Urban Planning and Social Science Laboratory

An introduction to the research and empirical analysis of urban planning issues using geographic information systems. Extensive hands-on exercises provide experience with various techniques in spatial analysis and querying databases. Includes a small project on an urban planning problem involving the selection of appropriate methods, the use of primary and secondary data, computer-based modeling, and spatial analysis. Requires some computing experience. Content similar to 11.520. 

IDG Thesis Prep.

This course is intended for MCP students preparing to conduct international field research. The class will introduce the basics of field research, including different types of data collection and qualitative data analysis techniques. Over the course of the semester, students will develop their ideas for their thesis project and prepare a thesis proposal. Prerequisites: Must have summer field research plans for thesis, or already engaged in a similar graduate research.

Advanced Research Workshop in Landscape + Urbanism

In-depth research workshop on “Health and Urbanism” initiative, developed as a collaboration between the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism, and American Institute of Architects. Students will conduct research at the intersection of design, urban planning, and public health to develop contemporary insights about future urban form and infrastructural adaptation. Five urban environments will be chosen as laboratories for research, analysis, invention, and ultimately the development of health metrics for new design proposals.

Doctoral Research Seminar

Required subject for all entering PhD students. Dual focus is on formulating researchable questions (to help students write their first-year papers) and understanding how research knowledge comes to be influential in the world or not influential. Explores ways to make research knowledge more accessible, credible, and useful in the realm of public policy and practice. Addresses the politics of the policymaking process, the power of framing and agenda-setting, how knowledge diffuses along knowledge and influence networks, and how varied types of knowledge shape decision-making and action.

Comparative Land Use and Transportation Planning

Focuses on the integration of land use and transportation planning, drawing from cases in both industrialized and developing countries. Reviews underlying theories, analytical techniques, and the empirical evidence of the land use-transportation relationship at the metropolitan, intra-metropolitan, and micro-scales. Also covers the various ways of measuring urban structure, form, and the "built environment." Develops students' skills to assess relevant policies, interventions and impacts. Prerequisites: permission of instructor

Spatial Database Management and Advanced Geographic Information Systems

Extends the computing and geographic information systems (GIS) skills developed in 11.520 to include spatial data management in client/server environments and advanced GIS techniques. First half covers the content of 11.523, introducing database management concepts, SQL (Structured Query Language), and enterprise-class database management software. Second half explores advanced features and the customization features of GIS software that perform analyses for decision support that go beyond basic thematic mapping.

Law and Development

Examines the role of law in development and introduces economic and legal theories. Topics include formality/informality of property, contracts and "bargaining in the shadow" of the law, institutions for transparency and accountability, legitimation of law, sequencing of legal reform, and international economic law aspects. Studies the roles of property rights in economic development, the judiciary and the bureaucracy in development, and law in aid policy. Includes selected country case studies. Limited to 15.

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