Subjects

The Department offers many subjects for undergraduates and graduates alike. These are broken down into core, specialized and research subjects. Each year the Department offers 25 undergraduate and more than 90 graduate subjects of instruction from which each student designs, with faculty guidance, an individual program of study that matches their interests and experiences. 

The materials of many of the classes developed by DUSP faculty are provided free to the public through MIT's Open CourseWare site. In addition, DUSP is continuing to develop online offerings on multiple platforms, including: EdXMITxPro, and the MIT Case Study Initiative.

Conflict Chart

Filter by
Semester
Level
Type
2.812
2.832

Solving for Carbon Neutrality at MIT

Working in teams, students address the problem of reducing MIT's greenhouse gas emissions in a manner consistent with the climate goals of maintaining our planet in a suitable regime to support human society and the environment. Solution scenarios include short-, middle- and long-term strategies. Experts from MIT's faculty and operations staff, as well as outside experts who address the multidisciplinary features of the problem guide solutions. These include climate science, ethics, carbon accounting, cost estimating, MIT's energy supply, energy demand, and infrastructure, new technologies, financial instruments, electricity markets, policy, human behavior, and regulation. Develops skills to address carbon neutrality at other universities, and at other scales, including cities and nations. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Tim Gutowski
Julie Newman
Spring
3-3-6
Undergraduate
Schedule
MW 1:00 - 2:30 PM
Location
5-217
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
2.832
2.812

Solving for Carbon Neutrality at MIT

Working in teams, students address the problem of reducing MIT's greenhouse gas emissions in a manner consistent with the climate goals of maintaining our planet in a suitable regime to support human society and the environment. Solution scenarios include short-, middle- and long-term strategies. Experts from MIT's faculty and operations staff, as well as outside experts who address the multidisciplinary features of the problem guide solutions. These include climate science, ethics, carbon accounting, cost estimating, MIT's energy supply, energy demand, and infrastructure, new technologies, financial instruments, electricity markets, policy, human behavior, and regulation. Develops skills to address carbon neutrality at other universities, and at other scales, including cities and nations. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Tim Gutowski
Julie Newman
Spring
3-3-6
Graduate
Schedule
MW 1:00 - 2:30 PM
Location
5-217
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.001J
4.250J

Introduction to Urban Design and Development

Examines the evolving structure of cities and the way that cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas can be designed and developed. Surveys the ideas of a wide range of people who have addressed urban problems. Stresses the connection between values and design. Demonstrates how physical, social, political and economic forces interact to shape and reshape cities over time. Introduces links between urban design and urban science.

Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
MW 11:00 - 12:30PM
Location
4-370
HASS
H
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.005

Introduction to International Development

This course introduces undergraduates to the history, theory, and practice of international development. We take an interdisciplinary and applied approach to some of the "big questions" in our field, drawing from history, economics, sociology, and anthropology: What does development mean? Why are some countries poorer than others? How have different actors sought to address the challenges of development in the past, and how are they approaching these challenges now? What roles do technology and innovation play in international development?

While reflecting on the avenues through which students can build their own careers in the development field, the goal of this class is to go beyond traditional dichotomies and narrow definitions of progress, wellbeing, and modernity. Instead, we will invite students to develop a more nuanced understanding of international development by offering: i) a stimulating learning environment, which will support the development of their critical thinking, reading, writing, and planning skills; ii) interactions with scholars and practitioners of international development, to draw connections between histories and theories of development on one hand, and contemporary realities on the other.

Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 2:30 - 4:00 PM
Location
5-234
HASS
S
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.007

Urban and Environmental Technology Implementation Lab

Real-world clients and environmental problems form the basis of a project in which teams of students develop strategies for analysis and implementation of new sensor technology within cities.  Working closely with a partner or client based on the MIT campus or in Cambridge, students assess the environmental problem, implement prototypes, and recommend promising solutions to the client for implementation. Equipment and working space provided.

Spring
2-2-8
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 11:00 - 12:30PM
Location
9-425
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.021
IDS.060
IDS.540

Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics: Pollution Prevention and Control

Reviews and analyzes federal and state regulation of air and water pollution, hazardous waste, green-house gas emissions, and the production and use of toxic chemicals. Analyzes pollution as an economic problem and the failure of markets. Explores the role of science and economics in legal decisions. Emphasizes use of legal mechanisms and alternative approaches (such as economic incentives and voluntary approaches) to control pollution and encourage chemical accident and pollution prevention. Focuses on the major federal legislation, the underlying administrative system, and the common law in analyzing environmental policy, economic consequences, and the role of the courts. Discusses classical pollutants and toxic industrial chemicals, green-house gas emissions, community right-to-know, and environmental justice. Develops basic legal skills: how to read/understand cases, regulations, and statutes. Students taking graduate version are expected to explore the subject in greater depth.

 
Nicholas Ashford
Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Location
E51-057
HASS
S
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.024
11.324

Modeling Pedestrian Activity in Cities

Investigates the interaction between pedestrian activity, urban form, and land-use patterns in relatively dense urban environments. Informed by recent literature on pedestrian mobility, behavior, and biases, subject takes a practical approach, using software tools and analysis methods to operationalize and model pedestrian activity. Uses simplified yet powerful and scalable network analysis methods that focus uniquely on pedestrians, rather than engaging in comprehensive travel demand modeling across all modes. Emphasizes not only modeling or predicting pedestrian activity in given built settings, but also analyzing and understanding how changes in the built environment — land use changes, density changes, and connectivity changes — can affect pedestrian activity. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 2:00 - 3:30 PM
Location
10-401
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.027

City to City: Comparing, Researching and Writing about Cities

Introduces students to practice through researching, writing, and working for and with nonprofits. Students work directly with nonprofits and community partners to help find solutions to real world problems; interview planners and other field experts, and write and present findings to nonprofit partners and community audiences.

Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 4:00 - 5:00 PM
Location
9-217
HASS
S
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.045
21A.129
11.045, 15.302, 17.045

Power: Interpersonal, Organizational, and Global Dimensions

The study of power among individuals and within organizations, markets, and states. Using examples from anthropology and sociology alongside classical and contemporary social theory, explores the nature of dominant and subordinate relationships, types of legitimate authority, and practices of resistance. Examines how people are influenced in subtle ways by those around them, who makes controlling decisions in the family, how people get ahead at work, and whether democracies, in fact, reflect the will of the people. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

S. Silbey
Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 2:30 - 4:00 PM
Location
56-114
HASS
S
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.067
11.367

Land Use Law and Politics: Race, Place, and Law

Explores conceptions of spatial justice and introduces students to basic principles of US law and legal analysis, focused on property, land use, equal protection, civil rights, fair housing, and local government law, in order to examine who should control how land is used. Examines the rights of owners of land and the types of regulatory and market-based tools that are available to control land use, and discusses why and when government regulation, rather than private market ordering, might be necessary to control land use patterns. Explores basic principles of civil rights and anti-discrimination law and focuses on particular civil rights problems associated with the land use regulatory system, such as exclusionary zoning, residential segregation, the fair distribution of undesirable land uses, and gentrification. Introduces basic skills of statutory drafting and interpretation. Assignments differ for those taking the graduate version.

Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Location
10-401
HASS
S
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.123

Big Plans and Mega-Urban Landscapes

This class explores various types of large-scale planning initiatives that have been devised and implemented to improve the human condition through the lenses of urban planning and international development. Using case studies from all around the world, we will trace the evolution of Big Plans and examine how these plans have modified the social, economic, environmental, and spatial fabric of cities. We will consider potential strategies to improve Big Planning approaches of the past from a variety of perspectives from technology to democratic decision-making processes to real estate development. Assignments include analyzing physical plans, writing policy memos and reflection pieces, and a group project evaluating a Big Plan of one’s choice.

Spring
3-0-6
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 11:00 - 12:30PM
Location
10-485
HASS
S
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.125
CMS.587

Introduction to Education: Understanding and Evaluating Education

One of two introductory subjects on teaching and learning science and mathematics in a variety of K-12 settings. Topics include student misconceptions, formative assessment, standards and standardized testing, multiple intelligences, and educational technology. Students gain practical experience through weekly visits to schools, classroom discussions, selected readings, and activities to develop a critical and broad understanding of past and current forces that shape the goals and processes of education, and explores the challenges and opportunities of teaching. Students work collaboratively and individually on papers, projects, and in-class presentations. Limited to 25.

Eric Klopfer
Spring
3-6-3
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 2:30 - 4:00 PM
Location
5-134
HASS
CI
H
S
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.131
CMS.593

Educational Theory and Practice III

Students continue their IAP student teaching through mid March. Topics include educational psychology, theories of learning, and using technology and evaluating its effectiveness to enhance student learning. Assignments include readings from educational literature, written reflections on student teaching, presentations on class topics and creating a project that supports student learning at the school where the MIT student is teaching. This is the third of the three-course sequence necessary to complete the Teacher Education Program.

G. Schwanbeck
Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Location
1-135
HASS
S
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.139

The City in Film

Surveys important developments in urbanism from 1900 to the present, using film as a lens to explore and interpret aspects of the urban experience in the US and abroad. Topics include industrialization, demographics, diversity, the environment, and the relationship between the community and the individual. Films vary from year to year but always include a balance of classics from the history of film, an occasional experimental/avant-garde film, and a number of more recent, mainstream movies. Students taking undergraduate version complete writing assignments that focus on observation, analysis, and the essay, and give an oral presentation. Limited to 18.

Spring
2-2-5
Undergraduate
Schedule
T 2:00 - 3:30 PM, R 7:00 - 10:00 PM
Location
T 9-451
R 3-133
HASS
CI
H
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.145

International Housing Economics and Finance

Presents a theory of comparative differences in international housing outcomes. Introduces institutional differences in the ways housing expenditures are financed, and the economic determinants of housing outcomes, such as construction costs, land values, housing quality, and ownership rates. Analyzes the flow of funds to and from the different national housing finance sectors. Develops an understanding of the greater financial and macroeconomic implications of the mortgage credit sector, and how policies affect the ways housing asset fluctuations impact national economies. Considers the perspective of investors in international real estate markets and the risks and rewards involved. Draws on lessons from an international comparative approach, and applies them to economic and finance policies at the local, state/provincial, and federal levels within a country of choice. Meets with 11.355 when offered concurrently. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Spring
3-0-6
Undergraduate
Schedule
MW 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Location
9-217
Prerequisites
14.01
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.151
STS.080

Youth Political Participation

Surveys youth political participation in the US since the early 1800s. Investigates trends in youth political activism during specific historical periods, as well as what difference youth media production and technology use (e.g., radio, music, automobiles, ready-made clothing) made in determining the course of events. Explores what is truly new about "new media" and reviews lessons from history for present-day activists based on patterns of past failure and success. Some mandatory field trips may occur during class time. Limited to 40.

J. S. Light
Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
M 1:00 - 4:00 PM
Location
E51-165
HASS
H
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.155
IDS.057
STS.005

Data and Society

Introduces students to the social, political, and ethical aspects of data science work. Designed to create reflective practitioners who are able to think critically about how collecting, aggregating, and analyzing data are social processes and processes that affect people.

Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 11:00 - 12:30PM
Location
56-180
HASS
H
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.157
15.2391
11.257 / 15.239

China's Growth: Political Economy, Business, and Urbanization

Examines different aspects of the growth of China, which has the second largest economy in the world. Studies the main drivers of Chinese economic growth and the forces behind the largest urbanization in human history. Discusses how to understand China's booming real estate market, and how Chinese firms operate to attain their success, whether through hard-working entrepreneurship or political connections with the government. Explores whether the top-down urban and industrial policy interventions improve efficiency or cause misallocation problems, and whether the Chinese political system in an enabler of Chinese growth or a potential impediment to the country's future growth prospects. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Zhengzhen Tan
Yasheng Huang
Spring
3-0-3
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 2:30 - 4:00 PM, H4
Location
9-354
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.158
11.478

Behavioral Science and Urban Mobility

Examines the behavioral foundation for policy design using urban transportation examples. Introduces multiple frameworks for understanding behavior while contrasting the perspectives of classic economic theory with behavioral economics and social psychology. Suggests corresponding policy interventions and establishes a mapping across behavior, theory, and policy. Presents a spectrum of instruments for positively influencing behavior and improving welfare. Challenges students to critique, design, implement and interpret experiments that nudge travel behavior. Brings behavioral insights to creative design of transport policies that are efficient and equitable as well as simple, consistent, transparent, acceptable, and adaptive to behavioral changes. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 11:00 - 12:30PM
Location
9-451
HASS
S
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.169
11.269

Global Climate Policy and Sustainability

Examines climate politics both nationally and globally. Addresses economic growth, environmental preservation, and social equity through the lens of sustainability. Uses various country and regional cases to analyze how sociopolitical, economic and environmental values shape climate policy. Students develop recommendations for making climate policy more effective and sustainable. Limited to 25.

Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
M 9:00 - 12:00 PM
Location
9-450
HASS
S
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.171
11.271

Indigenous Environmental Planning

Examines how Indigenous peoples' relationships to their homelands and local environments has been adversely affected by Western planning. Explores how these relationships have changed over time as American Indians, Alaska Natives, and other groups indigenous to North America and Hawai'i have adapted to new conditions, including exclusion from markets of exchange, overhunting/overfishing, dispossession, petrochemical development, conservation, mainstream environmentalism, and climate change. Seeks to understand current environmental challenges and their roots and discover potential solutions to address these challenges. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Spring
3-0-9
Undergraduate
Schedule
M 2:00 - 5:00PM
Location
9-451
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.188
11.205, 11.520

Urban Planning and Social Science Laboratory

An introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a tool for visualizing and analyzing spatial data. Explores how GIS can make maps, guide decisions, answer questions, and advocate for change. Class builds toward a project in which students critically apply GIS techniques to an area of interest. Students build data discovery, cartography, and spatial analysis skills while learning to reflect on their positionality within the research design process. Because maps and data are never neutral, the class incorporates discussions of power, ethics, and data throughout as part of a reflective practice. Instruction and practice in oral and written communication provided.

Spring
3-3-6
Undergraduate
Schedule
MW 2:30 - 4:00 PM
Lab: R 4:30 - 6:30 PM
Lab: F 1:00 - 4:00 PM
Location
MW: 9-354
Lab: 9-554
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.201

Gateway: Urban Studies and Planning 2

Builds on 11.200 by exploring in more detail contemporary planning tools and techniques, as well as case studies of planning and urban studies practice.

Spring
4-1-7
Graduate
Schedule
MW 11:00 - 12:30 PM
R1: R 3:00 - 4:00 PM
R2: F 2:00 - 3:00 PM
R3: F 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Location
37-212
Prerequisites
11.200
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.202

Planning Economics

Students use economic theory tools acquired in 11.203 to understand the mutual processes of individual action and structural constraint and investigate crises in search of opportunities for mitigation and reparation. Investigates a variety of structural crises from throughout the realms of planning, such as: capitalism, climate change, and (in)action; white supremacy, segregation, and gentrification; colonialism, informality, and infrastructure; autocentricity and other legacies of the built environment.

Spring
3-0-3
Graduate
Schedule
TR 11:00 - 12:30PM
H4 (Begins week of March 28th)
Location
4-231
Prerequisites
11.203
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.203

Microeconomics

Students develop a suite of tools from economic theory to understand the mutual processes of individual action and structural constraint. Students apply these tools to human interaction and social decision-making. Builds an understanding of producer theory from the collaborative possibilities and physical constraints that unfold as production is scaled up. Presents consumer theory as the process of individuals doing the best for themselves, their families, and their communities -- subject to the sociostructural constraints under which they operate. Considers alternative frameworks of social welfare, with a specific focus on marginalization and crisis, as well as common policy interventions and their implications under different constructions of welfare.

Spring
3-0-3
Graduate
Schedule
TR 11:00 - 12:30PM
H3 (Ends week of March 18th)
Location
4-231
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.205

Introduction to Spatial Analysis

An introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS): a tool for visualizing and analyzing data representing locations and their attributes. GIS is invaluable for planners, scholars, and professionals who shape cities and a political instrument with which activists advocate for change. Class includes exercises to make maps, query databases, and analyze spatial data. Because maps and data are never neutral, the class incorporates discussions of power, ethics, and data throughout as part of a reflective practice. Limited enrollment; preference to first-year MCP students.

Spring
2-2-2
Graduate
Schedule
MW 2:30 - 4:00 PM, H1
Location
9-354
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.222

Introduction to Critical Qualitative Methods

Introduces qualitative methods as an approach to critical inquiry in urban planning research and practice. Emphasizes the importance of historical context, place-specificity, and the experiences and views of individuals as ways of knowing relationships of power and privilege between people, in place, and over time. Explores a range of critical qualitative methods including those used in archival, interview, observational, visual, and case study analysis.

Spring
3-0-3
Graduate
Schedule
T 9:00 - 11:00 AM
Location
4-163
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.234

Making Sense: Qualitative Methods for Designers and Planners

This subject introduces the practice of qualitative research, emphasizing the founding methods of 
ethnographic fieldwork in anthropology, to demonstrate how such methods can support the work 
of social science researchers and practitioners. Its goal is to guide each student throughout the 
process of research, from the design of an ethnographic study (formulating research questions, 
the literature and media review, archival methods, formulation of formal and informal 
interviews, interviewing skills, crafting fieldnotes, participant observation, and the ethics of 
research, etc.), to the analysis of data. In learning the craft of qualitative methods, students will 
produce theories grounded in empirical data analysis (i.e. drafting memos, translation and 
transcription, narrative coding, etc.) and also to apply grounded theories to settings of practice.
Students develop a field-based research project that produces a final paper offering original 
theory and an intervention or design to be implemented.

Spring
3-3-6
Graduate
Schedule
M 9:30 - 12:30 PM
Location
9-450A
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.244
STS.424

Race, History, and the Built Environment

Examines how the development of the built environment produces and reproduces conceptions of race - sociobiological theories of human difference. Using historical and cross-cultural cases, tracks the social and political lives of material objects, infrastructures, technologies, and architectures using projects of settler colonialism, nation-building, community development and planning, and in post-conflict and post-disaster settings. Analyzes social theories of race, place, space, and materiality; power, identity, and embodiment; and memory, death, and haunting. Explores how conceptions of belonging, citizenship, and exclusion are represented and designed spatially through analysis of examples, such as the appropriation of land for infrastructure programs, the erasure and commemoration of heritage in public spaces, and the use of the built environment to impose colonial ideologies. Limited to 14 students.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
W 9:30 - 12:30 PM
Location
9-450A
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.246
4.246

DesignX Accelerator

Students continue to work in their venture teams to advance innovative ideas, products, and services oriented to design, planning, and the human environment. Presented in a workshop format with supplementary lectures. Teams are matched with external mentors for additional support in business and product development. At the end of the term, teams pitch their ventures to an audience from across the school and MIT, investors, industry, and cities. Registration limited to students accepted to the MITdesignX accelerator in the fall.

Gilad Rosenzweig
Svafa Gronfeldt
Spring
2-4-6
Graduate
Schedule
F 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location
9-451
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.250

Transportation Research Design

Seminar dissects ten transportation studies from head to toe to illustrate how research ideas are initiated, framed, analyzed, evidenced, written, presented, criticized, revised, extended, and published, quoted and applied. Students design and execute their own transportation research. Limited to 20.

Spring
2-0-1
Graduate
Schedule
F 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Location
9-255
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.251

Frontier of Transportation Research

Survey of the latest transportation research offered by 12 MIT faculty each presenting their ongoing research. Students are required to attend the classes, read the assigned articles, and write a brief reflection memo.  

Spring
1-0-2
Graduate
Schedule
F 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Location
9-450
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.252
CMS.863
11.127, CMS.590

Design and Development of Games for Learning

Immerses students in the process of building and testing their own digital and board games in order to better understand how we learn from games. Explores the design and use of games in the classroom in addition to research and development issues associated with computer-based (desktop and handheld) and non-computer-based media. In developing their own games, students examine what and how people learn from them (including field testing of products), as well as how games can be implemented in educational settings. All levels of computer experience welcome. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Eric Klopfer
Spring
3-6-3
Graduate
Schedule
TR 1:00 - 2:30 PM
Location
5-134
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.255

Negotiation and Dispute Resolution in the Public Sector

Investigates social conflict and distributional disputes in the public sector. While theoretical aspects of conflict and consensus building are considered, focus is on the practice of negotiation and dispute resolution. Comparisons between unassisted and assisted negotiation are reviewed along with the techniques of facilitation and mediation.

Jungwoo Chun
Spring
4-0-8
Graduate
Schedule
MW 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Location
9-255
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.257
15.239
11.157 / 15.2391

China's Growth: Political Economy, Business, and Urbanization

Examines different aspects of the growth of China, which has the second largest economy in the world. Studies the main drivers of Chinese economic growth and the forces behind the largest urbanization in human history. Discusses how to understand China's booming real estate market, and how Chinese firms operate to attain their success, whether through hard-working entrepreneurship or political connections with the government. Explores whether the top-down urban and industrial policy interventions improve efficiency or cause misallocation problems, and whether the Chinese political system in an enabler of Chinese growth or a potential impediment to the country's future growth prospects. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Zhengzhen Tan
Yasheng Huang
Spring
3-0-3
Graduate
Schedule
TR 2:30 - 4:00 PM, H4
Location
9-354
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.263
1.263
SCM.293

Urban Last-Mile Logistics

Explores specific challenges of urban last-mile B2C and B2B distribution in both industrialized and emerging economies. Develops an in-depth understanding of the perspectives, roles, and decisions of all relevant stakeholder groups, from consumers to private sector decision makers and public policy makers. Discusses the most relevant traditional and the most promising innovating operating models for urban last-mile distribution. Introduces applications of the essential quantitative methods for the strategic design and tactical planning of urban last-mile distribution systems, including optimization and simulation. Covers basic facility location problems, network design problems, single- and multi-echelon vehicle routing problems, as well as associated approximation techniques. Requires intermediate coding skills in Python and independent quantitative analyses Python.

M. Winkenbach
Spring
2-0-4
Graduate
Schedule
TR 10:00 - 11:30 AM, H4
Location
E51-057
Prerequisites
SCM.254 or permission of instructor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.269
11.169

Global Climate Policy and Sustainability

Examines climate politics both nationally and globally. Addresses economic growth, environmental preservation, and social equity through the lens of sustainability. Uses various country and regional cases to analyze how sociopolitical, economic and environmental values shape climate policy. Students develop recommendations for making climate policy more effective and sustainable. Limited to 25.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
M 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location
9-450
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.271
11.171

Indigenous Environmental Planning

Examines how Indigenous peoples' relationships to their homelands and local environments has been adversely affected by Western planning. Explores how these relationships have changed over time as American Indians, Alaska Natives, and other groups indigenous to North America and Hawai'i have adapted to new conditions, including exclusion from markets of exchange, overhunting/overfishing, dispossession, petrochemical development, conservation, mainstream environmentalism, and climate change. Seeks to understand current environmental challenges and their roots and discover potential solutions to address these challenges. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 25.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
M 2:00 - 5:00PM
Location
9-451
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.302
4.253

Urban Design Politics

Examines ways that urban design contributes to distribution of political power and resources in cities. Investigates the nature of relations between built form and political purposes through close study of public and private sector design commissions and planning processes that have been clearly motivated by political pressures, as well as more tacit examples. Lectures and discussions focus on cases from both developed and developing countries.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
M 3:00 - 6:00 PM
Location
5-231
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.303
4.254

Real Estate Development Studio: Complex Urban Projects

Focuses on the synthesis of urban, mixed-use real estate projects, including the integration of physical design and programming with finance and marketing. Interdisciplinary student teams analyze how to maximize value across multiple dimensions in the process of preparing professional development proposals for sites in US cities and internationally. Reviews emerging real estate products and innovative developments to provide a foundation for studio work. Two major projects are interspersed with lectures and field trips. Integrates skills and knowledge in the MSRED program; also open to other students interested in real estate development by permission of the instructors.

Spring
6-0-12
Graduate
Schedule
MW 2:30 - 5:30 PM
M 6:00 - 7:00 PM
Location
10-485
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.304
4.255

Site and Environmental Systems Planning

East Boston Practicum

The Site and Environmental Systems Planning workshop addresses the range of practical approaches involved in evaluating and planning sites within the context of natural, cultural, social, and political systems. It concentrates on developing the knowledge and skills for analyzing and planning sites for development through practical exercises and major urban and landscape projects that focus on ecological systems, climate resiliency, education, and environmental justice.

The workshop will address the following question: how might a mosaic of land uses, wetlands, programmed open space, and residential neighborhoods be configured and deployed to create a coherent, ecologically-based strategy for climate mitigation along the waterfront peninsula of East Boston? The sites of interest are the waterfronts along the MBTA Orient Heights Repair Shop and the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation as well as the mitigation of stormwater runoff in the areas of Jefferies Point and Brandywyne Village. These sites were identified by the previous 2021 and 2022 Site and Environmental Planning practica that worked with various community organizations and Boston Planning & Development Agency.

Spring
6-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
MW 2:30 - 5:00 PM
Location
9-450
7-434
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.312

Engaging Community: Models and Methods for Strengthening Democracy

Examines the demographic complexity of cities and their fundamental design challenges for planners and other professions responsible for engaging the public. Working with clients, participants learn design principles for creating public engagement practices necessary for building inclusive civic infrastructure in cities. Participants also have the opportunity to review and practice strategies, techniques, and methods for engaging communities in demographically complex settings.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
TR 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location
9-217
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.320

Digital City Design Workshop

Students develop proposals, at the city and neighborhood scales, that integrate urban design, planning, and digital technology. Aims to create more efficient, responsive, and livable urban places and systems that combine physical form with digital media, sensing, communications, and data analysis. Students conduct field research, build project briefs, and deliver designs or prototypes, while supported by lectures, case studies, and involvement from experts and representatives of subject cities. Limited to 12.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
F 2:00 - 5:00 PM
Location
9-217
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.321

Data Science and Real Estate

Introduces the principles of data science and how data science is impacting cities and real estate, with a combination of fundamental lectures, guest speakers, and use cases. Presents practical skills in data science and provides the opportunity for students to produce their own work.

Spring
4-0-8
Graduate
Schedule
MW 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location
9-354
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.323

International Real Estate Transactions

Focuses on analyzing a variety of unique international real estate investment and development transactions. Blends real estate investing and development decision-making with discussion-based learning from a multidisciplinary standpoint. Seeks to facilitate a richer understanding of domestic (US) real estate transaction concepts by contextualizing them in the general analytical framework underpinning international real estate investment decision-making.

Manish Srivastava
Spring
3-0-3
Graduate
Schedule
F 3:30 - 6:30 PM
Location
11.323
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.324
11.024

Modeling Pedestrian Activity in Cities

Investigates the interaction between pedestrian activity, urban form, and land-use patterns in relatively dense urban environments. Informed by recent literature on pedestrian mobility, behavior, and biases, subject takes a practical approach, using software tools and analysis methods to operationalize and model pedestrian activity. Uses simplified yet powerful and scalable network analysis methods that focus uniquely on pedestrians, rather than engaging in comprehensive travel demand modeling across all modes. Emphasizes not only modeling or predicting pedestrian activity in given built settings, but also analyzing and understanding how changes in the built environment — land use changes, density changes, and connectivity changes — can affect pedestrian activity. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
TR 2:00 - 3:30 PM
Location
10-401
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.330
4.241

The Making of Cities

Examines the complex development of cities through history by tracing a diachronic accumulation of forms and spaces in specific cities, and showing how significant ideas were made manifest across distinct geographies and cultures. Emphasizes how economic, spiritual, political, geographic and technological forces have simultaneously shaped and, in turn, been influenced by the city. 

L. Jacobi
R. Segal
Spring
arranged
Graduate
Schedule
W 5:00 - 8:00 PM
Location
5-233
Prerequisites
11.001, 11.301, or permission of instructor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.332
4.163

Urban Design Studio

The design of urban environments. Strategies for change in large areas of cities, to be developed over time, involving different actors. Fitting forms into natural, man-made, historical, and cultural contexts; enabling desirable activity patterns; conceptualizing built form; providing infrastructure and service systems; guiding the sensory character of development. Involves architecture and planning students in joint work; requires individual designs or design and planning guidelines.

Spring
arranged
Graduate
Schedule
TR 1:00 - 6:00 PM
Location
10-485
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.333
4.244

Urban Design Seminar: Perspectives on Contemporary Practice

Examines innovations in urban design practice occurring through the work of leading practitioners in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning. Features lectures by major national and global practitioners in urban design. Projects and topics vary based on term and speakers but may cover architectural urbanism, landscape and ecology, arts and culture, urban design regulation and planning agencies, and citywide and regional design. Focuses on analysis and synthesis of themes discussed in presentations and discussions.

Spring
2-0-7
Graduate
Schedule
W 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Location
10-401
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.344
1.472

Innovative Project Delivery in the Public and Private Sectors

Develops a strong strategic understanding of how best to deliver various types of projects in the built environment. Examines the compatibility of various project delivery methods, consisting of organizations, contracts, and award methods, with certain types of projects and owners. Six methods examined: traditional general contracting; construction management; multiple primes; design-build; turnkey; and build-operate-transfer. Includes lectures, case studies, guest speakers, and a team project to analyze a case example.

C. M. Gordon
Spring
2-0-4
Graduate
Schedule
TR 4:00 - 5:30 PM, H3
Location
9-354
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.350

Sustainable Real Estate: Economics & Business

Offers insight into tension and synergy between sustainability and the real estate industry. Considers why sustainability matters for real estate, how real estate can contribute to sustainability and remain profitable, and what investment and market opportunities exist for sustainable real estate products and how they vary across asset classes. Lectures combine economic and business insights and tools to understand the challenges and opportunities of sustainable real estate. Provides a framework to understand issues in sustainability in real estate and examine economic mechanisms, technological advances, business models, and investment and financing strategies available to promote sustainability. Discusses buildings as basic physical assets; cities as the context where buildings interact with the built environment, policies, and urban systems; and portfolios as sustainable real estate investment vehicles in capital markets. Enrollment for MSRED, MCP, and MBA students is prioritized.

Zhengzhen Tan
Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
TR 9:00 - 10:30 AM
W 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Location
9-354
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.352

Real Estate Ventures II: Negotiating Leases, Financings, and Restructurings

Focuses on key business and legal issues within the principal agreements used to lease, finance, and restructure a real estate venture. Through the lens of the real estate developer and its counter-parties, students identify, discuss and negotiate the most important business issues in office and retail leases, and permanent loan, mezzanine loan, inter-creditor, standstill/forbearance, and loan modification (workout) agreements. Students work closely with attorneys who specialize in the construction of such agreements and with students from area law schools and New York University and Columbia University. Single-asset real estate bankruptcy and the federal income tax consequences of debt restructuring are also addressed. Limited to 25; preference to MSRED students; no Listeners.

W. T. McGrath
Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
R 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Location
9-354
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.353
15.429

Securitization of Mortgages and Other Assets

Investigates the economics and finance of securitization. Considers the basic mechanics of structuring deals for various asset-backed securities. Investigates the pricing of pooled assets, using Monte Carlo and other option pricing techniques, as well as various trading strategies used in these markets.

W. Torous
Spring
3-0-6
Graduate
Schedule
MW 12:30-2:00 PM
Location
9-354
Prerequisites
11.431, 15.401, or permission of instructor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.355

International Housing Economics and Finance

Presents a theory of comparative differences in international housing outcomes. Introduces institutional differences in ways housing expenditures are financed, and economic determinants of housing outcomes (construction costs, land values, housing quality, ownership rates). Analyzes flow of funds to and from the different national housing finance sectors. Develops an understanding of the greater financial and macroeconomic implications of mortgage credit sector, and how policies affect ways housing asset fluctuations impact national economies. Considers perspective of investors in international real estate markets and risks and rewards involved. Draws on lessons from international comparative approach, applies them to economic and finance policies at the local, state/provincial, and federal levels within country of choice. Meets with 11.145 when offered concurrently. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Spring
3-0-6
Graduate
Schedule
MW 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Location
9-217
Prerequisites
11.202, 11.203, 14.01, or permission of instructor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.367
11.067

Land Use Law and Politics: Race, Place, and Law

Explores conceptions of spatial justice and introduces students to basic principles of US law and legal analysis, focused on land use, equal protection, civil rights, fair housing, and local government law, in order to examine who should control how land is used. Examines the rights of owners of land and the types of regulatory and market-based tools that are available to control land use. Explores basic principles of civil rights and anti-discrimination law and focuses on particular civil rights problems associated with the land use regulatory system, such as exclusionary zoning, residential segregation, the fair distribution of undesirable land uses, and gentrification. Introduces basic skills of statutory drafting and interpretation. Assignments differ for those taking the graduate version.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
TR 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Location
10-401
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.381

Infrastructure Systems in Theory and Practice

Examines theories of infrastructure from science and technology studies, history, economics, and anthropology in order to understand the prospects for change for many new and existing infrastructure systems. Examines how these theories are then implemented within systems in the modern city, including but not limited to, energy, water, transportation, and telecommunications infrastructure. Seminar is conducted with intensive group research projects, in-class discussions and debates.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
TR 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Location
9-450A
Prerequisites
14.01 and 11.202 or 11.203 or permission of instructor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.383
15.662

People and Profits: Shaping the Future of Work

Examines managing work in the 21st century as technological advances transform the organization of the firm.  Students interview workers and explore leading-edge firms who apply human- and worker-centered design to augment rather than replace people. Draws on materials from the MIT Task Force on Work of the Future and the online course Shaping Work of the Future.

T. Kochan
B. Dyer
Spring
2-2-2
Graduate
Schedule
TR 8:30 - 10:00 AM
Location
E62-276
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.427
15.677

Urban Labor Markets and Employment Policy

Discusses the broader trends in the labor market, how urban labor markets function, public and private training policy, other labor market programs, the link between labor market policy and economic development, and the organization of work within firms.

A. Stansbury
Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
R 1:00 - 4:00 PM
Location
E62-346
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.429

Real Estate Trend, Volatility, Forecasting

Applies the latest economic thinking and research to the task of analyzing aggregate real estate market time series, assessing risk, and developing forecasts. Presents the premise that because of capital durability and construction lags, real estate markets exhibit some degree of mean reversion and as such are at least partially predictable. Examines the extent and causes of market volatility across different markets and types of property. Long-term aggregate trends impacting the real estate sector, from demographics to technology, discussed.

W. Wheaton
Spring
3-0-3
Graduate
Schedule
MW 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Location
9-354
Prerequisites
11.431
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.434
15.428
IDS.720

Tools for Analysis: Design for Real Estate and Infrastructure Development

Introduction to analytical tools to support design and decision-making in real estate, infrastructure development, and investment. Particular focus on identifying and valuing sources of flexibility using "real options," Monte-Carlo simulation, and other techniques from the field of engineering systems. Integrates economic and engineering perspectives, and is suitable for students with various backgrounds. Provides useful preparation for thesis work in the area.

Richard de Neufville
Spring
2-0-4
Graduate
Schedule
TR 4:00 - 5:30 PM
Location
9-354
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.435

Mixed-Income Housing Development

Provides an overview of affordable and mixed-income housing development for students who wish to understand the fundamental issues and requirements of urban scale housing development, and the process of planning, financing and developing such housing. Students gain practical experience assembling a mixed-income housing development proposal.

L. Reid
W. Monson
Spring
3-0-3
Graduate
Schedule
TR 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Location
9-451
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.440

Housing and Social Stratification in the United States

Investigates how housing — markets, policies, and individual and collective actions — stratifies society. Students develop structural frameworks to understand the processes of stratification. Grounding work and research in history, students identify the ways that housing markets and housing market interventions reflect, reinforce, and (occasionally) combat social inequities. Through extensive writing and rewriting, students frame their work in terms of overlapping crises, including gentrification, flight, shortage, and homelessness.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
W 2:00 - 5:00 PM
Location
9-450A
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.441

Planning, Economic Development & Municipal Public Finance

Explores the relationship between municipal planning initiatives and local public finance. Introduces a variety of tools, including annual fiscal year budgeting, development of capital improvement plans, user fees, and local property taxation. Municipal powers to levy taxes on items such as meals, hotel rooms, and sales and their effects on land use decisions are analyzed. Tools for economic development, such as tax increment finance, explored in the context of the potential benefits and drawbacks of such tools for a local economy. Also explores how planners can encourage more inclusive budgeting decisions through tools such as participatory budgeting. Students complete a final project on a municipal finance tool and its relationship to local planning goals.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
TR 2:00 - 3:30 PM
Location
9-450
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.474
EC.715

D-Lab: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Focuses on disseminating Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) innovations in low-income countries and underserved communities worldwide. Structured around project-based learning, lectures, discussions, and student-led tutorials. Emphasizes core WASH principles, appropriate and sustainable technologies at household and community scales, urban challenges worldwide, culture-specific solutions, lessons from start-ups, collaborative partnerships, and social marketing. Mentored term project entails finding and implementing a viable solution focused on education/training; a technology, policy or plan; a marketing approach; and/or behavior change. Guest lecturers present case studies, emphasizing those developed and disseminated by MIT faculty, practitioners, students, and alumni. Field trips scheduled during class time, with optional field trips on weekends. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 20.

S. E. Murcott
S. L. Hsu
Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
T 12:00 - 3:00 PM
Location
N51-310
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.478
11.158

Behavioral Science and Urban Mobility

Examines the behavioral foundation for policy design using urban transportation examples. Introduces multiple frameworks for understanding behavior while contrasting the perspectives of classic economic theory with behavioral economics and social psychology. Suggests corresponding policy interventions and establishes a mapping across behavior, theory, and policy. Presents a spectrum of instruments for positively influencing behavior and improving welfare. Challenges students to critique, design, implement and interpret experiments that nudge travel behavior. Brings behavioral insights to creative design of transport policies that are efficient and equitable as well as simple, consistent, transparent, acceptable, and adaptive to behavioral changes. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
TR 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location
9-451
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.486

Peace and Conflict Geographies

Explores the spatialization of conflict and peace from perspectives within the humanities and social sciences. Examines claims on territory, resources, and homeland; traces the legacies of violence in memory landscapes both personal and public; considers the use of planning and architecture to build peace and enact conquest; and considers forms of survival in fleeing for refuge and standing in protest. Discusses how conflict geographies such as these provide insight into the various scales of power and resistance that shape how individuals live together.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
T 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location
9-450A
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.494

Cities of Contested Memory

Explores relationships between built environments and memory to consider the spaces and spatial practices in which the future of the past is imagined, negotiated, and contested. Focuses on three areas of critical importance to understanding the nature of memory in cities today: the threats that rapid urban development pose to the remembrance of urban pasts; the politics of representation evident in debates over authorized and marginalized historical narratives; and the art and ethics of sensitively addressing the afterlives of violence and tragedy. Emphasizes group discussions and projects as means to explore collective and counter memories, the communities that are formed therein, and the economic, social, and political forces that lift up certain memories over others to shape the legacy of the past. Limited to 15.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
W 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location
10-485
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.499

Master of Science in Real Estate Development Thesis Preparation

Designed to give students the tools and information needed to successfully complete a master's level thesis. Seminar topics include, but are not limited to: research data sets, different types and styles of theses, the writing and editing process, library services, and the use of humans as experimental subjects in research. CRE faculty share their areas of interest to assist in choosing an advisor. Seminar assignments guide students toward developing a thesis topic and realistic work plan to adequately achieve their research and writing goals. Objective is for each student to have sufficient knowledge to author a fully developed thesis topic and formal proposal by the end of the term. Limited to MS in Real Estate Development candidates.

R. K. Cameron
Spring
2-0-1
Graduate
Schedule
T 2:00 - 3:30 PM
T 6:00 - 7:00 PM
Location
9-354
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.520

Workshop on Geographic Information Systems

Includes spatial analysis exercises using real-world data sets, building toward an independent project in which students critically apply GIS techniques to an area of interest. Students build data discovery, cartography, and spatial analysis skills while learning to reflect on power and positionality within the research design process. Tailored to GIS applications within planning and design and emphasizes the role of reflective practice in GIS. Enrollment limited; preference to MCP students.

Spring
2-2-2
Graduate
Schedule
MW 2:30 - 4:00 PM
Recitations: MTR 4:30 - 6:30 PM
Location
9-354
Prerequisites
11.205 or permission of instructor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.526
1.251

Comparative Land Use and Transportation Planning

Focuses on the interaction between land use and transportation at multiple scales, from metropolitan regions to the curbside. It covers examples from different countries and highlights how land use and transportation influence the social organization of cities, assigning privileges and segregating or negating access to the city to certain groups.

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
MW 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Location
9-255
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.544
1.200
IDS.675
1.041, IDS.075

Transportation: Foundations and Methods

Covers core analytical and numerical methods for modeling, planning, operations, and control of transportation systems. Traffic flow theory, vehicle dynamics and behavior, numerical integration and simulation, graphical analysis. Properties of delays, queueing theory. Resource allocation, optimization models, linear and integer programming. Autonomy in transport, Markov Decision Processes, reinforcement learning, deep learning. Applications drawn broadly from land, air, and sea transport; private and public sector; transport of passengers and goods; futuristic, modern, and historical. Hands-on computational labs. Linear algebra background is encouraged but not required. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

 

C. Wu
Spring
3-1-8
Graduate
Schedule
WF 2:30 - 4:00 PM
Location
1-242
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.547
SCM.287

Global Aging & the Built Environment

Combines classroom lectures/discussion, readings, site visits, and field study to provide students with experience in various research techniques including stakeholder analysis, interviewing, photography and image analysis, focus groups, etc. Students examine the impacts of global demographic transition, when there are more older than younger people in a population, and explore emerging challenges in the built environment (e.g., age-friendly community planning, public transportation access, acceptance of driverless cars, social wellbeing and connectivity, housing and community design, design and use of public and private spaces, and the public health implications of climate change and aging).

Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
F 2:00 - 5:00 PM
Location
9-255
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.630
1.811
15.663
IDS.540
1.801, 11.021, 17.393, IDS.060

Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics: Pollution Prevention and Control

Analyzes federal and state regulation of air and water pollution, hazardous waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and production/use of toxic chemicals. Analyzes pollution/climate change as economic problems and failure of markets. Explores the role of science and economics in legal decisions. Emphasizes use of legal mechanisms and alternative approaches (i.e., economic incentives, voluntary approaches) to control pollution and encourage chemical accident and pollution prevention. Focuses on major federal legislation, underlying administrative system, and common law in analyzing environmental policy, economic consequences, and role of the courts. Discusses classical pollutants and toxic industrial chemicals, greenhouse gas emissions, community right-to-know, and environmental justice. Develops basic legal skills: how to read/understand cases, regulations, and statutes. Students taking graduate version explore the subject in greater depth.

Nicholas Ashford
C. Caldart
Spring
3-0-9
Graduate
Schedule
TR 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Location
E51-057
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.651
15.679

USA Lab: Bridging the American Divides

Practical exploration of community revitalization in America's small towns and rural regions. Focuses on work, community, and culture. Consists of rigorous classroom discussions, research, and team projects with community development organizations. Site visit over SIP week and spring break required for project fieldwork.

 

Barbara Dyer
Leigh Hafrey
Thomas Kochan
Spring
3-1-5
Graduate
Schedule
W 2:30 - 5:30 PM
Location
E51-149
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.912
4.275

Advanced Urbanism Colloquium

Introduces critical theories and contemporary practices in the field of urbanism that challenge its paradigms and advance its future. Includes theoretical linkages between ideas about the cultures of urbanization, social and political processes of development, environmental tradeoffs of city making, and the potential of design disciplines to intervene to change the future of built forms. Events and lecture series co-organized by faculty and doctoral students further engage and inform research. Preference to doctoral students in the Advanced Urbanism concentration.

 

Spring
1-1-1
Graduate
Schedule
W 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Location
E14-140L
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.920

Planning in Practice

Familiarizes students with the practice of planning, by requiring actual experience in professional internship placements. Enables students to both apply what they are learning in their classes in an actual professional setting and to reflect, using a variety of platforms, on the learning -- personal and professional -- growing out of their internship experience. Through readings, practical experience and reflection, empirical observation, and contact with practitioners, students gain deeper general understanding of the practice of the profession.

Spring
Arranged
Graduate
Schedule
Arranged
Location
Arranged
Can Be Repeated for Credit
Yes
11.C35
6.C35
11.C85 / 6.C85

Interactive Data Visualization and Society

Covers the design, ethical, and technical skills for creating effective visualizations. Short assignments build familiarity with the data analysis and visualization design process. Weekly lab sessions present coding and technical skills. A final project provides experience working with real-world big data, provided by external partners, in order to expose and communicate insights about societal issues. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Spring
3-1-8
Undergraduate
Schedule
MW 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Location
34-101
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.C85
6.C85
11.C35 / 6.C35

Interactive Data Visualization and Society

Covers the design, ethical, and technical skills for creating effective visualizations. Short assignments build familiarity with the data analysis and visualization design process. Weekly lab sessions present coding and technical skills. A final project provides experience working with real-world big data, provided by external partners, in order to expose and communicate insights about societal issues. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Spring
3-1-8
Graduate
Schedule
MW 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Location
34-101
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.S196
11.S938

Biodiversity and Cities: A Perspective in Colombian Cities

Biodiversity is declining worldwide, driven foremost by the intensification in land management and the transformation of natural areas for agriculture, industrial-scale forestry production, and human settlements. Urban areas have doubled since 1992 and, in comparison with 2020, are projected to expand between 30% and 180% until 2100, depending on the scenario applied. Notably, most of the urban growth is often located in regions of high biodiversity and affects ecosystems far beyond urban areas, through resource demands, pollution, and climate impacts. Therefore, biodiversity conservation in urban areas needs to be approached in a way that supports global conservation efforts. This course introduces the relationships between urban environments and biodiversity, how urban biodiversity influences ecosystem functions and underlying services that affect human well-being and whether urban habitats are hotspots or ecological traps (or neither) for biodiversity. The course will answer several questions such as: which synergies and trade-offs among biodiversity and ecosystem services exist in urban areas, which factors drive the relationships between biodiversity and socioeconomic and environmental drivers at different spatial scales, how can we leverage the power of computing and data in gaining insights on biodiversity, and how do urbanization-induced changes affect ecosystem functions and ecological networks’ complexity and diversity.

Biodiversity conservation through urban-regional strategies in an emerging field. There are significant gaps in our understanding that are critical to improving biodiversity conservation policies and management in urban areas that need to be analyzed, tested, and implemented to improve global biodiversity outcomes. Colombia, the most biodiverse country by square kilometer, has been a leader in this field and in 2021 launched the Biodivercities program to support cities through a combination of the latest research with practical solutions in the service of sustainable, inclusive, and nature-positive urban development. The Biodivercities program is led by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, in coordination with the mayor’s and planning offices of over 10 cities in Colombia. This program is informed by the Global Commission on BiodiverCities by 2030, a high-level forum of academics and practitioners convened by the World Economic Forum.

The class will be structured in two parts: 1) Academic discussions and 2) client-based and hands-on urban analysis and design projects. The academic discussions will be framed as a series of lectures in the focus areas, including international and Colombian guest speakers. The hand-on part of the work will be focused on the city of Leticia, Colombia, located in one of the most biodiverse and carbon-rich ecosystems in the world, the Amazon tropical forest.

John E. Fernández
Marcela Angel
Norhan Bayomi
Spring
3-3-6
Undergraduate
Schedule
MW 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Location
9-451
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.S199
11.S940

Climate Corps and Boston: entrepreneurial design for social impact

Duration: 14 weeks
Students: 5-8
Instructor: Lisbeth Shepherd, Lecturer and DesignX Social Entrepreneur in Residence
Faculty Sponsor: Professor Svafa Gronfelt, DesignX
Client: PowerCorpsBOS

Through this workshop, students will partner with PowerCorpsBOS, a startup “climate corps” within Boston city government, working closely with its dynamic Executive Director and a group of young adult members of the corps. PowerCorpBOS was launched in summer 2022 as part of Boston’s Green New Deal. PowerCorpsBOS is a green jobs program that provides young adults with training, career readiness support, and connections to employers in the green industry. An “earn and learn” program, PowerCorpsBOS pays members to participate in hands-on training that prepares them for living-wage careers. How can PowerCorpsBOS chart a path to scale for effective career paths and projects, keeping the hopes and desires of the young adults that the program serves at the center? The workshop will take place in Boston, with site visits to PowerCorps Boston’s headquarters and other locations as needed around Boston, depending on PowerCorps’ spring project sites.

The workshop is part of a multi-year, interdepartmental research project around “Building a successful Civilian Climate Corps” involving SA+P, the Urban Risk Lab and DesignX. The workshop builds on the student work from the joint studio and practicum offered last spring, “Climate Corps and East Boston”, co-taught by Miho Mazereeuw, Mary Anne Ocampo and Lisbeth Shepherd, and research from the summer and fall of this year by students as part of the CCC project. It will draw on the DesignX curriculum, providing students with the opportunity to engage with topics of entrepreneurial design for social impact. It is imagined in dialogue with the DUSP Site planning practicum focused on East Boston co-taught by Mary Anne Ocampo and Eran Ben-Joseph, and the Architecture practicum co-taught by Nicholas de Monchaux and Carlos Sandoval, partnering with Green City Force in New York City.

Students will learn from engagement with the partner organization in and out of the classroom, and from working with the instructor, a serial social entrepreneur, in a hybrid professional setting. The workshop will explore:
Deep listening to identify problems, solutions and strategies
Designing for multiple outcomes
Issues of scale.

Students will develop components of a blueprint for scale for PowerCorpsBOS, to be presented to the partner as a culmination of the workshop.

Lisbeth Shepherd
Spring
Undergraduate
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.S938
11.S196

Biodiversity and Cities: A Perspective in Colombian Cities

Biodiversity is declining worldwide, driven foremost by the intensification in land management and the transformation of natural areas for agriculture, industrial-scale forestry production, and human settlements. Urban areas have doubled since 1992 and, in comparison with 2020, are projected to expand between 30% and 180% until 2100, depending on the scenario applied. Notably, most of the urban growth is often located in regions of high biodiversity and affects ecosystems far beyond urban areas, through resource demands, pollution, and climate impacts. Therefore, biodiversity conservation in urban areas needs to be approached in a way that supports global conservation efforts. This course introduces the relationships between urban environments and biodiversity, how urban biodiversity influences ecosystem functions and underlying services that affect human well-being and whether urban habitats are hotspots or ecological traps (or neither) for biodiversity. The course will answer several questions such as: which synergies and trade-offs among biodiversity and ecosystem services exist in urban areas, which factors drive the relationships between biodiversity and socioeconomic and environmental drivers at different spatial scales, how can we leverage the power of computing and data in gaining insights on biodiversity, and how do urbanization-induced changes affect ecosystem functions and ecological networks’ complexity and diversity.

Biodiversity conservation through urban-regional strategies in an emerging field. There are significant gaps in our understanding that are critical to improving biodiversity conservation policies and management in urban areas that need to be analyzed, tested, and implemented to improve global biodiversity outcomes. Colombia, the most biodiverse country by square kilometer, has been a leader in this field and in 2021 launched the Biodivercities program to support cities through a combination of the latest research with practical solutions in the service of sustainable, inclusive, and nature-positive urban development. The Biodivercities program is led by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, in coordination with the mayor’s and planning offices of over 10 cities in Colombia. This program is informed by the Global Commission on BiodiverCities by 2030, a high-level forum of academics and practitioners convened by the World Economic Forum.

The class will be structured in two parts: 1) Academic discussions and 2) client-based and hands-on urban analysis and design projects. The academic discussions will be framed as a series of lectures in the focus areas, including international and Colombian guest speakers. The hand-on part of the work will be focused on the city of Leticia, Colombia, located in one of the most biodiverse and carbon-rich ecosystems in the world, the Amazon tropical forest.

John E. Fernández
Marcela Angel
Norhan Bayomi
Spring
3-3-6
Graduate
Schedule
MW 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Location
9-451
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.S939

Making Good on Baltimore as a Just City: Building Solutions For A Vacant Housing Crisis Spring 2023

Making Good on Baltimore as a Just City: Building Solutions For A Vacant Housing Crisis will be a field study and community development workshop course. The course will move alongside a community development course taught by Tonya Sanders, Ph.D., AICP, Associate Professor at Morgan State University (MSU) in the City and Regional Planning Program (CREP). Additional stakeholders in the practicum include the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Commu- nity Development, Fight Blight Baltimore, and Hello Happy Design.

What this practicum seeks to do is rethink the concept of stakeholder engagement in vacant housing underutilized infrastructure in Baltimore. Students will engage the idea of using Citizen Engineers to explore how the current demolish vacant building initiative by the City of Baltimore can integrate resident perspective in the city’s neighborhood stabilization initiatives. Part of this course will also explore how emerging vacant building assessment digital technology certifica- tion in the job market is linked to banking and economies. The primary deliverable will be writ- ing a citizen engagement plan. During the practicum experience, students will create their per- sonal theory of practice, develop their reflective practice strategies, and learn and deploy engag- ing community strategies.

Katrin Kaeufer
Spring
Arranged
Graduate
Schedule
T 5:30 - 8:15 PM
Location
9-451
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.S940
11.S199

Climate Corps and Boston: entrepreneurial design for social impact

Duration: 14 weeks
Students: 5-8
Instructor: Lisbeth Shepherd, Lecturer and DesignX Social Entrepreneur in Residence
Faculty Sponsor: Professor Svafa Gronfelt, DesignX
Client: PowerCorpsBOS

Through this workshop, students will partner with PowerCorpsBOS, a startup “climate corps” within Boston city government, working closely with its dynamic Executive Director and a group of young adult members of the corps. PowerCorpBOS was launched in summer 2022 as part of Boston’s Green New Deal. PowerCorpsBOS is a green jobs program that provides young adults with training, career readiness support, and connections to employers in the green industry. An “earn and learn” program, PowerCorpsBOS pays members to participate in hands-on training that prepares them for living-wage careers. How can PowerCorpsBOS chart a path to scale for effective career paths and projects, keeping the hopes and desires of the young adults that the program serves at the center? The workshop will take place in Boston, with site visits to PowerCorps Boston’s headquarters and other locations as needed around Boston, depending on PowerCorps’ spring project sites.

The workshop is part of a multi-year, interdepartmental research project around “Building a successful Civilian Climate Corps” involving SA+P, the Urban Risk Lab and DesignX. The workshop builds on the student work from the joint studio and practicum offered last spring, “Climate Corps and East Boston”, co-taught by Miho Mazereeuw, Mary Anne Ocampo and Lisbeth Shepherd, and research from the summer and fall of this year by students as part of the CCC project. It will draw on the DesignX curriculum, providing students with the opportunity to engage with topics of entrepreneurial design for social impact. It is imagined in dialogue with the DUSP Site planning practicum focused on East Boston co-taught by Mary Anne Ocampo and Eran Ben-Joseph, and the Architecture practicum co-taught by Nicholas de Monchaux and Carlos Sandoval, partnering with Green City Force in New York City.

Students will learn from engagement with the partner organization in and out of the classroom, and from working with the instructor, a serial social entrepreneur, in a hybrid professional setting. The workshop will explore:
Deep listening to identify problems, solutions and strategies
Designing for multiple outcomes
Issues of scale.

Students will develop components of a blueprint for scale for PowerCorpsBOS, to be presented to the partner as a culmination of the workshop.

Lisbeth Shepherd
Spring
Graduate
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.S941

Equity & Inclusion: Local policy-driven strategies for economic development and the Just City

This course explores equity as a key value, measure and framework for operationalizing local economic development plans and policies. The course examines theory as well as the implementation of local policy initiatives for equity in U.S. cities. Investigating a wide range of contemporary theory and practice in the field of urban economic development, students will propose new recommendations and executive strategies for cities currently pursuing pro-growth agendas. From contracting and municipal procurement to arts and culture-driven approaches, the course will provide students with 1) a working knowledge of local government approaches to more equitable economic development strategies; 2) a critical point of view on the merits and limitations of these strategies; 3) formal opportunities to present new views to public and political actors in the field.

Spring
Graduate
Schedule
MW 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.S942

Urban Design Studio Module 1

City Design Research Module 1 for Joint Urban Design Studio, weeks 1-7.

The joint urban design studio will be offered as 2 modules beginning in spring 2023. Module 1 is the city design research part (7 weeks + spring break trip); Module 2 is the continuation of the design studio (additional 7 weeks = 14 total weeks). The new modular system, especially module 1, is geared towards DUSP students who want to go through the design research and project programming phase of a joint urban design studio, at the city scale, but do not necessarily want to produce their own site design projects in the end. This will allow planning students to work within the real world capacity of the planner or urban designer through ‘informing’ the studio’s design project goals and parameters. Module 1 students will work in mixed collaborative groups with students enrolled for the full semester studio.

Module 1 (sign up only for 11.S942) City Design Research, is 12 credits (0-6-6) and is 7 weeks long including attendance on the class studio trip during spring break (location TBD, costs covered). Module 1 is created for those students who want to learn how to conduct research on a metropolitan scale to find and identify future design projects to bring to the attention of stakeholders. This module will focus on ‘reading’ the metro landscape through analytical representation and mapping, landscape and infrastructural thinking, quantifying waste and redundancies in the urban fabric, discovering where new equity and programming can be infilled, and how to build advocacy and communication with potential stakeholder groups. The recommendations from students in Module 1 will form the basis for design studio projects that students will conduct in Module 2. While students who only sign up for Module 1 will technically be done with the course at the end of the 7-week module, they are expected to participate in one class review during Module 2 for the students who sign up for both modules (the whole joint urban design studio).

Module 2 is for students who wish to continue into the design studio portion of the class for 21 total credits (0-12-9) or the whole semester. Students cannot sign up for module 2 individually. You must either sign up for module 1, or module 1+2 (or the entire 21 credit studio).

Rafi Segal
Spring
Graduate
Schedule
TR 1:00 - 6:00 PM, weeks 1-7
Location
10-485
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.S950

PhD Workshop

Weekly PhD workshop events

Spring
0-1-0
Graduate
Schedule
M 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Location
9-451
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.S952

Reflective Practices: Tools and Methods

This class provides an introduction into essential tools and methods of reflective practices with the objective to support students in their practicum work. In addition, students will have an opportunity to explore theories and frameworks that define the field of reflective practice. 

Reflective practice describes the capacity of a practitioner to step back and reflect on one's actions. This process of reflection-in-action is the foundation for successful stakeholder engagement, especially in communities and client systems. Reflective practice builds on a continuous learning process and is based on the assumption that the moment a practitioner joins the system, that system is changed. This implies that the practitioner’s identity, intention, and skills impact the outcome of an engagement with a community and clients. Consequently, the ability to engage methods of self-reflection and to take a critical stance on one’s own practice is essential for the success of a practitioner’s engagement with stakeholders.

This class combines 1) theory of reflective practice, 2) interactive engagement with tools and methods, and 3) dialogues with practitioners. 

Students are expected to work on their own theory of practice and identify core principles and practice that will guide their practicum work. 

This course meets on the following three Mondays from 5-8pm:
February 6th: 5-8pm
February 27th: 5-8pm
March 6th: 5-8pm
 

Katrin Kaeufer
Spring
1-0-0
Graduate
Schedule
See description
Location
9-451
Prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
Yes
11.S954

Research Seminar on Sustainable Urbanization

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.

Spring
2-0-1
Graduate
Schedule
M 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Location
9-450A
Can Be Repeated for Credit
Yes
11.S968

Housing Finance + Equity

Persistent disparities in access to homeownership raise the question of what new policies and practices in housing finance can advance social equity goals. Truly advancing equity in housing finance requires rethinking our current, complex housing finance system and raising foundational questions about how risk is understood, managed, and priced; how the housing finance system is structured and regulated; and how challenges related to climate change and resilience can be recognized and addressed.  The class will begin with an overview of our current housing finance system and then include readings and lectures by invited speakers who are practitioners and experts in civil rights, lending, and government regulation.

Ed Golding
Spring
6
Graduate
Schedule
T 11:00 - 12:30 PM, H3
Location
9-354
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.S969

PropTech Ventures 2

With anywhere between 8,000 and 12,000 new real estate technology companies now in existence, and over $10+ Billion invested in the sector in each of the last 3 years, there is no denying that real estate technology or ‘PropTech’ is making waves across the real estate industry. With the likes of work from home initiatives being put in place, real estate companies are now utilizing data and technology to provide increased efficiency, maintain operations and gain a better understanding of their tenant preferences. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to these recent disruptions in the real estate industry, to showcase the PropTech landscape to understand what is available across the sector and develop entrepreneurial ideas and skills to produce the next generation of PropTech ventures.

James Scott
Steve Weikal
Spring
3
Graduate
Schedule
R 2:00 - 3:30 PM, H3
Location
9-450A
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
11.S970

Real Estate Portfolio Management

The equity and debt used to finance real estate comes from pools of capital that are organized into portfolios.  A portfolio approach is useful for capital allocation strategy, for financial reporting,  and for articulating an investment thesis that is more powerful than a collection of “deals”.  This course exposes students to the ways that a portfolio-wide view applies to managing and investing in real estate.  It will focus on real-world examples of portfolio construction, management, and decision-making.  Several guests with experience managing portfolios will be invited to present cases to the class.  Students should be familiar with basic real estate and financial terms and have taken (or placed out of) MIT’s core course in Real Estate Finance.  

Jacques Gordon
Spring
6
Graduate
Schedule
TR 10:30 - 12:00 PM
Location
9-354
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Design and Development of
CMS.590

11.127

Immerses students in the process of building and testing their own digital and board games in order to better understand how we learn from games. Explores the design and use of games in the classroom in addition to research and development issues associated with computer-based (desktop and handheld) and non-computer-based media. In developing their own games, students examine what and how people learn from them (including field testing of products), as well as how games can be implemented in educational settings. All levels of computer experience welcome. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Eric Klopfer
Spring
3-6-3
Undergraduate
Schedule
TR 1:00 - 2:30 PM
Location
5-134
HASS
H
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No