Urban Affairs

Introduction to Urban Affairs

MET UA 301 (4 credits)

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.

Housing and Community Development

MET UA 503 (4 credits)

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.

Urban Management

MET UA 505 (4 credits)

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.

Real Estate Development

MET UA 508 (4 credits)

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.

2018SPRGMETUA508 D1, Jan 18th to Apr 26th 2018
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
R 6:00 pm 8:45 pm EPC 203

Urban and Public Finance and Budgeting

MET UA 509 (4 credits)

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.

2017FALLMETUA509 B1, Sep 5th to Dec 12th 2017
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
T 6:00 pm 8:45 pm CAS 229

Selected Topics in Urban Affairs

MET UA 510 (4 credits)

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.

Fall 2017 -- Special Topic: "Sustainable Energy Planning" (Section A1, MON 6pm Instructor: Jermain) - Disruptive technology, climate change impacts, and fast-changing consumer preferences, combined with significant sustainable energy innovations (e.g., in solar, wind, biofuels, storage solutions, and granular EMS) are up-ending urban / regional energy planning and policy-making. Planners play a critical role in helping define and solve urban energy challenges. While the goal may be achieving reliable sustainable energy systems (SES), still, conventional urban energy resources (including hydro, natural gas, coal, and nuclear power) will remain an important part of the energy mix for the foreseeable future. This course examines end-to-end energy systems planning and policy challenges facing SES transformation. The focus is on the U.S., but comparative experiences from Europe and Asia will be included. The course teaches the fundamentals of urban / regional energy planning; and provides practical tools for facilitating economic, social, and environmental policy-making.

Fall 2017 -- Special Topic: "Inequality: Policy Implications for Communities" (Section B1, TUES 6pm Instructor: Weis) - Income and wealth inequality are greater today than anytime since the Depression of 1929. The course explores the history of inequality in the U.S. and around the world to better understand it's causes and possible solutions. To understand how inequality affects society at community scale, the class will conduct detailed studies of two communities in the Boston area which represent the extremes of inequality.

Summer 1 2017 -- Special Topic: "Transit Oriented Development in the 21st Century" (Section A1, TUES/THUR 6 PM Instructor: Johnson) - As rates of urbanization continue to increase, there is amplified demand for housing, economic development, and connectivity through transportation networks. This course unpacks 'sustainable development' by focusing on strategies and best practices at the intersection of zoning and land use patterns with sustainable transportation options (e.g. subway, bus, rapid transit, biking, and walking). Students learn how to address sustainable development and transportation issues at the local, state, regional, and national levels. Case studies are used to address central issues many cities are facing. Topics covered include stakeholder engagement, climate change preparedness and adaptation, resilience planning, transportation networks, bikeshare and bikeable networks, walkability, equity, sustainable land use, and zoning.

Summer 2, 2017 -- Special Topic: "Public Health and the Built Environment" (Section B1, MON/WED 6 PM Instructor: Zemel) - Since the mid- 1800s, scientists and researchers have continuously shown how public policies significantly impact the health of individuals now and in the future. Through readings, case studies, guest lectures, and in-class exercises, students learn about the lasting impacts of many of these policies. Students are also introduced to a variety of strategies used to design interventions that target urban problems and to the role of evidence in the policymaking process. This course is well- suited for curious students with an introductory background in planning, public health, and related fields.

Summer 2, 2017 -- Special Topic: "Feeding the City: Urban Food" (Section B2, TUES/THUR 6 PM Instructor: Carroll) - Examines historical and contemporary issues involved in providing food to cities and metropolitan areas. Tracing the routes that food takes into the city and the major sources of food, the course looks closely at the accessibility of food, especially in poorer urban neighborhoods. Among topics covered are obesigenic neighborhoods, food deserts, gentrification and foodie culture, public school food nutrition, attempts to minimize food waste, and immigrants and ethnic foods in the city. The course also considers recent attempts at food production in cities, including urban agriculture, vertical farming, and craft production of food products. After closely looking at the history and current status of food programs, the course concludes with a consideration of urban food policies.

2017FALLMETUA510 A1, Sep 11th to Dec 11th 2017
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
M 6:00 pm 8:45 pm CAS 315
2018SPRGMETUA510 A1, Jan 22nd to Apr 30th 2018
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
M 6:00 pm 8:45 pm PSY B53
2018SPRGMETUA510 A2, Jan 22nd to Apr 30th 2018
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
M 6:00 pm 8:45 pm SHA 210

History, Theory and Planning Practice

MET UA 515 (4 credits)

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.

2017FALLMETUA515 A1, Sep 11th to Dec 11th 2017
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
M 6:00 pm 8:45 pm CAS 226

Environmental Law and Policy

MET UA 521 (4 credits)

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.

2017FALLMETUA521 D1, Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
R 6:00 pm 8:45 pm MET B02B

Skills and Techniques in Planning

MET UA 523 (4 credits)

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.

2017FALLMETUA523 A1, Sep 11th to Dec 11th 2017
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
M 6:00 pm 8:45 pm MCS B25

Boston Experience: The Role of Architecture in Creating the Sense of Place

MET UA 580 (4 credits)

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).

International Comparative Urbanization and Planning

MET UA 590 (4 credits)

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.

2018SPRGMETUA590 B1, Jan 23rd to May 1st 2018
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
T 6:00 pm 8:45 pm MCS B23

Urban Environmental Issues

MET UA 610 (4 credits)

This course is designed to present a comprehensive approach to urban environmental issues by integrating environmental planning and policy. It is intended for both students with and without planning background. This course provides a broader view and discussion of natural resources planning relating to issues affecting urban watershed management. This approach includes water policy, sustainability of water resources, freshwater planning (Lakes and Rivers), coastal waters, open space protection, stormwater management, clean water act, wetland protection, low impact development, and stakeholder involvement with a focus on the means and techniques available to local governments to plan and protect watersheds. Case studies will be used to demonstrate the potential to address full range of urban watershed issues, including water supply planning, water quality restoration and protection, open space planning, habitat protection and ecological conservation, and enhancement and regulatory activities.

Urban Design

MET UA 613 (4 credits)

The role of urban design in the community development process. Examines human behavior, aesthetic foundations of design methods, citizen/client participation, and public policy issues. Analysis of actual community spaces. Student design exercises.

2017FALLMETUA613 C1, Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2017
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
W 6:00 pm 8:45 pm CAS 228

Actionable Sustainability

MET UA 617 (4 credits)

Sustainability generally refers to the ability of "systems" to be maintained such that they remain viable over long periods of time. As much as achieving the perfect sustainable equilibrium may be the ideal, it is important to recognize that there will be competing and conflicting interests, especially within complex hierarchical social, economic and ecological systems, particularly in light of ongoing climatic change. This field intensive course draws on the practices and theories of sustainability and climate change to understand what sustainability can mean in different contexts, and, more important, how nuanced, sustainable solutions can be achieved under varying conditions and in different systems. With an emphasis on the urban environment, the course will consist of projects in which students will identify, analyze, and develop practical proposals to real world issues. This course is intended for a wider audience from a range of disciplines.

2018SPRGMETUA617 A1, Mar 14th to May 2nd 2018
Days Start End Type Bldg Room

Urban Transportation Policy and Planning

MET UA 619 (4 credits)

This course will provide students with a broad introduction to important concepts and policy issues in transportation, principally at an urban and metropolitan level. In addition, the course will explore methods planning practitioners can use to analyze transportation problems and propose solutions. The course will use specific examples of planning initiatives (both operations and capital) from transportation agencies within the Boston Metropolitan region. Guest speakers from local, regional, and state transportation agencies within the Greater Boston Metropolitan area will supplement the instructor's lectures and assigned readings.

2017FALLMETUA619 C1, Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2017
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
W 6:00 pm 8:45 pm SHA 201

Urbanization and the Environment

MET UA 629 (4 credits)

Interrelationships between physical environment and processes of urbanization. Case studies develop historical perspective on social, economic, and physical aspects of the quality of urban life. Special attention to the preparation of environmental impact statements and assessment of urban environmental quality.

Geographic Information Systems for Planners

MET UA 654 (4 credits)

Geographic Information Systems for Planners provides an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specifically with a focus on applications in urban planning. The role of spatial analysis in local, state and regional planning has steadily increased over the last decade with the infusion of windows-based GIS software such as ESRI ArcGIS. The class focus is to prepare students to feel comfortable communicating with other GIS users, research spatial data, and produce high quality digital maps in an applied learning environment.

2017FALLMETUA654 B1, Sep 5th to Dec 12th 2017
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
T 6:00 pm 8:45 pm CAS 330
2018SPRGMETUA654 B1, Jan 23rd to May 1st 2018
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
T 6:00 pm 8:45 pm CAS 330

Planning and the Development Process

MET UA 664 (4 credits)

This course specifically explores the area where the private and public sectors meet so that the student can develop an awareness of the complexity of dealing with these often competing interests. The objective of the course is to give the student an understanding of the motivations of the private sector in the way they go about creating their products and projects and to leave the student with the tools and knowledge to successfully negotiate the Public Interest with the Private Needs.

2018SPRGMETUA664 D1, Jan 18th to Apr 26th 2018
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
R 6:00 pm 8:45 pm EPC 209

Urban Problems and Policy Responses

MET UA 701 (4 credits)

Major problems confronting urban areas and the process of policy formulation and implementation. Emphasis on problem interdependence and systems characteristics. Analysis of problem definitions (housing, crime, poverty, etc.), goals, public/private responsibilities, existing programs, and policy options. Analysis of selected, comparative international experience.

2018SPRGMETUA701 B1, Jan 23rd to May 1st 2018
Days Start End Type Bldg Room
T 6:00 pm 8:45 pm EPC 203

Urban Analytical Methods

MET UA 702 (4 credits)

Use and analysis of quantitative data in public policy development and planning. Basic skills of organization and presentation of numerical information. Introduction to descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression; computer use. Math review.