concomitant advantages: higher GNP per capita levels, female employment rates, educational opportunities, and professional skills. In turn, these improvements have dramatically re-directed urban policies toward productivity and renewal. Yet, the productivity and renewal associated with contemporary cities’ growth is a subject of intense debate. Proponents of urban renewal strategies see revitalization as an economic engine, while opponents see it as a regressive mechanism for the wealthy at the expense of the taxpayer and the poor, in many cases leading to the deterioration of vibrant—if run-down —neighborhoods. The course deals with this debate and other dilemmas associated with urban regeneration by working on a real-time planning project. In collaboration with experts and authorities, students will explore various methods and tools for intervening in cities.
Course assignments: practicum. The project is based on site tours, reading materials, offering a physical design solution to a problem.
Requirements for admission: Two courses in planning. Intensive course for advanced students.