This course, “Urban Design— Visualization Tools & Neighborhood Challenges,” will introduce students to visualization techniques in a series of linked exercises during the first half of the semester; in the second half of the semester, students will further develop these visualization and design tools as they address challenges and opportunities in a rapidly-changing New York City neighborhood. Instructor Joanna Simon will teach the first half of the course while Professor Louise Harpman will teach the second half. The shared goal of this course is to equip students with tools, techniques, and conceptual frameworks to evaluate as well as create effective urban design proposals.
Visualization Tools During the first half of the semester, students will complete seven (7) tutorials. These tutorials will focus on industry standard tools and visualization practices, encouraging students to develop effective ways to communicate design intentions. Each week will focus on a new design concept in order to work through the foundations of a strong design portfolio and a visually cohesive presentation.
Neighborhood Challenges During the second half of the semester, students will learn about the changing priorities within the discipline of urban design, while also engaging persistent and emerging urban design challenges in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the South Bronx. Over many decades, people living in the area have experienced economic insecurity, lack of affordable housing, high crime rates, and poor health outcomes. Yet Hunts Point is also home to the country’s largest food distribution center, new housing developments, new parks and open spaces, arts organizations, workforce development initiatives, waterfront greenways, and a wide-ranging proposal for new electric vehicle infrastructure. Each of these nodes of activity carries with it vital urban design opportunities that students may engage. At the end of the semester, students will develop design presentations that would be appropriate to share with community organizations or city agencies.