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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Fredrick W. Wagner
L ARCH 495
Seattle Campus

Landscape Architectural Studies Abroad

Studies conducted under faculty supervision in various locations outside the United States.

Class description

University of Washington Department of Urban Design and Planning

COMPARATIVE URBAN PLANNING: MEXICO & THE UNITED STATES URBDP 499B/600B Instructors: Fritz Wagner and Regent Cabana

1. DATE OF PROPOSED ACTIVITY June 11-18, 2013 2. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT Comparative research in urban studies has been a major development in the last decade but little has been done to provide US students with a comprehensive knowledge of Canadian cities and how they compare with US cities. The aim of the course is to introduce US students to theoretical and methodological aspects of comparative urban research by providing on-site case studies of Canadian cities

The course will be open to juniors and seniors as well as graduate students for three hours credits. We will visit three Canadian cities – Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa - where a number of professors, government officials and other urban experts will give lectures and tours. The course will examine similarities and differences between U.S. and Canadian cities. We will look more particularly at current urban issues confronting communities in Canada. We will study the physical layout of cities, urban design, urban growth, construction issues, problems related to the environment, governmental institutions as well as historical, social and cultural factors specific to Quebec cities. Students will write a term paper on a topic related to urban issues encountered in Canada.

3. OBJECTIVE The aim of the course is to introduce US students to theoretical and methodological aspects of comparative urban research by providing on-site case studies of Canadian cities. The course introduces the logic of comparative research in the social sciences and applies its theory and methodology to the study of Canadian cities as compared to US cities. Its multidisciplinary and comparative character develops the ability to interpret and understand urban changes, changing demographics, and to analyze appropriate and sustainable strategies and policies to address urban problems in Canada and the US.

4. EXPECTED RESULTS We expect 10 or more students to enroll in this class. Students will gain a better understanding of economic, political, social, and cultural differences between Canada and the US. It will also help them better understand the diversity of the contemporary urban world in Canada and the US and the importance of the social-cultural factors specific to each region and city in finding solutions to common urban problems. By the end of the course, students are expected to be conversant in cross-border urban issues in Canada and the US.

5. SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES June 11-18: ESTIMATED EXPENDITURES FOR STUDENTS Airfare: $400 via Burlington Vermont and bus to Montreal or $800 non-stop SEA/YUL Accommodation: $40 x 7: $280

Food and Personal Expenses; $30 x 7; $210

TOTAL: Range---$890 to $1290

June 11-18: General Overview of Schedule June 11-- Arrival in Montreal. Academic activities in Montreal on June 12 and 13. June 14-- Morning train to Quebec City. Academic activities in Quebec City (afternoon) on June 14 and all day on June 15. June 16--. Morning train to Ottawa—late afternoon academic activities in Ottawa June 17-- Academic activities in Ottawa. June18-- Morning train to Montreal airport--- return to Seattle.

6. VITAS: Professor Fritz Wagner and Dr. Regent Cabana

Prof. Fritz Wagner has a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Washington (1974). On completion of his degree he moved to New Orleans where he joined the University of New Orleans (UNO) as an assistant professor. During his 28 years tenure at the University, he served for 20 years as Dean/Director of the College of Urban and Public Affairs and its prior academic unit names. While at the University, Fritz also served on the New Orleans City Planning Commission for 8 years and initiated the development of its comprehensive plan. Moreover, he chaired the Delta Region Preservation Commission for 20 years. This body oversaw the development of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, the first national park in Louisiana. Additionally, he established the World Health Organizations’ (WHO) Collaborating Center for Health Aspects of Urban Development and through this Center; he worked with WHO to implement their Healthy Cities and Villages programs through out the Middle East

Over the years, he has developed close relationships with many Canadian universities, including the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University, Université du Québec à Montréal, and the Université de Montréal et Université Laval. The latter recently signed a bilateral agreement with UW in the field of urban planning. Dr. Wagner has also led numerous field studies in Canada and has coordinated research programs between the US and Canada. He has also been the lead person in two previous FIPSE awards which focused on Canada, Mexico and the US. He is currently the Chair of Landscape Architecture Department in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Washington. He is also an Affiliated Faculty member of the UW Canadian Studies Center.

Dr. Wagner has taught a comparative urban planning summer course that focuses on Canadian cities. He has led a North American team of researchers in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City to investigate the impact of urban sprawl in those cities. He recently edited a book titled The International Faces of Urban Sprawl: Lessons Learned from North America. He worked with many UW undergraduate and graduate students conducting cross-border urban studies research. Fritz also started the National Center for the Revitalization of Central Cities which was funded by HUD over a 12 year period for around $5 million. This Center conducted applied research across the country and included some work in Latin America. During this period, the Center published 4 major books on revitalization. The last work was Revitalizing the City: Strategies to Contain Sprawl and Revive the Core (M.E. Sharpe, publisher). In 2002, he joined the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington, Seattle and subsequently founded the Northwest Center for Livable Communities with Professor Hilda Blanco. He chaired the Department of Landscape Architecture for four years and served as interim dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning and as its Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He presently is an Affiliate of the Canadian Studies Center.

Dr. Cabana Régent Cabana holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans. He has more than twenty years of experience in international academic programs and international relations either as an officer for the foreign service of the Québec Government or as a coordinator of academic programs abroad. He has also worked as a consultant for the State of Education in Louisiana where he helped create and manage the foreign language program currently in use in the public schools in Louisiana. He has been teaching comparative urban sociology classes in Mexico, Brazil and Canada since 1997 at the University of New Orleans and currently teaches part-time at the University of Washington and Université Laval.

Régent is a consultant in international academic programs. He is the International Coordinator of MEGAPOLITAN (planning for the MegaRegion) and DIVERCITY (Creating and Maintaining Sustainable Diverse Urban Communities), two consortia of universities in Ireland, Spain, Canada; Brazil and the United States, that support student and faculty exchange programs abroad. He is the editor of two books. One on North American urban sprawl published in 2006 and another book on North American central city revitalization published in 2012. He is also the author of articles on international education and comparative urban studies published in the United States and Mexico.

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Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Fredrick W. Wagner
Date: 04/14/2014