Advanced course offerings designed to respond to faculty and student interests and needs. Topics include French Impressionism, social movements in late nineteenth-century Japan, international business and the changing European economic structure.
BIS493B Special Topics: Urban Planning
The goal of this course is to fire students’ interest in urban planning and urban geography. On the one hand, this course will bring an understanding of what it means to be “urban” historically, and in the 21st century with a broad range of urban geographic concepts. We will look at key urban geographic concepts such as urban system, urban form, urban ecology, and urbanism. On the other hand, we will explore the purpose, practice, and theories of modern “planning” as an interdisciplinary field of study and practice. We will look at fairly well established planning paradigms followed by a number of relatively new planning approaches that redefine earlier planning concepts or call them into question all together. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to understand urban planning and geography ‘theory’ as a form of planning ‘practice’ (and vice versa).
We will investigate the integration of built forms, human interactions, and the environmental, social, political, economic aspects of urban places. Also, we will examine the internal workings of cities* viewed in a context of ‘globalization’, fragmentation, and difference through the urban perspective.
The ‘urban’ is often contested and dynamic, as people struggle to understand what is distinctive and fundamentally urban about the important social, political, economic, and cultural transformations of our time. However, there is no doubt that the urban is at the heart of many fields of inquiry. In order to discuss many issues in ‘urban planning and urban geography’, we will take the social-spatial dialectic, that is, the idea that society and space mutually condition each other, as a lens through which to view the inner workings of urban areas – how and where people work, play, raise families, engage in economic and political exchange, grow communities, and ‘shape’ cities.
The course will provide an opportunity to build upon for those who wish to pursue a career in planning, to study planning or related disciplines including geography, environmental studies, social work, civil engineering, law, political science, and sociology. Regardless of one’s choice of career, though, this class is designed to provide students with knowledge that they can use as active citizens in their communities.
Student learning goals
Students will critically examine the internal workings of cities.
Students will explore various theory and practice of modern “planning” and "urban geography" as an interdisciplinary field of study and practice.
Students will have an opportunity to explore cities we live, study, engage, and work.
Students will develop their analytical ability to view many issue in urban planning by taking ‘socio-spatial dialectic,’ that acknowledges the mutual relationship between society and space.
General method of instruction
Class will be composed of lectures, discussions of assigned readings, urban expedition activity, and a final project and report.
Students are expected to come to class prepared, having completed the assigned readings. Students should participate in the class discussions and activities. Particularly, every student will have an opportunity to lead on class discussion at least once during the quarter. Also, there is a group project in which students are encouraged to explore an urban topic of their on interests.
Class assignments and grading
Grades will be based on two exams (25% each), final project (20%), discussion lead & critical reviews of required readings (15%), urban expedition activity (5%), and students’ participation in class discussions & activities (10%).