4.250J / 11.001J
Introduction to Urban Design and Development

This is a class about how cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas change. It is an introductory subject for undergraduates that examines both the evolving structure of the American metropolis and the ways that it can be designed and developed. We will survey the ideas of a wide range of people who have addressed urban problems and acted to alter cities, suburbs, and regions through urban design and development in both the United States and elsewhere. We will analyze the values implicit in each of their proposals, stressing the connections between ideas and design. We will examine the elements that make up cities and consider why particular places look the way they do. We will look at designs for new towns and examine the ways that existing cities have spread and been redeveloped. Topics range from grand ideas proposed by single individuals to smaller more incremental processes carried out through collaboration by a variety of contending parties. You will see how cities and suburbs have been changed in the past and how you and others may help change them in the future.