Socially-Responsible Real Estate Development: Learning to Use Impact Assessment Tools Effectively

This will be a five week blended course offered at the beginning of the Spring 2017 semester. It will build on the newly-completed MOOC on Socially-Responsible Real Estate Development created by the STL Lab. Students will be expected to devote 5 hours a week to taking the 5 modules (one per week).  They will complete three hours of online work once a week. In addition, they will meet with Professor Susskind on Friday mornings (for two hours) to discuss their reactions to each week’s assignments. This will serve as a “beta test” for the new MOOC (leading to improvements in the online version of the class based on student reactions and advice).   The class will be broadcast each week by STL Lab, and taken simultaneously in China under the direction of Professor Shifu Wang, Head of the Department of Urban Planning at South China University of Technology in Guangzhou. His students will do the same work each week as the MIT students (using Chinese sub-titled versions of the material). The Friday morning class meetings will be held jointly (in English) with Prof. Shifu’s class.  The Friday morning sessions will be video recorded for further study at the end of the five week module.  We are expecting 12 - 15 MIT students to enroll for 6 credits under an 11S number. The class will simultaneously be listed as STLx162. For students to get graduate credit they will need to register under the 11S number.


The five modules of the course will focus on the definition of socially-responsible real estate development, the ways in which environmental impact assessment (EIA) and social impact assessment (SIA) can be used to enhance the design and implementation of large-scale real estate projects, the ethics of undertaking development of mega-projects outside a developer’s home country, strategies for negotiating with communities where environmental and social impacts can not be fully mitigated, techniques for involving stakeholders in each step of the EIA and SIA project and, finally, strategies for interacting with an Angry Public.