Guts of the City: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Infrastructure and Environmental Planning
URBN 1570 S01 [CRN: 25987]This course confronts the complex challenges of reconciling multiple uses of contemporary urban environments in the 21st century globalized city. It investigates current environmental impacts and risks related to urban infrastructure systems and analyzes current efforts to minimize negative impacts through best management practices. It addresses urban initiatives to increase sustainability and resiliency of infrastructure systems in anticipation of increased risks related to climate change. Students will learn the key problems and solutions related to urban infrastructure and develop competence in technical analysis, policy analysis, and program implementation. Enrollment limited to 40.
Additional Description from the Instructor:
This course offers an interdisciplinary look at urban infrastructure, the internal systems of energy, water and transportation flows and how they relate to surrounding ecological, physical and social systems. It considers nature and the elements - water, air, wind, energy, soil, trees, open space in a man-made urban context and the planning for interrelated, complex systems. Students will develop competency and understanding in the technical analysis, policy analysis, and program implementation. Analytical tools such as GIS and simulations will be utilized. Students will develop the ability to articulate the key problems and solutions to improve urban infrastructure system through individual writing and oral presentations and group and individual project case studies. Providence will be studied throughout the course to clarify the role of stakeholders in the process. Case studies and projects will be used to study cities in the US and abroad.
- Course Website
- Assignments and Grading
- Class Deliverables and Assessment Class Participation, Tests, Papers - 65% Tests 20% Papers 25% Class Participation, Discussion 20% Applied Synthesizing Projects - 35% 8 week long Group Project 15% Individual Project 20% Project Sub-Total 35% Group Project - Groups of 3 students are formed between weeks 2 and 3 based on which city the students want to study - a list will be provided, but any city is an option - For each class, the group members are expected to see how the topic and readings from that week relate to their city, i.e. how that system - water, energy, etc - works in their city - Throughout the semester, the students will become experts on the infrastructure of their city - In class, three groups a week will give brief presentations about that system relating to their city, appropriate to the topic for that week - Additionally in class, other individuals will be selected to give a brief overview of the system and their study cities - The 15-20 minutes of class time devoted to this allows the presenters to share with the class about their city Individual Project - As a master of one city, the student for his or her final project will write an essay that analyzes the systems in their city - This essay will synthesize the different systems studied throughout the semester, looking at the city as a whole - The content will look beyond the guts of their city today, to a 30-50 year projection dealing with the sustainability of these systems - Possible questions to be covered: - What will the city look like if no changes towards sustainability are made, the BAU baseline? - How will these systems need to change as climate change progresses? - What sort of recommendations could be made to the city? - Which system is the limiting factor and how can it be enhanced? - How can the city be more resilient? Tests - Tests are based on the material covered in class and the assigned readings, they are not specific to the city for the group project - Test questions ask how to solve different problems relating to climate change or other stressers on a system - Test questions ask for an analysis of a situation and a recommendation for improvement Papers - Papers reflect a response to the readings and discussions - One paper response for each system (6 systems in total) engaging specifically with the readings - The goal of the papers are to give the students the opportunity to reflect upon and critique the reading material if class discussion did not afford the time to do so
- Readings and Texts
- Readings will include, but not be limited to, selections from these texts: Carroon, Jean. Sustainable Preservation: Greening Existing Buildings. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2010. Print. Coyle, Stephen. Sustainable and Resilient Communities: A Comprehensive Action Plan for Towns, Cities, and Regions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print. Farr, Douglas. Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008. Print. Lopez, Russ. The Built Environment and Public Health. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012. Print. Novotny, Vladimir, John Ahern, and Paul Brown. Water Centric Sustainable Communities: Planning, Retrofitting, and Building the next Urban Environment. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2010. Print. Sarté, S. Bry. Sustainable Infrastructure: The Guide to Green Engineering and Design. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2010. Print. Tumlin, Jeffrey. Sustainable Transportation Planning: Tools for Creating Vibrant, Healthy, and Resilient Communities. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012. Print.
- Spring 2013
- Credit Hours
- Maximum Enrollment
- Primary Instructor
- 4:00 pm - 6:20 pm Tue - from Jan 23, 2013 to May 17, 2013
- Instructor's Additional Meeting Information
- There will be additional meetings and field trips outside of class time. To be scheduled.
- Exam Group Code
- 15 (May 15, 2013 9:00am)