Urban Affairs

Note: Course details for Summer 2019 will be available on December 15. The courses below were offered in Summer 2018 and can serve as a guide to what is typically offered.

Metropolitan College

Special Topics in Urban Affairs

MET UA 510

Topic for Summer 2018: Public Health and the Built Environment. 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. 4 cr.

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Special Topics in Urban Affairs

MET UA 510

Topic for Summer 2018: Global Cities. Provides a framework for understanding the global network of cities and how particular cities occupy niches within that network. The course uses Boston and Massachusetts “Gateway Cities” to explore the long-term forces shaping global economic activity and urban development, including transportation, telecommunications, international trade, immigration, innovation, higher education, and cultural exchange. The United Nations Habitat III Conference and other international urban organizations are used to examine strategies for sustainable urban development in cities around the world. 4 cr.

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Special Topics in Urban Affairs

MET UA 510

Topic for Summer 2018: Urban Social Entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship, the newest form of small-business creation, is increasingly making a strong impact in cities, particularly with the rapid growth and diversification of urban centers. This course explores the business model of these for-profit enterprises with an explicit social mission and their role in urban planning and policy. When successful, these financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable businesses can offer numerous opportunities to address issues of economic growth, social justice, and enhanced quality of life for city residents simultaneously. This course examines policies and initiatives that can promote the establishment and success of such social entrepreneurial ventures. Drawing upon insights from case studies, local social entrepreneurs, and primary and secondary research, students will create a viable business plan for a sustainable social-entrepreneurship firm. This course would be of particular interest to students in the fields of applied social sciences and business. 4 cr.

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Special Topics in Urban Affairs

MET UA 510

Topic for Summer 2018: Transit-Oriented Development in the 21st Century. 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. 4 cr.

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Feeding the City: Urban Food

MET UA 527

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. 4 cr.

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Environmental Urban Issues

MET UA 610

Presents a comprehensive approach to urban environmental issues by integrating environmental planning and policy. Intended for students with and without a planning background. Provides a broad 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 are used to demonstrate the potential to address a 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. 4 cr.

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