Urban Affairs

  • MET UA 301: Introduction to Urban Affairs
    This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to urban affairs and urban problems, including an overview of prominent theories about the nature and causes of urban problems. We will examine the metropolitan area as a complex system with interdependent institutions and problems and consider present as well as future urban policy options in areas such as housing, transportation, crime, education, environment and economic development.
  • MET UA 403: Boston Urban Seminar
    An opportunity to explore general issues of urban affairs and planning in seminar. Theme changes, but each seminar focuses on Boston. Prominent scholars and professionals active in city and regional issues are invited to participate.
  • MET UA 409: Urban Affairs Senior Project
    Required of undergraduate urban affairs majors. Students complete a senior project in their field of interest. Individual faculty supervision arranged by the department; project topic and approach arranged between student and advisor.
  • MET UA 503: Housing and Community Development
    Surveys the factors affecting supply and price of urban housing. Examines federal, state, and municipal programs, as well as future policy options, from the standpoint of housing quality and community development goals. Analysis of selected international comparative experience.
  • MET UA 505: Urban Management
    Examination of selected cases in municipal and public management. Organization, financial management, personnel relations, program planning and budgeting, and issues of public and private sector relations. The administration of municipal functions, including health, police, schools, and housing.
  • MET UA 507: Law and Justice in the City
    Operation of the criminal justice system in the urban setting. Special attention is paid to the problems of safeguarding individual rights. Examines relationship between social and economic structure of cities and workings of the system of justice.
  • MET UA 508: Real Estate Development
    Various factors affecting location, construction, financing, and marketing of real estate in metropolitan areas. Studies the relationship of public policy to the activities of the private sector, market analysis techniques, evaluation of development projects, and problems of real estate investment.
  • MET UA 509: Urban and Public Finance and Budgeting
    Economic, social, and political aspects of state and local government finances. Theory of public finance; revenues, expenditures, and survey of budgetary processes. Planning techniques in capital budgeting and other finance activities. Selected issues: debt, user fees, property taxes, and incentives.
  • MET UA 510: Selected Topics in Urban Affairs
    UA510 is the designation for "Special Topics in Planning". The subject matter for UA510 courses changes from semester to semester, and more than one UA510 can be offered in a given semester.

    Topic for Fall 2015: Urban Land-Use Policy and Planning
    Urban Land-Use Policy and Planning is intended to give the student a firm understanding of the local, regional and federal policies which affect how land is used and what elements are necessary to prepare a sound land-use plan. In doing so, the course will chronicle the history of Land-Use Planning and Regulations in the United States beginning in the latter part of the 19th Century when various levels of government and their citizens became concerned with the impacts of unplanned and unregulated growth. In response, initiatives establishing Land-Use Plans, Zoning Ordinances and Subdivision Regulations were established which rationalized growth with both positive and negative consequences.
    An integral aspect of this course is an investigation of how the process of "Plan Making " has changed over the last 50 years as increased technology and communication has broadened the process revealing an ever increasing complexity which requires a participatory and inclusive planning process. In looking at the various levels of State, Regional, Municipal and Area Plans the course will cover the basic elements and how they influence the planning process including, demographics, economics, environment and transportation. The course will also include discussions about contemporary issues including Global Warming, Alternative Energy, the Property Rights movement and Urbanization in Emerging countries. The primary text will be Urban Land-Use Planning by Berke, Godschalk et. al., supplemented by readings and videos from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and other selected articles.
  • MET UA 515: History and Theory of Urban Planning
    History, concepts, and methods of contemporary urban and regional planning practice. Governmental, nonprofit, and private settings of professional planning; plans, research, and policy development; uses and implementation of planning. Political analysis of planning issues, such as comprehensiveness, public interest, advocacy, negotiation, and future orientation. Case materials drawn from redevelopment, growth management, land use conflicts, and service delivery.
  • MET UA 521: Environmental Law
    Principles and status of environmental law for pollution control and environmental improvement. Impact statements, resource conservation and protection, growth management. Emphasis on air, water, land, and hazardous waste issues. Environmental, economic, and other policy relationships. Case materials and court decisions.
  • MET UA 523: Skills and Techniques in Planning
    Students introduced to specific skills and techniques to help them achieve community and urban planning goals. The course covers a range of communications skills, including oral, written, visual, and using social media in planning to help planners develop concise, understandable plans and documents. Grant research, writing, and administration will be discussed. Segments on community outreach and engagement and how to build equity and cultural competency will be explored. Students will be introduced to skills in designing and implementing community meetings, including facilitation skills and managing group dynamics.
  • MET UA 546: Places of Memory: Historic Preservation Theory and Practice
    Covers key aspects of the history, theory, and practice of historic preservation. Preservation will be discussed in the context of cultural history and the changing relationship between existing buildings and landscapes and attitudes toward history, memory, invented tradition, and place.
  • MET UA 550: Bike Planning and Advocacy
    This course will introduce students to the wide range of issues involved in building the infrastructure and facilitating the culture change to make bicycling for fun, fitness, and, most especially, a serious mode of transportation across the USA. The course will be structured in four parts. Part I will focus on defining the problem and the opportunity. Part II will cover strategies to support and encourage bicycling. Part III will discuss how to build both political and public support for bicycling. Part IV will allow students to synthesize the course concepts into a final bicycle planning or advocacy project.
  • MET UA 553: Documenting Historic Buildings and Landscapes
    Seminar in architectural and landscape recording techniques involving readings, fieldwork, and writing; projects include research on individual buildings as well as groups of resources. Emphasis on research design and evaluation of evidence.
  • MET UA 560: City in the Media
  • MET UA 580: Boston Experience: The Role of Architecture in Creating the Sense of Place
    The Boston Experience is a graduate and advanced undergraduate course designed in the seminar format. The course will provide an introduction to the study of architecture as an important foundation for students of urban affairs and city planning and as an important foundation for students in other disciplines such as civil engineering, historic preservation, and the applied social sciences (such as sociology). The course will also serve as a foundation of the basic concepts and a general overview of the field of architecture. This foundation will also provide a prerequisite for the two advanced studio planning courses currently offered at MET in the Department of Urban Affairs and City Planning (UA 613 and UA 510).
  • MET UA 590: International Comparative Urbanization and Planning
    Examination of a selected country, region, or city in relation to issues of urbanization and development planning. Emphasis on comparative analysis of policy, techniques, conditions, issues, and effectiveness. Topics and international subjects vary. Consult the department for details.
  • MET UA 604: Urban Political Decision-Making: Citizen Participation in the Planning Process
    Case studies of political decision-making roles in urban conflict management and resource allocation. Community power distribution, factors influencing change, leadership styles, and relationships to administrators and planners. Selected policy issues, such as redevelopment, education, crime, and service delivery.
  • MET UA 610: Urban Environmental Issues
    In the last century, humans have witnessed a dramatic increase in urbanization. A large proportion of the world population now lives in urban areas. In the United States alone, urbanized land areas have almost quadrupled from 18.6 million acres to about 74 million acres between 1954 and 1997 (USEPA, 2003). Urbanization has both direct and indirect impacts on the environment. These impacts includes but not limited to (1) habitat loss, (2) natural resource impacts (watersheds, wetlands, (3) loss of open space, (4) increase surface runoff like flooding, (5) poor water and air quality, and (6) brownfields and Environmental Justice among others.