11.301J | Fall 2016 | Graduate

Introduction to Urban Design and Development


1 Introduction

Robert Fishman. “The Open and the Enclosed: Shifting Paradigms in Modern Urban Design” in Banerjee, Tridib, and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, eds. Companion to Urban Design. Routledge, 2011. ISBN: 9781138776548.

Ratti, Carlo, and Anthony Townsend. “The Social Nexus."Scientific American 305, no. 3 (2011): 42-48.


Buy at MIT Press “City and Modernism”, “Notes on Urban Space”, and “Space, Territory, and Perception” in Maki, Fumihiko, Mark Mulligan, and Eduard F. Sekler. Nurturing Dreams: Collected Essays on Architecture and the City. MIT Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780262135009.

Part 1: Forces That Shape Cities
2 Viewpoints on the City

“Introduction, Word Game, Fixes” in Clay, Grady. Close-Up: How to Read the American City. University of Chicago Press, 1980. ISBN: 9780226109459.

Buy at MIT Press “City Image and Its Elements” in Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City. Vol. 11. MIT Press, 1960. ISBN: 9780262120043.

Koch, Regan, and Alan Latham. “Presenting and Imagining the City” in Paddison, Ronan, and Eugene McCann, eds. Cities and Social Change: Encounters with Contemporary Urbanism. Sage, 2014. ISBN: 9781848601109.

3 The Forces That Made Boston

Buy at MIT Press “Form Values in Urban History” in Lynch, Kevin. Good City Form. MIT Press, 1984. ISBN: 9780262620468.

The following are general references for this lecture and for Assignment 1. You should study these to help select and research your site:

Whitehill, Walter Muir. Boston: A Topographical History. Belknap Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780674002685.

Campbell, Robert, and Peter Vanderwarker. Cityscapes of Boston: An American City Through Time. Houghton Mifflin, 1992. ISBN: 9780395581193.

Buy at MIT Press Seasholes, Nancy S. Gaining Ground: A History of Landmaking in Boston. MIT Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780262194945.

Buy at MIT Press Haglund, Karl. Inventing the Charles River. MIT Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780262083072.

4 Walking Tour of Boston No readings
5 Economic Forces and Urban Form

“The Urban System and Urban Structure” in Morrill, Richard. The Spatial Organization of Society. Duxbury Press, 1974. ISBN: 9780878720576.

“The City as a Growth Machine” in Logan, John R., and Harvey Molotch. Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of Place. University of California Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780520254282.

Sherman, Roger. “Counting on Change: Property” in Varnelis, Kazys, ed. The Infrastructural City: Networked Ecologies in Los Angeles. Actar, 2008. ISBN: 9788496954793.

6 Social Forces and Urban Form

Lipman, Mark and Leah Mahon. Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street. New Day Films, 1996.

“The Uses of City Neighborhoods” in Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Vintage, 2016. ISBN: 9780679741954.

Sklar, Holly. “Creating a Sustainable Urban Village: The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative,” and “Real Insurance.” Orion 15, no. 4 (Autumn 1996): 28-38.

7 State Forces and Urban Form

“Grand Design” in Sutcliffe, Anthony. The Autumn of Central Paris: The Defeat of Town Planning, 1850-1970. London: Edward Arnold, 1970.

“The Warp on the Loom” in Caro, Robert. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. Knopf, 1974. ISBN: 9780394720241.

Langdon, Philip. “Eminent Domain Goes to Court.” Planning 71, no. 4 (2005): 12-15.

8 Recitation Session, Assignment 1: Urban Change No readings
9 City Making I: Planning the Formal City

“Designing Cities Without Designing Buildings” in Barnett, Jonathan. An Introduction to Urban Design. HarperCollins, 1982. ISBN: 9780064301145.

Muschamp, Herbert. “Reaching For Power Over Streets And Sky.” The New York Times. May 14, 2000.

Neuman, Michael. “Does Planning Need the Plan?Journal of the American Planning Association 64, no. 2 (1998): 208-220.


Biderman, Ciro, Paulo Sandroni, and Martim O. Smolka. “Large-Scale Urban Interventions: The Case of Faria Lima in Sao Paulo.” Land Lines. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy: April 2006.

Sandroni, Paul. “Socially Sustainable Urban Development: The Case of Sao Paulo.” Blog post, 2010.

-- –. “Urban Development, Increasing Land Prices and Instruments to Avoid Exclusion in Sao Paulo, Brazil.” Blog post, n.d.

10 Case Study: Private Development and Public Benefits No readings
11 City Making II: Non-Planning the Informal City

Roy, Ananya. “Urban Informality: Toward an Epistemology of Planning.” Journal of the American Planning Association 71, no. 2 (2005): 147-158.

Pages 1-20 in Davis, Mike. Planet of Slums. Verso, 2007.

Blanco, Carolina, and Hidetsugu Kobayashi. “Urban Transformation in Slum Districts Through Public Space Generation and Cable Transportation at Northeastern Area: Medellin, Colombia.” Journal of International Social Research. 2009.

12 City Making III: Public-Private Partnerships

Buy at MIT Press “Entrepreneurial Cities and Maverick Developmers, Deal Making, Getting and Spending” in Frieden, Bernard J., and Lynne B. Sagalyn. Downtown, Inc: How America Rebuilds Cities. MIT Press, 1991. ISBN: 9780262061285.

Beasley, Larry. “Living First in Downtown Vancouver.” APA Zoning News, April 2000.

City of Vancouver. “Home, Property, and Development.” 2017. (Skim website)

Berg, Nate. “The Olympics and The City.” Places Journal, February 2010.


Sarkissian, Wendy. “EcoDensity Policy Undermined Planning In Vancouver.” CityHallWatch. January 12, 2014.

13 Recitation Session No readings
14 Field Visit: Boston Redevelopment Authority

Campbell, Robert. “After the Big Dig, the Big Question: Where’s the Vision?” The Boston Globe. May 26, 2002.

-- –. “A Walk in Progress: A Tour of the (More or Less) Finished Sections of the new Greenway Reveals That Intentions Have Been Met - And Missed.” The Boston Globe. December 2, 2007.

Rose Kennedy Greenway. Browse website, especially “About” and “Greenway Parks.”

15 City Making IV: The Design and Development Process No readings
16 Discussion of Assignment 1 No readings
Part 2: Models of City Making
17 Values of Contemporary Urbanism

Kostof, Spiro. The City Assembled: The Elements of Urban Form Through History. Thames & Hudson, 2005. ISBN: 9780500281727.

The following are general readings for Assignment 2:

Ryan, Brent D. “Reading Through a Plan: A Visual Interpretation of What Plans Mean and How They Innovate.” Journal of the American Planning Association 77(4), 309-327.

Baer, William C. “General Plan Evaluation Criteria: An Approach to Making Better Plans.” Journal of the American Planning Association 63, no. 3 (1997): 329-344.

18 Tradition

“New Towns in New England” and “Carolina and Georgia” in Reps, John William. Town Planning in Frontier America. University of Missouri Press, 1980. ISBN: 9780826203168.

Kunstler, James Howard. “Home From Nowhere.” The Atlantic. September 1996.

“Master Plan for Poundbury Development in Dorchester” in Martin, Christopher. Prince Charles and the Architectural Debate. St. Martin’s Press, 1990. ISBN: 9780312040482.

“The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh Visit Poundbury.” The Duchy of Cornwall. Press release, March 8, 1998.

19 The Art of Placemaking

Sitte, Camillo, George Roseborough Collins, and Christiane Crasemann Collins. Camillo Sitte: The Birth of Modern City Planning: with a Translation of the 1889 Austrian Edition of His City Planning According to Artistic Principles. Rizzoli, 1986. ISBN: 9780486451183.

“The Monumental City” in Barnett, Jonathan. The Elusive City: Five Centuries of Design, Ambition and Miscalculation. HarperCollins, 1986. ISBN: 9780064301558.

Read: Executive Summary and Introduction in Markusen, Ann, and Anne Gadwa. Creative Placemaking National Endowment for the Arts, 2010.


Supovitz, Marjorie, and Judith Wechler. Gyorgy Kepes: The MIT Years 1945-1977. MIT Press Visual Arts Series, 1978. ISBN: 9780262610278.

Bedoya, Robert. “Placemaking and the Politics of Belonging and Dis-belonging.” Grantmakers in the Arts Reader 24, no. 1 (Winter 2013).

20 WaterFire, Walking Tour of Providence Frenchman, Dennis. “Event-Places in North America: City Meaning and Making (PDF-1.6MB).” Places Journal 16, no. 3. Fall 2004.
21 Case Study: Making a 21st Century Public Realm Review website and descriptions of placemaking: WaterFire
22 Case Study: Mid-Century Modern City Introduction, Chapter 8 in Mumford, Eric Paul, and Hashim Sarkis, eds. Josep Lluís Sert: The Architect of Urban Design, 1953-1969. Yale University Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780300120653.
23 The Efficient City

Ulfelder, Jay. “China Isn’t Socialist, It’s High Modernist.” Dart-Throwing Chimp. March 18, 2014.

Johnson, Ian. “As Beijing Becomes a Supercity, the Rapid Growth Brings Pains.” The New York Times. July 19, 2015.

“World of Tomorrow” in Bush, Donald. The Streamlined Decade. Braziller, 1975. ISBN: 9780807607930.

“A Contemporary City” and “The Working Day” in Corbusier, Le. The City of To-Morrow and Its Planning. Courier Corporation, 1987. ISBN: 9780486253329.

24 Case Study: Green Development

Walker, Jonce. “Biophilic Urban Acupuncture: The Importance of Biophilia in Urban Places.” The Blog. Terrapin Bright Green. October 21, 2015.

Gochman, Sam. “Seeking Parks, Plazas, and Spaces: The Allure of Biophilia in Cities (PDF-2 MB).” Terrapin Bright Green. June 2016.

Fishman, Robert. “Beyond Sprawl: The New American Metropolis” in Boelling, Lars and Thomas Sieverts, eds. In the Middle of the Edge: From the Suburb to Sprawl to the Regional City. Wuppertal, Germany: Mueller and Busmann, 2004.

25 The City in Nature

Mostafavi, Mohsen. “Landscapes of Urbanism” and Corner, James. “Landscape Urbanism” in Mostafavi, Mohsen, and Ciro Najle, eds. Landscape Urbanism: A Manual for the Machinic Landscape. London: Architectural Association, 2003.

Waldheim, Charles. “Landscape as Urbanism” and Shane, Grahame. “The Emergence of Landscape Urbanism” in Waldheim, Charles, ed. The Landscape Urbanism Reader. Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. ISBN: 9781568984391.

Spirn, Anne Whiston. “Ecological Urbanism” in Banerjee, Tridib, and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, eds. Companion to Urban Design. Routledge, 2011. ISBN: 9781138776548


Joss, Simon, and Arthur P. Molella. “The Eco-City as Urban Technology: Perspectives on Caofeidian International Eco-City (China).” Journal of Urban Technology 20, no. 1 (2013): 115-137.

Girot, Christophe. “Vers une nouvelle nature” in Institute for Landscape Architecture. Landscape Architecture in Mutation: Essays on Urban Landscape. GTA Verlag, 2005. ISBN: 9783856761578.

26 The Secure City

Davis, Michael. “Fortress Los Angeles: The Militarization of Urban Space” in Sorkin, Michael, ed. Variations on a Theme Park: THe New American CIty and the End of Public Space. Hill and Wang, 1992. ISBN: 9780374523145.

“Unlocking the Gated Community” in Low, Setha. Behind the Gates: Life, Security, and the Pursuit of Happiness in Fortress America. Routledge, 2004. ISBN: 9780415950411.

Graham, Stephen. “Cities as Battlespace: The New Military Urbanism.” City 13, no. 4 (2009): 383-402.


Chapter 5 in Low, Setha, and Neil Smith, eds. The Politics of Public Space. Routledge, 2013. 9780415951395.

Cases from Cairo, Oakland, Jerusalem, Lahore, and Beirut in “Militarized Cities.” The Funambulist no. 1. September - November 2015.

27 Recitation Session Please submit a journal (any length) reflecting on the readings in the second half of the course. Questions to consider: what planning strategies/tools could be employed to reshape the city or suburbs? What strategies/tools of change are in the plan you are studying?
28 Experience City

“Time-Space Compressiong and the Postmodern Condition” in The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change. Wiley-Blackwell, 1991. ISBN: 9780631162940.

Brown, Denise Scott and Robert Venturi. Architecture as Signs and Systems: For a Mannerist Time. Belknap, 2004. ISBN: 9780674015715.

Buy at MIT Press Klingmann, Anna. Brandscapes: Architecture in the Experience Economy. MIT Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780262113038.

29 Productive Neighborhoods

“Advanced Services, Information Flows, and the Global City” in Castells, Manuel. The Rise of the Network Society: The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture. John Wiley & Sons, 2011. ISBN: 9781405196864.

Frenchman, Dennis and William J. Mitchell. “The Digital City” in Ratti, Carlo, ed. Digital Water Pavilion at Zaragoza’s Milla Digital and Expo 2008. Milan: Electa, 2008. ISBN: 9788837064686.

Katz, Bruce, and Julie Wagner. “The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America.” Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, May (2014).


MIT Senseable City Lab. Underworlds.

Davis, Nicola. “The MIT Lab Flushing Out A City’s Secrets.” The Guardian. March 27, 2016.

30 The Good City Buy at MIT Press “Between Heaven and Hell” in Lynch, Kevin. Good City Form. MIT Press, 1984. ISBN: 9780262620468.
31 Wrap Up, Discussion of Assignment 2 No Readings

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2016
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments