Required Courses

Required Courses for the Doctor in Sustainable Urbanism Degree

A49 701 Theories and Methods of Historical Research
What is architectural history? This is an advanced reading, writing, and discussion seminar intended to better prepare students for research in the history and theory of architecture and urbanism. It is based on the premise that since contemporary design practices are not only data-driven, neutral, and ahistorical, the ways that designers' conceptualize their work can benefit from a historically informed understanding of how various approaches to architectural history have emerged over time. It seeks to consider how architecture and architectural history have been understood in the past, and how the development of the discipline informs contemporary research in architectural history by examining how recent and contemporary historians of the built environment do their work.

A49 765D Advanced Seminar in Urban Sustainability I
This seminar will investigate contemporary theories and methods of sustainable urbanism. Cities are increasingly the means through which a sustainable future for the anthropocene era is constructed. Within the sustainable urbanism paradigm, cities are understood as complex, self-organizing, open systems responding to socially constructed processes, conflicting values, natural resource limitations, extreme natural phenomena, man-made hazards, climate change, and competing economic interests that inform urban change, design, and development. Consideration will be given to the history, definition, and reasoning for the urban sustainability paradigm; the theoretical constructs of sustainability, resiliency, adaptation, and regeneration for post-carbon cities; the methods of analysis and measurement for urban sustainability; and the design of cities for livability, social inclusion, environmental performance, cultural diversity, and economic equity.

A49 766D Advanced Seminar in Urban Sustainability II
This seminar will investigate the practices and measures by which sustainable urbanism is produced, substantiated, and evaluated, both projectively and retrospectively. Cities, where the majority of our resources are both spent and conserved, are sites of great contestation and negotiation where competing interests between status quo solutions and those that reinvent the urban paradigm are critical battlegrounds for a healthy, equitable, and lasting future. In recent years, efforts have been made to quantify the "success" of individual buildings, neighborhoods, and systems, but a holistic framework for deep evaluation evades those attempting to design, lead, and invest in cities. This course will consider: competing factors at play in the efforts toward sustainable urban production; existing evaluation metrics of sustainable cities and their dire shortcomings; emerging practices of cross-silo, cross-agency, and interdisciplinary urban work attempting to produce new, model paradigms; competing and complementary objectives and evaluations of sustainable, successful, and resilient cities, among other models. Consideration of firms, agencies, nonprofits, and quasi-public interest groups as well as scholarly, research-based efforts proposing evaluative and projective alternatives will be studied with a particular focus on contrasting contexts. The objective is not to develop a quantitative scoring system for cities, which results in superficial and reductionary grades, but to empower design and research students to understand the value added propositions of holistic urban thinking as a new paradigm for 21st century cities.

A49 768 Theories and Methods of Architecture, Landscape, and Urbanism Research
This seminar focuses on the fundamentals of transdisciplinary empirical research in architecture, landscape, urbanism design and urbanism. Through studying research examples, it examines the entire research process: conducting literature review and precedent studies, generating research question and hypothesis, creating study design, collecting and analyzing data with valid and reliable research tools, and communicating findings. A survey of quantitative and qualitative research methods used in disciplines such as social sciences, public policy, and public health that are relevant to environmental issues is provided to address the application of research methods on a wide range of problems in architecture, landscape, and urbanism. The seminar allows students to effectively engage in empirical research (including research assistantship) as well as the practice of evidence-based design.

A49 769 Methods of Sustainable Urbanism Research
This seminar focuses on the fundamentals of transdisciplinary research in sustainability as it applies to the design, development, and management of cities. The objective is to introduce students to fundamental research methods of urban sustainability including methods to: analyze the impact of urbanization on natural systems; understand the physical organization of cities; analyze the effect of socioeconomic trends on cities; apply analytical systems to understand the performance of urban elements; and understand how various scales of the city contribute to sustainability. This course is required for Doctor of Sustainable Urbanism students and is open to all MArch, MLA, and MUD students.

A49 770 Urban Morphology & Metabolism Research Methods
This course description is being developed; please check back for updates.

A49 781 Directed Reading in Sustainable Urbanism
This is a special topics course intended for graduate students to read, research, and critique key contemporary texts that examine the relationship between sustainability, cities, and the design disciplines. The course content is personalized to the individual student's background and interest, and is intended to broaden the student's disciplinary knowledge base in sustainable urbanism.

A49 782 Directed Reading in Sustainable Urbanism II
This is a special topics course intended for graduate students to read, research, and critique key contemporary texts that examine the relationship between sustainability, cities, and the design disciplines. The course content is personalized to the individual student's background and interest, and is intended to broaden the student's disciplinary knowledge base in sustainable urbanism.

A49 791 Directed Research in Sustainable Urbanism I
This is a special topics course intended for doctorate students to work individually with a designated faculty member and to earn credit for individually designed course content in the discipline of sustainable urbanism. The course content is personalized to the individual student's background and research interest, and is intended to broaden the student's disciplinary knowledge base in sustainable urbanism and the development of a publishable academic paper that results in a significant scholarly contribution in the discipline. The student will prepare and submit a course proposal, schedule and work product prospectus for approval by the Chair of Urban Design.

A49 791 Directed Research in Sustainable Urbanism II
This is a special topics course intended for doctoral students to work individually with a designated faculty member and to earn credit for individually designed course content in the discipline of sustainable urbanism. The course content is personalized to the individual student's background and research interest, and is intended to broaden the student's disciplinary knowledge base in sustainable urbanism and the development of a publishable academic paper that results in a significant scholarly contribution in the discipline. The student will prepare and submit a course proposal, schedule, and work product prospectus for approval by the chair of urban design.

Required Electives

The purpose of the six required electives is to increase the opportunity for students to add both depth and breadth to their knowledge, through course work in key topical areas relevant to sustainable urbanism and their particular thesis research.

Course work should be completed in four of the following areas:
- Community Development and Social Work
- Real Estate and Economic Development
- Cultural Anthropology and Urban Sociology
- Urban Morphology and Public Space
- Land Use and Environmental Law
- Sustainability and Public Health
- Ecology and Natural Systems
- Research Methods

Elective selections must be made in consultation with the student's academic advisor.