Solving for Carbon Neutrality at MIT

Solving for carbon neutrality at MIT requires a deep understanding of technology options, and human behaviors, as well as regional, state and municipal energy production and distribution systems, economic frameworks and policy.  The course will be designed for students to consider the local, state, regional and national context of solving for carbon neutrality and inform the development of the pathways they design.  The course will be designed to leverage the campus as a test bed for understanding climate mitigation and preparing for a low carbon future. 

Public Transportation Analytics and Planning

Students will gain experience processing, visualizing, and analyzing urban mobility data, with special emphasis on models and performance metrics tailored to scheduled, fixed-route transit services. The evolution of urban public transportation modes and services, as well as interaction with emerging on-demand services, will be covered. Instructors and guest lecturers from industry will discuss both methods for data collection and analysis, as well as organizational, policy, and governance constraints on transit planning.

Societal Transformation Lab

This course seeks to equip students with innovative leadership tools based on a systems-change approach to dealing with cities' most pressing challenges. Students will have an opportunity to apply the methods learned in class by joining with actual systems change initiatives chosen from CoLab's and PI's network, or in some cases may explore their own entrepreneurship process in self-designed systems transformation efforts. Areas of focus will include democracy and governance, environment, finance, education, health, business, and cross-cutting initiatives. 

China Urban Design Studio

Design studio that includes architects and city planners working in teams on a contemporary development project of importance in China, particularly in transitional, deindustrializing cities. Students analyze conditions, explore alternatives, and synthesize architecture, city design, and implementation plans. Lectures and brief study tours expose students to history and contemporary issues of urbanism in China. Offered each spring at MIT in parallel with urban design studio at Tsinghua University, Beijing, involving students and faculty from both schools.

CoLab Colombia IAP Field Work

Since June 2016, CoLab has been working with a cohort of 30 young leaders from the Colombian Pacific Region (in Buenaventura and Quibdó) on building territorial innovation capacities and creating alternatives to the extractive development patterns that have perpetuated conflict and inequality in the region.

COLAB FRAMEWORKS AND METHODS: Building the Next Economy: Introduction to Economic Democracy

This course will teach students the fundamentals of economic democracy: The list of challenges keeps growing: the rent is too high. Saving for retirement is increasingly out of reach. Species are dying, our planet is heating up. Basic staple crops are getting more expensive, and owned by fewer and fewer corporations. Banks and financial services crashed the global economy over a decade ago, and continue to pick our pockets and destroy communities today.

CoLab PAR Methods: Field-based Collaborative Research with Communities at the Margins

CoLab is offering a 2-day IAP course designed to introduce students to PAR concepts and methods as well as cases and experiences from CoLab’s field work.  In bringing together community researchers and academics to investigate a consequential social problem and determine what ought to be done, PAR seeks to transform existing unequal power relationships between marginalized groups and those traditionally considered “expert” researchers.  What are the considerations, challenges, ethical dilemmas and potentials of PAR approaches? What are the requirements for genuine knowledge co-production an

MAP, MEASURE, PLAN & MONITOR: Creating Equity through Integrated Landscape Management & Urban Metabolism

Mapping, measuring, planning and monitoring complex systems in the real world is the foundation for effective action. The proposed course is framed as a DUSP practicum. The course focuses on a joint approach to the use of technology development and community innovation in mapping complex physical, social and environmental contexts, measuring key attributes, formulating innovative interventions and monitoring dynamic interactions, between natural systems and human health and livelihoods.

Southern Urbanisms

Guides students in examining implicit and explicit values of diversity offered in "Southern" knowledge bases, theories, and practices of urban production. With a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, considers why the South-centered location of the estimated global urban population boom obligates us to examine how cities work as they do, and why Western-informed urban theory and planning scholarship may be ill-suited to provide guidance on urban development there. Examines the "rise of the rest" and its implications for the making and remaking of expertise and norms in planning practice.