Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Examines both the structure of cities and ways they can be changed. Includes historical forces that have produced cities, models of urban analysis, contemporary theories of urban design, implementation strategies. Core lectures supplemented by discussion sessions focusing on student work and field trips.
Design and development studio that involves architects and planners, working in teams on a contemporary design project of importance in Beijing, China. Students analyze conditions, explore alternatives, and synthesize architecture, city design, and implementation plans. Supplemented by lectures and brief study tours that expose students to history and contemporary issues of urbanism in China.
Examines the urban environment as a natural phenomenon, human habitat, medium of expression, and forum for action. Subject has two related, major themes: how ideas of nature influence the way cities are perceived, designed, built, and managed; and how natural processes and urban form interact and the consequences of these for human health safety and welfare. Enrollment limited.
Explores photography as a disciplined way of seeing, or investigating urban landscapes and expressing ideas. Readings, observations, and photographs form the basis of discussions on light, detail, place, poetics, narrative, and how photography can inform design and planning. Enrollment limited.
The Urban Design Skills course introduces urban planning students to methods for observing, interpreting, representing, and transforming the urban environment.
The design of urban environments. Strategies for change in large areas of cities, to be developed over time, involving different actors. Fitting forms into natural, man-made, historical, and cultural contexts; enabling desirable activity patterns; conceptualizing built form; providing infrastructure and service systems; guiding the sensory character of development.
Explores theories, practices, and emerging trends in the fields of landscape architecture and urbanism, such as systemic design, landscape urbanism, engineered nature, drosscapes, urban biodiversity, urban mobility, and megaregions. This year’s special topic will be: The Future of Suburbia.
Seminar and fieldwork on strategies of planning and control for growth and land use, chiefly at the municipal level. Growth and its local consequences; land use planning approaches; implementation tools including innovative zoning and regulatory techniques, physical design, and natural systems integration. Projects arranged with small teams serving municipal clients.
What is a “neighborhood” and how relevant is neighborhood “design”? How do we reconcile the idealized neighborhood against the reality of neighborhood? This course brings together multiple disciplinary viewpoints on neighborhoods to explore synergies and conflicts and tease out the current relevance of neighborhood planning and design in the quest to build the sustainable city.