11.941 | Spring 2011 | Graduate

Urban Climate Adaptation


1. Class Participation and Leadership

This seminar requires active participation in discussions and critical reflection and assessment of the course material. While quantity matters, participation grades ultimately will be based on the quality of your participation. Therefore, you should be prepared to discuss the main points of the readings, ask questions, provide constructive feedback, and generate and share critical perspectives. There is one additional requirement that will be influential in determining your participation grade. Throughout the semester, you will be assigned readings for which you will present a brief summary of the key points and, when applicable, lead a short discussion.

2. Term Paper/ Project

You are required to write a term paper on a topic related to climate adaptation that is of personal interest. This can take the form of a literature review, case study, or client-based project. Your paper should be around 20 pages in length, double-spaced, exclusive of references and appendices.

3. Reflection Exercises

Reflection is a way that you can bridge theory and practice. The intent is that you deepen your understanding of your professional values and views and that you have a means to assess whether you are acting on these principles. Reflection also helps you to improve your relationships with others by enabling you to see the world from different perspectives and to appreciate multiple points of view. There are three reflection assignments over the course of the semester.

Photo Exercise I: Imagining a Resilient City

Take photos of two images: One should reflect something that, to you, represents urban vulnerability. The other should represent urban resilience. You will present your images to the class, explain how you are interpreting the images, and summarize how they reflect your personal experience, interests, and/or expertise. The goal of this exercise is for you to reflect on how you see the city and to gain a deeper understanding of what you believe constitutes vulnerability and resilience.

Reflection Essay I: Adaptation and the Just City

Write a brief essay (no more than two pages, single spaced) on how adaptation can promote just and equitable outcomes as well as further entrench inequities. Building off of this analysis, discuss what you believe you can do to achieve desirable outcomes in your professional practice and, when faced with difficult decisions, how you envision making decisions and working with your professional peers and affected stakeholder groups.

Reflection Essay II: Professional Challenges and Learning.

This brief essay (no more than two pages, single spaced) should focus on how climate adaptation links to your professional practice. Specifically, you should reflect on your views of how you conceived of planning when you started the class, how knowledge of climate change impacts has changed your views and ideas, and how you will use this knowledge to guide your practice. You can reflect on cities in general or on a case with which you are familiar.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2011
Learning Resource Types
Image Gallery
Projects with Examples
Media Assignments with Examples
Written Assignments