4.241J / 11.330J
Theory of City Form — The Making of Cities

Prerequisites: 
4.252J, 11.001J, 11.301J or permission of instructor

Why and how are cities made? What forces have shaped cities through time? And how has the physical urban form of the city structured power relations? Seeking a better understanding of the history of urban form and urbanization, we propose to examine the city through a set of lenses, or driving forces—geographic, economic, spiritual, political and technological ones—that have always shaped the city and in turn been influenced by it. The subject will layout a two-fold framework to address the complex development of cities vis-à-vis these forces: while tracing the history of a diachronic accumulation of forms and spaces in specific cities, the course also examines synchronic slices of how new ideas about the city, realized or not, were made manifest across distinct geographies and cultures.

Undergraduates welcome with permission of instructor.

Offered for 9 or 12 units.