11.337J | Spring 2009 | Graduate

Urban Design Policy and Action


Critical Reading Analysis

Each week, students will be required to come prepared to discuss the readings by preparing an approximately 3-page, double-spaced critical essay of the week’s readings by the answering the following questions:

  1. What is the principal argument(s) of the reading, and do you find it to be valid? Why, or why not?
  2. What is the implication(s) of the reading for crafting of urban design, public policy and/or implementation? You can use your case study analysis as an example of how the reading might apply to an actual urban design policy, plan, program, or project. Be sure to go beyond obvious connections to imagine how the reading sheds light and provides insight into your case study.

Each essay will cover multiple readings and will be submitted in class every week. The essays will be the basis for class discussion. Each essay is worth 5% of the grade, and the total for 10 essays is 50% of the grade.

Case Study Analysis

Each student will select an urban design policy, plan, program or project to analyze utilizing the resources of the seminar—the readings, the group discussions, and the faculty. The policy, plan, program, or project must have been already implemented or in the process of being implemented. There is no restriction of geographic location, time period, or scale.

The case study analysis will be completed in two stages:

  1. A rough draft, approximately 10-15 double-spaced pages including images, will be submitted after Lec #6.
  2. A final paper, approximately 20 pages double-spaced including images, to be submitted after Lec #10.

The case study analysis should very briefly introduce the policy, plan, program, or project, spend the majority of the paper evaluating its strengths and weaknesses, and conclude with lessons for the future. The argument should be carefully constructed, the writing should be clear and concise, and there should be a bibliography in both versions of the paper.

The rough draft is worth 20% of the grade, and the final paper is worth 30% of the grade.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2009