From Fall 2016 Course: Seeking Resilient Urbanism in South Florida

City Design and Development

The Joint Program in City Design and Development (CDD) is an academic and research program concerned with shaping and designing the built and natural environment of cities and suburban territories.

CDD is a collaboration of the MIT Departments of Urban Studies and Planning and Architecture, as well as the Center for Real Estate, the Center for Advanced Urbanism, and the Media Lab. As such, it joins key actors and disciplines that are shaping cities. Together, we seek to better understand the changing urban environment and to invent new architectural forms, public policies, development products, and technologies that will improve the quality of urban life.

The program is led by scholars and practitioners who are committed to interdisciplinary research as well as action in the field, developing new modes of professional intervention. Our extensive course offerings and projects allow advanced students to develop specialized skills, while enabling those new to the field to achieve professional competence in city design.

The program addresses both cities and urban regions. It examines ways that they have been designed, planned, and developed in the past, while proposing new visions for the future. It is also international in scope, with studios and research projects in the US and worldwide. In all of these venues the faculty brings a commitment to reflective practice, to involving those who will be affected by city design decisions, to sustaining the natural setting and local culture, and to promoting a long range perspective on the consequences of actions that shape the urban fabric.

Students in CDD come from many countries with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Some have prior professional degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, and planning; others come from varied academic fields in the sciences and arts. Faculty advisors help students to tailor the program’s extensive subject offerings and research opportunities into individualized areas of study, supported by the unparalleled information and technology resources of MIT.


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Spring 2017 City Design & Development 2017 Lectures


View Poster Highlights

Tues 2.14 
Lynne B. Sagalyn
Book Talk: Power at Ground Zero  
City Arena, 9–255 12:30–2PM

Wed 3.1
Sandro Marpillero & Linda Pollak
Wednesday Designing Practice Series
Room 10–485, 12:30–2PM

Tues 3.7
Camilo José Vergara
Book Talk: Detroit is No Dry Bones
City Arena, 9–255, 12:30–2PM

Tues 4.4
Environmental Risk and Defensive Urbanism
Room 10–485, 12:30-6PM
Simin Davoudi, Newcastle University
Damian F. White, RISD
Sarah E. Light, The Wharton School
Sherri Goodman, Wilson Center

Wed 4.5
Clare Lyster  
Wednesday Designing Practice Series
Long Lounge, 7–429, 6:30–8PM

Thurs 4.6
Bernd Pannenstein
Land use planning in Mexico and Urban Challenges of the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara
City Arena, 9–255, 12:30–2PM

Tues 4.18
Gentrification Beyond Displacement
City Arena 9-255, 5:30-7 PM
Moderators: Jessica Myers MCP2, Sonny Oram

Margarita Jover: Hybrid Infrastructures for Novel Synergies
Wednesday Designing Practice Series
Long Lounge, 7–429, 6:30–8PM   

Mon 4.24 
Density Atlas Panel with Tunney Lee
Room 10–485, 12:30–2PM

Mon 5.1
Kim Dovey
City as Assemblage
City Arena, 9–255, 12:30–2PM

Wed 5.3
Vishaan ChakrabartiMobilism: Architecture and the Public Metropolis
Wednesday Designing Practice Series
Room 10–485, 12:30–2PM

Wed 5.10
Claire Weisz
Wednesday Designing Practice Series
Room 10–485, 12:30–2PM



CDD is based in room 10-485 on the 4th floor under the great dome and accessible from 77 Mass Ave.

Brent D. Ryan

  • Head, City Design and Development Program
  • MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
  • Room 10-485
  • 77 Massachusetts Avenue
  • Cambridge, MA 02139
  • tel: (617) 253-6707
  • bdr@MIT.EDU

Sonny Oram

Studio: Emancipation Park Neighborhood: Strategies for Community-Led Regeneration in the Third Ward