02.130 Slums, Squatters, and Smart Cities: History and Theory of Urban Planning

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This course is an introduction to the history and theory of city planning since the nineteenth century. Students will read, discuss, and evaluate a wide body of scholarly literature and primary sources related to the emergence, development and transformation of urban design and planning practices in relation to fluctuating economic, political, and social contexts. Key topics covered include the changing goals of city planning, the techniques used to intervene in the urban environment, and the evolution of political and institutional contexts in which city planning takes place. The course is organised into four units, each covering a particular time period and the theories associated with that period. Unit 1 covers the urban transformations of the nineteenth century related to industrialisation in Europe and the US. Unit 2 introduces modernist approaches to shaping the city. Unit 3 covers the ‘post-modern’ reactions to comprehensive planning ideals. Unit 4 examines cities in Asia today with the intention of evaluating the applicability of common urban design and planning ideas to cities in the region.

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Instructor
Samson Lim