02.152TS Urban Theory

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What is the city? This course aims to introduce and examine different theories of contemporary urbanization. Using a tripartite framework, this course engages the theoretical groundings, perspectives, and visions of the city. And according to Robert Beauregard, the city is characterized by the following four contradictions, namely, (i) a place of simultaneous wealth and poverty; (ii) a habitat that presumed environmental destructiveness yet saddled with the promise of sustainability; (iii) a polis of democracy but laced with the potential for oppressive surveillance; (iv) a public sphere where tolerance is encourage amid the marginalization of various groups. These central contradictions suggest that the city is an unfinished design project—replete with new opportunities and potentials awaiting rectifications and improvements by designers: architects, engineers, planners and policy-makers.

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Jeffrey Chan