Courses In: Cities

Equitable Community Engagement

Key to the planning profession is engagement. Most of a planner’s work necessitates engagement of institutions and of people in order to effectuate change, and change (or prevention thereof) is the planner’s currency. Specifically this course will look at community engagement, or engagement of the public within a defined geography. What is community? How is it defined? What does it look and feel like? And how does it manifest itself, or not, as part of the planning process? Communities in the United States are rarely equitable, particularly as it relates to planning.

Understanding the Role Federal Tax Credits Play in the Affordable Housing & Renewable Energy Sectors

For better or worse, both affordable housing and renewable energy projects in the US are mostly built and owned by private developers and corporations. These private developers in turn are reliant on private capital provided by investors, corporations and banks. Almost all these investors rely heavily on federal tax credits.  90% of affordable housing in the US receives a subsidy through the low-income housing tax credit (“LIHTC”). Virtually all large-scale wind and solar projects receive tax credit subsides as well (“ITC” or “PTC”).

Housing and Community Development Policy I

This is the first course in a two-course sequence in housing and community development policy, with an emphasis on the former. This first course explores the historic, economic and social context of current housing policy in the U.S., including how housing and community conditions and policies are intertwined. It provides an overview of housing and community development policy, with an emphasis on major federal policies and how they play out on the ground.

Topics in Urban Design

This course, "City Streets and Urban Landscapes," will immerse students in a study of established and emerging urban design priorities for city streets. Streets and sidewalks operate as the most public of our city’s public spaces, at once forming connective tissue between different locations while also creating borders and boundaries.

Topics in Urban Studies: The Uprising for Racial Justice

Seemingly out of nowhere, the largest movement in U.S. history ignited in 2020, when an estimated 15 to 26 million people protested the televised killing of a handcuffed, unarmed man named George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. A wide range of law enforcement reforms have followed, including the use of body-worn cameras, community-based anti-violence efforts, decriminalization of minor offenses and retraining of officers.

Racial Inequality in America: What Do We Do Now?

Students in this course will explore the spatial aspects of inequality, including racial segregation, concentrated poverty, and government structure. Course materials will investigate the consequences of these inequalities for individuals, communities, and American society as a whole, as well as how these seemingly-intractable problems were created by and continue because of public policy decisions. This course will be an interactive experience, requiring preparation before coming to class and active exchange during class.

Introduction to Structured Finance: Strategies for Municipal, Health and Corporate Finance

This course examines the process by which financing objectives are transformed into municipal bond transactions and other opportunities to utilize structured finance products in the health and corporate finance sectors. The course will center on a case study of an actual bond transaction that financed multiple new money (construction) and refunding projects. We will learn the mathematics underlying financial structure and the governing conventions and vocabulary of structured finance. We will study the instruments of structured finance and how they manifest into structural form.

Advanced GIS: Interactive Web Mapping and Spatial Data Visualization

Students will learn the fundamentals of web development with HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and github.   Using Free and Open Source Spatial Data tools, students will learn to bring their maps to life on the web as interactive experiences.  Use tools like QGIS, CartoDB and PostGIS.  Final project will be an interactive web map around an Urban topic of your choosing.

This course will involve programming, some experience is preferred but not required. Contact the instructor for introductory coding resources to review before class.   Personal Laptops are required.

Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Gender in American Cities

This course examines historic and contemporary patterns of racial and ethnic stratification often found at the center of disputes concerning urban development, the allocation of city resources and unequal distributions of power. Also embedded throughout the course are ongoing analyses of the ways in which structural inequalities often function in class and gender-specific ways.

Land Use, Housing and Community Development in New York City Seminar

This interdisciplinary seminar brings together law, urban planning and public policy students to analyze historic and current trends in affordable housing, community development, land use, and housing finance.  We use New York City as a laboratory that is both unique from, and similar to, other American cities.  The course focuses on housing/community development policy, real estate and mortgage financing, subsidies, community participation, environmental impact, and neighborhood change such as gentrification and displacement, with particular emphasis on how issues of race, poverty, and the

Housing and Community Development Policy II

This second course in the Housing and Community Development sequence expands upon the foundational understanding of housing and community development policy by focusing on how key policy drivers, the current political and social moment, and core stakeholders are likely to create and/or limit opportunities moving forward. The course will examine the ways that policy does and does not change, primarily by focusing on selected high-profile issues such as pandemic responses related to housing, gentrification, efforts to address racial inequality, and the ongoing challenges of homelessness.

Public Policy and Planning in New York

There is no profession more noble than public service, and no arena more exciting than New York. Our objective is to gain insight into how our city and state governments make decisions, informed by a foundational and wide-ranging understanding of the forces at work and issues that face policymakers today. I am teaching this class because of my longstanding—and ever-expanding—interest in the practice of public policy and a deeply held belief that the effectiveness of our government depends on the quality of those who serve in it.