Courses In: Cities

Introduction to Housing and Community Development Policy

This course explores the historic, economic and social context of current housing and community development policy in the U.S., including how housing and community conditions are intertwined. The course will provide an overview of housing and community development policy, with an emphasis on major federal policies and how they play out on the ground. A key goal of the course is for students to develop content knowledge of the field as well as insights for assessing the relative merits of various policies and interventions- what problem are we trying to solve?

Job Creation and Public Infrastructure

This course is designed to provide students with a detailed introduction to two imperative tasks facing federal, state and local government: (1) job creation; and (2) public infrastructure investment. This course is designed to promote increased awareness of the important link between public infrastructure and job creation, and to cultivate a deep understanding of a range of programs and policy designs that stimulate business growth and promote job creation.

Digital Communications for Advocacy and Politics

This course examines digital content marketing for nonprofits, NGOs and corporate philanthropy through a practical lens. Through case studies across industries, it explores professional digital marketing, and develops fundamentals for digital professionals including principles of design thinking, strategy, measurement, analytics and more.

Geographic Information Systems (EMPA)

Understanding geographic relationships between people, land use, and resources is fundamental to planning. Urban planners routinely use spatial analysis to inform decision-making. This course will introduce students to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a tool to analyze and visualize spatial data. The course will emphasize the core functions of GIS: map making, data management, and spatial analysis. Students will learn cartographic best practices, how to find and create spatial data, spatial analysis methodology, and how to approach problem solving from a geographic perspective.

Transportation Policy and Behavior

This course examines the behavioral foundation for policy design, using urban transportation as examples. We introduce multiple frameworks of understanding travel behavior, rational or irrational, contrasting the perspectives of classic economic theory with behavioral economics and social psychology, and suggest corresponding policy interventions: a behavior--theory--policy mapping.

Topics in Urban Design

This course, entitled “Learning from Long Island City,” will immerse students in the real-time urban design challenges currently facing one of the country’s most rapidly developing neighborhoods. Once a city of its own before the Consolidation of New York in 1898, Long Island City’s history is as a mixed-use neighborhood with a significant natural, industrial, architectural and artistic heritage, much of which still thrives today. And yet, as development pressures become more widespread, the character of the area is fast changing.

Poverty, Inequality, and Policy (EMPA)

This course examines the nature and extent of poverty primarily in the U.S. but with a comparative perspective (developed countries in Europe). To start, this course will focus on how poverty is defined and measured. It will proceed to explore how conceptions of poverty are socially constructed and historically bounded; examine what the causes and consequences of poverty are and discuss how these are complex and interwoven; and show how people can experience poverty at different points in their life course—some groups experiencing poverty more so than others.

Environmental Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities

Sustainability requires the efficient use of resources.  The least carbon- and energy-intensive pattern of settlement today is in compact, walkable cities whose integrated networks of infrastructure that allows us to move, eat, drink, play, and survive extreme weather.  As our population shifts to urban and coastal areas, we will need to build more infrastructure systems to accommodate growth and to increase sustainability.  Yet we are building too little, too slow to maintain our existing infrastructure, let alone to facilitate next generation systems that will accelerate our society to a

Urban Research Seminar II

This course, taught jointly by faculty members of the Gallatin School and the Wagner School, offers doctoral students an opportunity to learn about the latest theoretical and empirical research on critical urban issues. The course is not taught in a lecture format. Rather, the colloquium focuses on discussions of academic works in progress by scholars from around the country, working in such disciplines as sociology, history, planning, law, public health, public policy, and economics.

Urban Research Seminar

This course, taught jointly by faculty members of the Gallatin School and the Wagner School, offers doctoral students an opportunity to learn about the latest theoretical and empirical research on critical urban issues. The course is not taught in a lecture format. Rather, the colloquium focuses on discussions of academic works in progress by scholars from around the country, working in such disciplines as sociology, history, planning, law, public health, public policy, and economics.

Environmental Planning: Communities, Fairness, and Beyond

What are the possibilities and limits that communities, broadly conceived, encounter for achieving environmental justice at the intersection of race, class, gender and caste? This course develops a framework for understanding key issues in Environmental Planning and Activism from the perspective of communities, collective action and fairness. Students will also be encouraged to begin developing their own philosophical orientation and toolkit for practice.

Topics in Urban Studies

Given the continual changing dynamics in urban environments, policy and politics in cities must have game changing impact. How do we ensure that reality in an ever shifting climate given racial, gender, economic and societal changes? This course explores the opportunities, challenges and solutions for governing New York City, promoting equity and social justice, while providing measurable impact.