D-Lab: Development

Issues in international development, appropriate technology and project implementation addressed through lectures, case studies, guest speakers and laboratory exercises. Students form project teams to partner with community organizations in developing countries, and formulate plans for an optional IAP site visit. (Previous field sites include Ghana, Brazil, Honduras and India.) Recitation sections focus on specific project implementation, and include cultural, social, political, environmental and economic overviews of the target countries as well as an introduction to the local languages.

Enabling Energy Efficiency: Practice and Innovation

Explores the ways in which energy efficiency is enabled by innovations in technology, business models, and public initiatives, and its potential to create societal, economic and carbon benefits. Supported by guest interviews with government and industry efficiency leaders, students critically examine current practice methods and issues. Develops skills in areas such as building energy analysis, economic resource planning, energy information and behavioral analysis, and business/program strategy development and evaluation.

Pretext Securitization of Boston’s public realm after 9/11: Motives, actors and a role for planners

Submitted by Susan Silberberg on Mon, 08/05/2013 - 3:00pm

“Pretext securitization of Boston’s public realm after 9/11: Motives, actors and a role for planners” by Susan Silberberg is the culminating chapter in Policing Cities: Securitization and Regulation in a 21st Century World (Routledge, 2013).  Silberberg identifies the changes in Boston’s public spaces and privately owned “public” spaces after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and assesses the motives, players and planning roles in these public realm transformations.

Political Economy & Society

Focuses on the connection (or not) between mind (theory) and matter (lived experience). Examines basic tenets of classical and recent political economic theories and their explication in ideas of market economies, centrally planned economies, social market economies, and co-creative economies. Assesses theories according to their relation to the lived experiences of people in communities and workplaces.

Urbanizing China

China urbanized 350 million people in the past 30 years and is poised to do it again in the next three decades. China’s urbanization is immense and rapid but largely “out of sync”. This subject poses three questions: 1) To what extent are multiple interpretations of urbanization desynchronized in China—causing tensions and discontinuities between people and land, between economy and environment, between urban financing and urban form, and between locals and migrants?

The Theory of Participatory Action Research (PAR)

Introduction to the theory of action research and more generally to competing ideas about the uses of social research to promote social change.  Focus will be on the epistemological foundations for action research, knowledge generation in action research, the role of the “friendly outsider,” action science and organizational learning, participatory evaluation and arguments for and against phronetic social science.  Students will be expect to complete a careful analysis of actual PAR cases.

MATI Mozambique Workshop

Practice-based class engages students on advocacy and participatory planning for basic services in water, sanitation, and health through on-site field work and reflective discussion in a peri-urban district of Maputo, the Mozambican capital, and in Cambridge with Mozambican partners in order to: Develop and expand a methodology for studying affordability, as distinct from ‘willingness to pay’ and ‘ability to pay’ studies, at the neighborhood-scale and with specific reference to water, sanitation, and health needs; Connect and visualize data from randomized household survey

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