Spring 2013

Semester Start Date: 
Friday, February 1, 2013

Fundamentals of Spatial Database Management

The fundamentals of database management systems as applied to spatial analysis. Includes extensive hands-on exercises using real-world planning data. Introduces database management concepts, SQL (Structured Query Language), and enterprise-class database software. Same content as first half of 11.521. First half of term. Prerequisites: 11.204 or 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.

Innovative Budgeting and Finance for the Public Sector (Urban Public Finance)

Examines how to adequately and effectively attend to public sector responsibilities for basic services with limited financial and human resources, particularly in the context of rapid population growth as well as shrinkage. Provides an introductory framework for understanding methods and processes of budgeting, accounting, and financial mobilization in the public sector. Uses case studies and practice exercises to explore revenue strategies via taxation, capital markets.

Project Appraisal in Developing Countries

Covers techniques of financial analysis of investment expenditures, as well as the economic and distributive appraisal of development projects. Critical analysis of these tools in the political economy of international development is discussed. Topics include appraisal's role in the project cycle, planning under conditions of uncertainty, constraints in data quality and the limits of rational analysis, and the coordination of an interdisciplinary appraisal team. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Enrollment limited; preference to majors.

Analyzing and Accounting for Regional Economic Change

Surveys theories of regional growth, factor mobility, clustering, industrial restructuring, learning regions, and global supply chains from a political-economy perspective. Examines/critiques multipliers, linkages, and supply chains used to assess employment and environmental impacts, energy and infrastructure investments, and accounting issues related to the underground economy, work in the home, and environmental degradation. Assesses price indices, industrial location and employment measures, and shift-share analyses. Discussions of US and foreign applications.

Water and Sanitation Infrastructure in Developing Countries

Principles of infrastructure planning in developing countries, with a focus on appropriate and sustainable technologies for water and sanitation. Incorporates technical, socio-cultural, public health, and economic factors into the planning and design of water and sanitation systems. Upon completion, students are able to plan simple, yet reliable, water supply and sanitation systems for developing countries that are compatible with local customs and available human and material resources.

The New Global Practitioner

Considers a new interdisciplinary paradigm of practice that regards dialogue among practitioners and users essential for efficacious and creative design and planning process. Focuses on non-traditional client groups: communities, the poor, and the generally excluded middle-income. Explores key issues confronting development practitioners, with stress on practical exercises drawn from current national and international case studies; e.g., an investigative comparison of the ways Bangkok vs Singapore cope with impending rapid and massive growth and expansion.

Revitalizing Urban Main Streets

Workshop explores the integration of economic development and physical planning interventions to revitalize urban commercial districts. Covers: an overview of the causes of urban business district decline, revitalization challenges, and the strategies to address them; the planning tools used to understand and assess urban Main Streets from both physical design and economic development perspectives; and the policies, interventions, and investments used to foster urban commercial revitalization.

Tools for Analysis: Design for Real Estate and Infrastructure Development

Introduction to analytical tools to support design and decision-making in real estate and infrastructure development. Particular focus on identifying and valuing sources of flexibility using real options, Monte-Carlo simulation, and other techniques from the field of engineering systems. Integrates economic and engineering perspectives, and is suitable for students with various backgrounds. Provides useful preparation for thesis work in the area. Second half of term.