Big Plans

This undergraduate course explores: (1) the origins of visionary urban ideas, (2) the political complexity of developing and implementing Big Plans, (3) their implications for social equity and the environment, and (4) the time and spatial scales by which to evaluate their impact. Lectures by the instructors, urban designers, and other practitioners will ground group discussions and a sequence of urban design and planning exercises culminating in a final project on climate adaptation for coastal cities. Specifically, we will envision Back Bay in the near future, when it may be periodically inundated by rainfall, river floods, and/or storm surge. Students will develop a nuanced appreciation for the analysis, opportunities, and challenges of large scale planning processes associated with climate change adaptation.