Fall 2012

Semester Start Date: 
Saturday, September 1, 2012

Practices of Encroachment, Creative Acts of Citizenship

In this lecture, architect Teddy Cruz presents a new paradigm of urbanism. While in the last years, the global city became the primary site of economic consumption and display, local neighborhoods in the margins of such centers of economic power remained sites of cultural production. These are peripheral communities and neighborhoods where new economies are emerging and new social, cultural and environmental configurations are taking place as catalysts to produce a new collective imagination, alternative urban policies and more inclusive housing paradigms.

Economics and the Sustainable City

Three urban economists discuss how economic principles will help cities to create a smaller environmental footprint.

Moderator: Frank Levy, Daniel Rose Professor of Economics, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT


The Ancient City

Historical topography of the Greek and Roman city. Investigates the relationship between urban architecture and the political, social, and economic role of cities in the Greek and Roman world. Analyzes a range of archaeological and literary evidence relevant to the use of space in Greek and Roman cities (Athens, Paestum, Rome, and Pompeii). Subjects of detailed study include the sanctuary of Athena on the Athenian Acropolis, the atrium houses of Roman Pompeii, the Athenian Agora and the Roman Forum, feeding the ancient city, and the great bath complexes of Imperial Rome.

Poverty and Economic Security

Explores the evolution of poverty and economic security in the U.S. within a global context. Examines the impacts of recent economic restructuring and globalization. Reviews current debates about the fate of the middle-class, sources in increasing inequality, and approaches to advancing economic opportunity and security.

Making Public Policy

Examines how the struggle among competing advocates shapes the outputs of government. Considers how conditions become problems for government to solve, why some political arguments are more persuasive than others, why some policy tools are preferred over others, and whether policies achieve their goals. Investigates the interactions among elected officials, think tanks, interest groups, the media, and the public in controversies over global warming, urban sprawl, Social Security, health care, education, and other issues.

Introduction to Urban Design and Development

Examines the evolving structure of cities and the way that cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas can be designed and developed. Surveys the ideas of a wide range of people who have addressed urban problems. Stresses the connection between values and design. Demonstrates how physical, social, political and economic forces interact to shape and reshape cities over time.