Analyzing and Accounting for Regional Economic Change

The practice of regional development utilizes economic theory to explain how (primarily) economic forces lead to and perpetuate spatial variation across geographic space. Regional theory seeks to explain not only why activities vary across location, but it also provides the motive force behind changes over time.  For planners “regional” represents a spatial unit of analysis like city, metropolitan, or rural area.

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.

D-Lab: Disseminating Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Innovations for the Common Good

Focuses on disseminating water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) innovations in developing countries, especially among underserved communities. Structured around field-based learning, case studies, lectures and videos. Emphasis on core WASH principles, culture-specific solutions, appropriate and sustainable technologies, behavior change, social marketing and building partnerships. Term project entails implementing the "next steps" in a WASH innovation in a specific locale and/or a new proposal/plan/project.

Structuring Low-Income Housing Projects in Developing Countries

This course explores the divergent motivations and resultant dynamics among international funders, national ministries, local authorities and project benefactors in housing projects. Issues of development are tested against actual projects in a comparative format.

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 cities or tools in coping with impending rapid and massive growth and expansion.

Water Planning, Policy, and Design

Focuses on water in environmental planning, policy, and design. Draws together faculty and students who are working on water-related research projects to develop and maintain a current perspective on the field from the site to metropolitan and international scales.

Theory of City Form

Why and how are cities made? What forces have shaped cities through time? And how has the physical urban form of the city structured power relations? Seeking a better understanding of the history of urban form and urbanization, we propose to examine the city through a set of lenses, or driving forces—geographic, economic, spiritual, political and technological ones—that have always shaped the city and in turn been influenced by it.

Transportation Policy, the Environment, and Livable Communities

Examines the economic and political conflict between transportation and the environment. Investigates the role of government regulation, green business and transportation policy as a facilitator of economic development and environmental sustainability.

Public Transportation Systems

Discusses evolution and role of urban public transportation modes, systems and services, focusing on bus and rail. Describes technological characteristics and their impacts on capacity, service quality, and cost. Current practice and new methods for data collection and analysis, performance monitoring, route and network design, frequency determination, and vehicle and crew scheduling. Effect of pricing policy and service quality on ridership. Methods for estimating costs associated with proposed service changes.

Managing Sustainable Businesses for People and Profits

Examines opportunities and challenges involved in building and growing businesses that achieve high financial performance and returns to society. An anchor course for the social dimensions of sustainability and serves as an elective Sloans Sustainability Certificate program. Through readings, cases, simulations and class visits from industry leaders, students explore the underlying principles and business practices that help to secure that alignment between business health and societal wellbeing.