This graduate research seminar will review the seminal as well as latest research on the driving forces of urbanization, real estate markets, urban sustainability in both developed and developing economies. It will cover various research topics under the umbrella of urbanization under three different modules where students will get a chance to learn from initiation of an idea to its publication including but not limited to, analyzing, framing, writing and critiquing as parts of the process.
The seminar is divided into three core modules and along with other key dimensions of sustainable urbanization—e.g., land and housing, transportation, energy and environment, business environment and political economy — we together will engage in the dialogue on the latest research and will reflect on it as a class. We will together understand the tensions as well as synergies between urbanization and sustainability. Together we will dissect and understand how qualitative and quantitative research methods are applied. In all three modules we will examine the connections between these multiple functional domains. The course entails subjects that evolve continually to keep pace with current trends in the cities, real estate sector and urbanization globally. We will together look into processes, engaging students to provide critical insights and produce cutting-edge academic work. Under the three core modules -
Module I - Sustainable Urbanization. Cities are the engine for economic growth. This massive movement of residents from rural to urban regions, the so called "urbanization" is exerting more and more pressure everyday on the environment (water, air, soil, biodiversity, climate, and more), and public health and is reshaping economies of our cities as they grapple to adapt. This module is designed for students who wish to gain deeper insights into the tension and synergy between urban development and the environment from a global perspective; and at the same time, to enhance their analytical reasoning and quantitative skills to assist evidence-based study and policy design evaluation in this field.
Module II- Sustainable Real Estate. Today, climate change represents one of the biggest existential threat to the US and global real estate markets. Technology, climate science and regulations have developed dramatically in the sustainability sector due to the significant climate induced physical risks presented to the built environment. At the same time, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is gaining prominence with respect to investment decisions in global real estate industry. Real estate investors and market players put sustainability at the center of their investment approach. This module will provide a systematic framework to understand the most challenging issues in sustainability in the real estate industry.
Module III- Urbanization of Emerging Economies. Asia, Middle East, Africa, and other parts of the developing world have experienced a dramatic urbanization process over the past few decades. Such a rapid urbanization happening at this global era has different underlying forces as well as patterns from that happened in Europe and North America centuries and decades ago. This module will look into a few developing economies/regions (China, Brazil, Southeast Asia, etc.) to study the urbanization dynamics, and explore how to conduct rigorous research in those contexts when data availability is always a big challenge.