Each student will be responsible for identifying, reviewing and presenting one structured discussion of articles from the current literature that are relevant to their research topic. The remaining time will be spent working on individual projects or thesis proposals. This fall, the seminar will focus on the following core issues that underlie most implementations of urban information systems and decision support tools:

  • The sustainable acquisition and representation of urban knowledge

  • The emergent technological infrastructure for supporting metropolitan decision-making

  • The innovative organizational and institutional arrangements that can take advantage of modern urban information systems

Students are encouraged to select projects involving topics introduced at one of the ongoing weekly seminars that each DUSP program group offers during the Fall of 2005. Students connected with the CDD group should identify topics from the lecture series taking place on Monday evenings; IDRP students should select from the series with SPURS that also takes place during Monday lunches and Wednesday evening talks; HCED students should pick their topic from the lunch series on Wednesdays and EPG students from that group's lunch series on Tuesdays. Students who will be using 11.522 as a foundation for Master's and PhD theses will be allowed to select a topic appropriate for their own research agenda, whether or not it is covered in the sub-groups' seminars.

Each student's project work should include some consideration of how the underlying analytic or planning techniques could be facilitated by sustainable knowledge infrastructures, emergent technologies and/or institutional frameworks. Students will be encouraged to "look under the hood" of the more advanced techniques used in their respective sub-fields to recognize and sort out some of the knowledge/technology/institution dimensions. One underlying theme for all class projects will be the extent to which basic and advanced analyses can rely on readily available, spatially-linked knowledge, enabled by emerging technologies, and supported by innovative institutional and organizational arrangements. In short, how can planning information be mainstreamed in such a way that planners become less concerned with 'hunting and gathering' urban data, and can harvest existing data streams (from administrative datasets, sensor nets, etc.) that have been sufficiently organized and cross-referenced to support sophisticated planning analyses?