Urban Studies (URBN)

URBN 200b / ARCH 200b, Scales of DesignBimal Mendis

Exploration of architecture and urbanism at multiple scales from the human to the world. Consideration of how design influences and shapes the material and conceptual spheres through four distinct subjects: the human, the building, the city, and the world. Examination of the role of architects, as designers, in constructing and shaping the inhabited and urban world. Lectures, readings, reviews and four assignments that address the spatial and visual ramifications of design.Not open to first-year students. Required for all Architecture majors.  HU

URBN 280a / AMST 197a / ARCH 280a / HSAR 219a, American Architecture and UrbanismElihu Rubin

Introduction to the study of buildings, architects, architectural styles, and urban landscapes, viewed in their economic, political, social, and cultural contexts, from precolonial times to the present. Topics include: public and private investment in the built environment; the history of housing in America; the organization of architectural practice; race, gender, ethnicity and the right to the city; the social and political nature of city building; and the transnational nature of American architecture.  HU0 Course cr
TTh 11:35am-12:25pm

* URBN 303a / HIST 293a / RSEE 325a / RUSS 325a, Ten Eurasian CitiesNariman Shelekpayev

This course explores histories and identities of ten cities in Northern and Central Eurasia. Its approach is based on an assumption that studying cities is crucial for an understanding of how societies developed on the territory of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and post-Soviet states. The course is structured around the study of ten cities—Kyiv, Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Odesa, Baku, Magnitogorsk, Kharkiv, Tashkent, Semey (former Semipalatinsk), and Nur-Sultan (former Astana)—that are located on the territory of modern Ukraine, Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. We study these cities through the prism of various scholarly approaches, as well as historical and visual sources. Literary texts are used not only as a means to illustrate certain historical processes but as artifacts that were instrumental in creating the identity of these cities within and beyond their territories. The ultimate goal of the course is to acquaint all participants with the dynamics of social, cultural, and political development of the ten Eurasian cities, their urban layout and architectural features. The course also provides an overview of basic conceptual approaches to the study of cities and ongoing urbanization in Northern and Central Eurasia.  HU, SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

URBN 304b / AFAM 164b / PLSC 263b, The Politics of "The Wire": HBO's Portrayal of the American CityAllison Harris

This class uses HBO's groundbreaking series "The Wire" to investigate cities, their problems, and their politics. We watch all five seasons of the show as social scientists and use it to learn about important social scientific concepts and theories, and apply those theories to such phenomena as the politics of crime, policing, and local elections. Each week, the assigned readings—articles and book excerpts from political science as well as other social sciences—highlight the social scientific concepts displayed in the assigned episodes and provide context for lectures. All of the assignments work together to expose students to social science, how social science is conducted, and how political science can help us better understand the world around us.  SO0 Course cr

* URBN 314a / ARCH 314a, History of Landscape in Western Europe and the United States: Antiquity to 1950Warren Fuermann

This course is designed as an introductory survey of the history of landscape architecture and the wider, cultivated landscape in Western Europe and the United States from the Ancient Roman period to mid-twentieth century America. Included in the lectures, presented chronologically, are the gardens of Ancient Rome, medieval Europe, the early and late Italian Renaissance, 17th century France, 18th century Britain, 19th century Britain and America with its public and national parks, and mid-twentieth century America. The course focuses each week on one of these periods, analyzes in detail iconic gardens of the period, and placse them within their historical and theoretical context.  HURP
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* URBN 318a / ER&M 344a / SOCY 344a, Informal CitiesLeigh-Anna Hidalgo Newton

The informal sector is an integral and growing part of major global cities. With a special focus on the context of U.S. cities, students examine where a burgeoning informality is visible in the region’s everyday life. How planners and policymakers address informality is an important social justice challenge. But what is the informal sector, or urban informality, or the informal city? This class addresses such questions through a rigorous examination of the growing body of literature from Sociology, Latinx Studies, Urban Planning, and Geography. We reflect on the debates and theories in the study of informality in the U.S. and beyond and gain an understanding of the prevalence, characteristics, rationale, advantages and disadvantages, and socio-spatial implications of informal cities. More specifically, we examine urban informality in work—examining street vendors, sex workers, and waste pickers—as well as housing, and the built environment.  SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* URBN 319b / EVST 290b, Geographic Information SystemsCharles Tomlin

A practical introduction to the nature and use of geographic information systems (GIS) in environmental science and management. Applied techniques for the acquisition, creation, storage, management, visualization, animation, transformation, analysis, and synthesis of cartographic data in digital form.
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* URBN 327a / ARCH 327a, Difference and the CityJustin Moore

Four hundred and odd years after colonialism and racial capitalism brought twenty and odd people from Africa to the dispossessed indigenous land that would become the United States, the structures and systems that generate inequality and white supremacy persist. Our cities and their socioeconomic and built environments continue to exemplify difference. From housing and health to mobility and monuments, cities small and large, north and south, continue to demonstrate intractable disparities. The disparate impacts made apparent by the COVID-19 pandemic and the reinvigorated and global Black Lives Matter movement demanding change are remarkable. Change, of course, is another essential indicator of difference in urban environments, exemplified by the phenomena of disinvestment or gentrification. This course explores how issues like climate change and growing income inequality intersect with politics, culture, gender equality, immigration and migration, technology, and other considerations and forms of disruption. 
T 11am-1pm

* URBN 341b / ARCH 341b / GLBL 253b / LAST 318b, Globalization SpaceStaff

Infrastructure space as a primary medium of change in global polity. Networks of trade, energy, communication, transportation, spatial products, finance, management, and labor, as well as new strains of political opportunity that reside within their spatial disposition. Case studies include free zones and automated ports around the world, satellite urbanism in South Asia, high-speed rail in Japan and the Middle East, agripoles in southern Spain, fiber optic submarine cable in East Africa, spatial products of tourism in North Korea, and management platforms of the International Organization for Standardization.  HU0 Course cr

URBN 345a / ARCH 345a, Civic Art: Introduction to Urban DesignAlan Plattus

Introduction to the history, analysis, and design of the urban landscape. Principles, processes, and contemporary theories of urban design; relationships between individual buildings, groups of buildings, and their larger physical and cultural contexts. Case studies from New Haven and other world cities.  HU
W 9:30am-11:10am

* URBN 360a / ARCH 360a, Urban Lab: An Urban WorldJoyce Hsiang

Understanding the urban environment through methods of research, spatial analysis, and diverse means of representation that address historical, social, political, and environmental issues that consider design at the scale of the entire world. Through timelines, maps, diagrams, collages and film, students frame a unique spatial problem and speculate on urbanization at the global scale.  Prerequisites: For non-majors: permission of the instructor is required. For ARCH majors: ARCH 150, 200, and 280.   HU1½ Course cr
W 1:30pm-3:30pm

* URBN 417a / ARCH 325a, Marronage Practice: Architectures, Design Methods, and Urbanisms of FreedomAna Duran

This seminar introduces and explores Black, indigenous, and other historically marginalized modes of cultural production—collectively referred to here as “fugitive practices.” The course confronts the erasure (and re-centering) of these modes by rethinking the episteme of architecture—questioning history, planning, and urbanism—but also of the body, the design of objects, and making. Modes of sociocultural and aesthetic production explored in the course may include: improvisation in jazz, hip-hop and social dance; textiles of the Modern African Diaspora and indigenous peoples; informal economies; ingenuity in vernacular architecture; and others. The course is structured around seven two-week “modules,” each containing a seminar discussion, a design exercise, and a short written accompaniment. It is conducted in collaboration with a parallel seminar being offered by faculty at Howard University.  HURP
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* URBN 442a / AFST 465a / ANTH 468a / HSHM 413a / URBN 400, Infrastructures of Empire: Control and (In)security in the Global SouthLeslie Gross-Wyrtzen

This advanced seminar examines the role that infrastructure plays in producing uneven geographies of power historically and in the “colonial present” (Gregory 2006). After defining terms and exploring the ways that infrastructure has been conceptualized and studied, we analyze how different types of infrastructure (energy, roads, people, and so on) constitute the material and social world of empire. At the same time, infrastructure is not an uncontested arena: it often serves as a key site of political struggle or even enters the fray as an unruly actor itself, thus conditioning possibilities for anti-imperial and decolonial practice. The geographic focus of this course is the African continent, but we explore comparative cases in other regions of the majority and minority world.  SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* URBN 490a or b / ARCH 490a or b, Senior Research ColloquiumStaff

Research and writing colloquium for seniors in the Urban Studies and History, Theory, and Criticism tracks. Under guidance of the instructor and members of the Architecture faculty, students define their research proposals, shape a bibliography, improve research skills, and seek criticism of individual research agendas. Requirements include proposal drafts, comparative case study analyses, presentations to faculty, and the formation of a visual argument. Guest speakers and class trips to exhibitions, lectures, and special collections encourage use of Yale's resources.