Spring 2013

Semester Start Date: 
Friday, February 1, 2013

Urban Labor Markets & Employment Policy

Discusses the broader trends in the labor market, how urban labor markets function, public and private training policy, other labor market programs, the link between labor market policy and economic development, and the organization of work within firms.

Cities and Regions: Urban Economics and Public Policy

The theory of urban land and housing markets, and the spatial development of cities. The roles played by transportation systems and local governments in shaping urban location patterns. Interregional competition, economic development, and the migration of labor and capital. Prerequisites: 14.03 or 14.04

Urban Climate Adaptation

Examines the challenges cities face and strategies to prepare for the impacts of climate change. Particular attention to the needs of vulnerable populations and resource-constrained cities, global and national adaptation policies and funding mechanisms, and ways in which local government and community-based activities can promote climate-readiness.

Water Reading Group

Interdisciplinary focus on water in environmental history, planning, policy, and design. Draws together faculty and students who are working on water-related research projects to develop and maintain a broad and current perspective on the field. Limited to 15.

Urban Sustainability in Action

Considers the theory and practice of urban sustainability. Introduces concepts of environmental sustainability, systems dynamics, ecological footprints, and environmental indicators. Investigates cutting-edge practices of cities in the US and around the world. Drawing on those examples, students identify opportunities to make the Boston more sustainable and make a persuasive case for adopting their ideas.

The Law and Politics of Land Use

Analysis of local and state power to regulate land use and development. Particular emphasis on the evolution of planning and zoning regulations, and the perceived narrowing of the relationship between public improvements requirements and development impact. The ability of regulatory bodies to impose environmental performance standards and limit development activity is explored in relation to recent Supreme Court and State SJC decisions. Development decisions rendered by public agencies are reviewed, critiqued, and discussed.

Real Estate Ventures II: Negotiating Leases, Financings, and Restructurings

Building on 11.351, studies key issues of principal asset management agreements, through the lens of the real estate developer/investor, in connection with the value creation, financing and restructuring phases of a real estate venture. Value creation phase focuses on negotiating office and retail leases. Financing phase focuses on negotiating permanent and mezzanine loans and intercreditor agreements.

Innovative Project Delivery in the Public and Private Sectors

Develops a strong strategic understanding of how best to deliver various types of projects in the built environment. Examines the compatibility of various project delivery methods, consisting of organizations, contracts, and award methods, with certain types of projects and owners. Six methods examined: traditional general contracting; construction management; multiple primes; design-build; turnkey; and build-operate-transfer. Includes lectures, case studies, guest speakers, and a team project to analyze a case example. First half of term. Prerequisites: permission of instructor


Seminar on downtown in US cities from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth. Emphasis on downtown as an idea, place, and cluster of interests, on the changing character of downtown, and on recent efforts to rebuild it. Topics considered include subways, skyscrapers, highways, urban renewal, and retail centers. Focus on readings, discussions, and individual research projects. Meets with undergraduate subject 11.026J, but assignments differ.

Urban Design Studio: Shrinking Cities

Examines the rehabilitation and re-imagination of a city. Analyzes the city at three scales: citywide, neighborhood, and individual dwellings. Aims to shape innovative design solutions, enhance social amenity, and improve economic equity through strategic and creative geographical, urban design and architectural thinking. Intended for students with backgrounds in architecture, community development, and physical planning. Limited to 12. Only open by application, and by permission of instructor.