This reading seminar explores the political, social, and economic forces shaping cities around the world at the present moment. Through case studies, course readings, and synchronous zoom discussions, this class explores key issues of critical importance to urban planners from the perspective of social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion, political economy, and sustainability. Key themes include racial segregation, urban sprawl, metropolitan governance, poverty, the delivery of services, and environmental degradation. Students will learn about a variety of urban governance structures and will discuss emerging trends in regional governing that address structural inequity. We will read and discuss political economic theories of urban growth, and explore opportunities for local decision-making within the constraints of international political and economic systems. Students will explore the tensions between planning for economic growth and planning for social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Exploring these themes prepares students to engage with the broad forces shaping cities. Through this understanding, students will gain the foundation of knowledge needed in other courses to craft meaningful, effective planning interventions that respond to structural restraints while capitalizing upon local strengths to plan for a just and equitable urban future.
Class instruction mode: Online