Technology and Future Cities

The Senseable City Lab will be hosting a class focused on discussing ongoing technological revolutions and their potential impacts for cities in the future. The class will work in combination with a parallel panel series hosted in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Design where renowned scholars, technologists and practicioners from the fields of urban design, city development, data science, IoT and A.I. will discuss current and future technological trends that will affect our cities in the coming decades.

Seeing the City Afresh: Writing About the Modern City

The modern city—with its attractive industry, remarkable vitality, strange solitudes, and wide and varied human contrasts—gathers peoples and forces with such dynamism that it can seem as incomprehensible as it is interesting. How, then, does one see the city in its varied complexity with a rich understanding of the lives and institutions and sensibilities that animate it? And how best to communicate the possibilities and frustrations of the city—especially on those perennial topics which are too often met with indifference or fatigue? By telling its stories—compellingly.

The Politics of Economic Democracy

This course begins with readings on the subjects of politics and planning, that is, the people. The initial classes will discuss the lives and perspectives of blacks, working class whites, and immigrants as illuminated through fictional narratives. The aim is to ground democracy’s potential within its principal components—the people themselves. The course will examine the “democracy” side of “economic democracy,” looking at traditional democratic theories compared to the political theories and assumptions of current proponents of economic democracy (Occupy, labor advocates, etc.).

Poverty and Economic Security

Explores the evolution of poverty and economic security in the US within a global context. Examines the impacts of recent economic restructuring and globalization. Reviews current debates about the fate of the middle class, sources of increasing inequality, and approaches to advancing economic opportunity and security. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Digital City Design Workshop

The Digital Revolution is changing the way we live today as radically as the Industrial Revolution did almost two centuries ago. As urbanization accelerates across the world, digital media and information technologies hold huge potential for understanding, designing, and managing cities. Over the last few years, the Senseable City Lab has aimed to anticipate the needs and opportunities that now exist in our cities as they incorporate these new technologies into the built environment, as research insights and new design solutions.

Doctoral Research Seminar: Reading, Writing & Research

Seminar focused on helping to doctoral students to do learn how to craft an argument, a fundamental building block of independent scholarship, including using theory to frame an argument; moving from data to an argument; and writing a literature review with a critical point of view. Builds on first year paper proposal developed in 11-233, as well as data gathered over the IAP period. Class emphasizes examination of exemplary papers in a wide range of fields, and intensive peer review and workshop discussion of each other’s papers.

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.

DesignX Accelerator Workshop

Students work in entrepreneurial teams to advance innovative ideas, products, services, and firms oriented to design and the built environment. Lectures, demonstrations, and presentations are supplemented by workshop time, when teams interact individually with instructors and industry mentors, and by additional networking events and field trips. At the end of the term, teams pitch for support of their venture to outside investors, accelerators, companies, or cities.Limited to 30; preference to students in DesignX Program.

Entrepreneurial Negotiation

Combines online weekly face-to-face negotiation exercises and in-person lectures designed to empower budding entrepreneurs with negotiation techniques to protect and increase the value of their ideas, deal with ego and build trust in relationships, and navigate entrepreneurial bargaining under constraints of economic uncertainty and complex technical considerations. Students must complete scheduled weekly assignments, including feedback memos to counterpart negotiators, and meet on campus with the instructor to discuss and reflect on their experiences with the course.

Advanced Workshop in Writing for Social Sciences and Architecture (ELS)

Focuses on techniques, format, and prose used in academic and professional life. Emphasis on writing required in fields such as economics, political science, and architecture. Short assignments include business letters, memos, and proposals that lead toward a written term project. Methods designed to accommodate those whose first language is not English. Develops effective writing skills for academic and professional contexts. Models, materials, topics and assignments vary from term to term. Placement test or permission of instructor required.