Fall 2013

Semester Start Date: 
Sunday, September 1, 2013

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.

Introduction to International Development

Studies interaction between planners and institutions at different scales, from local to global/transnational. Emphasizes a historical and institutional approaches to development planning. Includes an overview of theories of development, state, organizational arrangements, and implementation mechanisms. Covers current topics in development planning, such as decentralization, participatory planning, urban-rural linkages, corruption, legal institutions and post-conflict development. Analyzes various roles planners play in different institutional contexts. 

Introduction to Environmental Policy & Planning

First subject in the Environmental Policy and Planning sequence. Reviews philosophical debates concerning growth and scarcity vs. deep ecology. Examines the ongoing policy debate concerning "command-and-control" vs. market-oriented approaches to regulation. Considers the debate regarding the importance of expertise vs. indigenous knowledge. Emphasizes environmental planning techniques and strategies.

Transportation Systems Analysis: Demand & Economics

Covers the key principles governing transportation systems planning and management. Introduces the microeconomic concepts central to transportation systems. Topics include economic theories of the firm, consumer, and market, demand models, discrete choice analysis, cost models and production functions, and pricing theory.

Transportation Systems Analysis: Performance and Optimization

Problem-motivated introduction to methods, models and tools for the analysis and design of transportation networks including their planning, operations and control. Capacity of critical elements of transportation networks. Traffic flows and deterministic and probabilistic delay models. Formulation of optimization models for planning and scheduling of freight, transit and airline systems, and their solution using software packages. User- and system-optimal traffic assignment. Control of traffic flows on highways, urban grids, and airspace.

Urban Transportation Planning

Studies the history, policy, practice and politics of urban transportation. Covers the role of the federal, state, and local government and the MPO, public transit in the auto era, analysis of current trends and pattern breaks; analytical tools for transportation planning, traffic engineering and policy analysis; the contribution of transportation to air pollution, social costs and climate change; land use and transportation interactions; traffic and place making; bicycles, pedestrians, and traffic calming. Examples from the Boston area and from Bilbao.

Housing & Land Use in Rapidly Urbanizing Regions

In this class, we will define and assess the various institutional and governance structures for urban land management systems that have significant implications for housing policy in developing countries.  We will discuss how land and housing are closely intertwined in the design of any sustainable shelter policy for the urban poor.  Our exploration will begin with a careful review of the unique property relations of land and housing in developing countries and then extend the analysis to the massive informality found in their real estate sector.  The prime objective of the c

Regional Socioeconomic Impact Analyses and Modeling

Reviews regional economic theories and models and provides students with experience in using alternative economic impact assessment models on microcomputers. Problem sets are oriented around infrastructure, housing, energy, and environmental issues. Students work with a client generally in Boston and make a presentation to the client. Emphasis on written and oral presentation skills.

Navigating Power in Water and Sanitation Planning

Informs and prepares students to navigate the explicit and implicit power dynamics among stakeholders in decision-making processes that govern the planning and delivery of water and sanitation systems. Through investigations of organization, regulation, financing, physical delivery, and research designs, students examine the trajectory of decisions that shape and influence the accessibility, affordability, and adequacy of water and sanitation services, particularly in vulnerable neighborhoods in mostly urban and peri-urban areas.

Urban Sociology in Theory & Practice

Introduction to core writings in urban sociology. Examines key theoretical paradigms that have comprised the field since its founding. Explores the nature and changing character of the city and the urban experience in the US and abroad, providing context for development and application of planning skills and sensibilities as well as urban research. Topics include the changing nature of community, social inequality, culture, political power, socio-spatial change, technological change, and the relationship between the built environment and human behavior.