Semester Start Date: 
Saturday, January 31, 2009

Southwest Washington DC

On March 27, 2001 students and faculty of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning presented revitalization proposals for Southwest Washington DC to residents and public officials.  The public meeting, at St. Matthew’s Church, was attended by over 200 people and was the culmination of a semester-long studio sponsored by the DC Government’s Planning Office and the Summit Fund for Washington.  The presentation also marked an important milestone in Mayor Williams and the Office of Planning’s Anacostia Waterfront Initiative.

Cardener River Corridor, Catalunya Spain

This Planning Study is built upon the existing regional and municipal plans that set forth common goals for the Cardener River corridor. The Planning Study is an exploration of possible implementations that follow from existing plans and from the current circumstances of the four municipalities: Manresa, Sant Joan de Vilatorrada, Callús and Súria.

CORE OF THE CITY: Lowell’S Back Central

Graduate students in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, partnered with the City of Lowell Planning Department to review and advance various possibilities for development in Lowell’s Back Central neighborhood. The goals were to address neighborhood quality of life concerns including open space, parking, business mix, and land use; and to articulate actions and strategies consistent with the neighborhood’s vision. 

A Gateway to Downtown Lowell

Fall 2007 
M.I.T. graduate students worked with the City of Lowell to create a vision and plan for the Upper Merrimack neighborhood. This plan assesses the existing conditions, creates a vision for improvement, and presents both short- and long-term implementation strategies. The fundamental goal for our team was to create a more livable, vibrant, urban neighborhood for the existing community through five areas of focus: open space, streetscape, transportation, housing & community development, and catalyst properties


In the fall of 2005, Lowell, Massachusetts’ Division of Planning and Development (DPD) engaged the
Community Growth and Land-Use Planning course of MIT
(11.360) to envision redevelopment along the Bridge Street Corridor and in surrounding residential
areas in the Centralville Neighborhood and recommend implementation
strategies to make the plan a reality. In keeping with the smart-growth
principles of vibrant and walkable neighborhoods for all of its citizens, the project
promotes and enhances the character of the Centralville neighborhood.

Ecologic Oriented Development

Tama New Town, Japan
The Spring 2009 Site Planning studio is a continuation of a long-term research project initiated in the summer of 2008 and followed by the Advanced Japan Design Workshop of Fall 2008. The research project rethinks the future of housing development within the context of developing a prototype for sustainable urban community. It utilizes Tama New Town outside Tokyo as a reference for the work. The Studio was funded and conducted in part in collaboration with the staff and resources of Sekisui House Ltd. of Japan. 

Santiago Urban Planning Studio

The world continues to urbanize. In the developed world, three quarters of the population already lives in urban areas and as the developing world follows suit 60% of the world’s people will live in urban areas by 2025 (WRI, 1996). Urban areas attract people and businesses by offering greater economic and market opportunities; social, recreational and educational possibilities; and, generally, the promise of a better quality of life. On the other hand, the process of urbanization poses environmental and social problems that are not easily resolved.

Vanke Vision: Sustainable Residential Development in Shanghai (2006)

From September 2005 to June 2006, with the generous support of the Vanke Real Estate Group (Shanghai Offi ce), three graduate courses were offered by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT: Research Seminar in Fall, 2005; Field Survey during Independent Activities Period (IAP) in January 2006; and Planning and Design Workshop in Spring 2006. Vanke’s goal is to continue to improve the design of their housing communities as issues of sustainability become national priorities.

Shenzhen Futures (2007)

Beginning in the Fall of 2005, MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning has offered a series of studios and research seminars on sustainable residential development with sponsorship from the Vanke Group. This report contains the work of the Spring 2007 Shenzhen Planning Studio.

Sustaining Shenzhen: Residential Development for Livable Futures (2008)

Sustainable Residential Development in Shenzhen
Starting in the fall of 2005, MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning has offered a series of studios and research seminars on sustainable residential development with sponsorship from the Vanke Co. This report contains the work of the Spring 2008 Shenzhen Planning Studio. The studio’s goal has been to address sustainable neighborhood and related environmental, social, and economic issues expected to emerge over the next twenty years.