Course Descriptions

Course Catalog for URBAN STUDIES
URST 101
Introduction to Urban Studies
This course provides a general introduction to the interdisciplinary field of urban studies. Using a variety of Western and non-Western cities as illustrative examples, the course aims to give a broad survey and understanding of the distinctive characteristics of urban places. Students will learn definitions, concepts, and theories that are fundamental to the field. Topics covered include the role of planning in shaping cities, the economic structure and function of cities, the evolution of urban culture, community organization and development, gentrification and urban renewal, and urban governance policy.
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 200
Urban Sustainable Development in China
Rapid urbanization and economic growth in China in the past 30 years have brought enormous change, raising living standards and reducing poverty, but at a considerable social and environmental costs. Presently China is search for a new path of sustainable urbanization for the next 30 years. This course will examine environmental challenges of sustainable urban development in China such as high energy and resource consumption, air and water pollution, climate-related hazards, insufficient water resources, and fragile ecosystems. Strategies and policies from different levels of government for ecological urban development will be introduced. Technical solutions and practical cases from single building to the whole city will also be analyzed.
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 201
From Hartford to World Cities: Comparative Urban Dynamics
The 21st century is truly a global urban age characterized by the simultaneous decline and revival of post-industrial cities in the United States and the co-existence of boom and poverty in the rapidly industrializing cities in developing countries, as well as by how globalization is exerting a growing impact on urban places and processes everywhere. This course adopts an integrated and comparative approach to studying the local and global characteristics, conditions, and consequences of the growth and transformation of cities and communities. Using Hartford—Trinity's hometown—as a point or place of departure, the course takes students to a set of world or global cities outside the United States, especially a few dynamic mega-cities in developing countries to explore the differences and surprising similarities among them.
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 206
Organizing by Neighborhood: An Internship/Seminar Experience
Have you ever wondered why some neighborhoods thrive and others appear to fail? Are you mystified about what can be done to stem deterioration and provide decent, affordable housing and clean and safe neighborhoods? One way to explore answers to these questions is to intern with a community-based organization dedicated to working with a community as it defines and responds to its problems. In this seminar each student will do a community learning project/ internship at such an organization in Hartford. Equally important is a way to understand and interpret your experiences at the organization. The rich theoretical literature that you will read in this seminar on how neighborhoods are organized and function and on models of community responses to neighborhood conditions provides a lens through which to evaluate your experiences with your organization and community.
This course is not open to first-year students.
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 210
Sustainable Urban Development
With the era in which city dwellers comprise a majority of the world's population has come a new urgency for understanding the balance between urban development and the environment. This course introduces students to the sub-field of urban studies which deals with sustainable development, including exploration of the debates on the meanings of sustainability and development in cities. Taking a comparative approach and a global perspective, topics to be examined may include the ecological footprint of cities, urban programs for sustainable urban planning, urban transportation and service delivery, energy issues, and the critical geopolitics of urban sustainability around the world. May be counted toward INTS major requirements.
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 215
Latin American Cities
Course examines the historical evolution and current dynamics of Latin American cities, from the pre-colonial (pre-1492), to the colonial (1492–1825) and post-colonial (since the 1800's) periods. A variety of sources allow us to explore specific examples from several cities, including: Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Brasilia, Caracas, Havana, Mexico City, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo, for example. Topics include colonialism, nationalism and transnationalism; urban slavery and race; rural-urban and ethnic migrations; industrialization and the urban working-class; urbanism, urban spaces and architecture; authoritarianism, populism and democratization; and consumer cultures, sports and leisure, among others.
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 217
The Histroy of Urbanism in Eastern Europe
This course will examine the economic, social, and cultural history of East European urban development during the medieval and early modern periods. We will focus on local governance, urban landscape and planning, social and educational institutions, commercial and artisan activities, religious and ethnic communities, and a new type of citizen: the burgher. To better understand urban life in the important towns of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (contemporary Belarus, Lithuania, and a part of Ukraine), we will draw comparison to the major centers of Danzig-Gdansk, Königsberg-Królewiec, and Kraków in central Europe and Russian towns like Great Novgorod and Moscow. The varied sources of information for the course include diaries, testaments, memories, private correspondence, engravings, drawings, and architectural monuments.
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 252
Immigration, Social Inclusion, and Global Cities
This course surveys immigrant incorporation in the global cities of New York, Montreal, Paris, and London. It proceeds by means of case studies to examine topics of ethnic history, intergroup relations, assimilation and acculturation, residential patterns in enclaves and ghettos, generational transformations, ethnic entrepreneurship, and symbolic ethnicity. These studies and topics provide the ground as well for the course's exploration of questions of transnational belonging, coalition politics, citizenship patterns, and immigration policy.
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 300
River Cities of Asia
The major cities of the East and Southeast Asia came into being in the basins of the great rivers that course from the Himalayas to the seas. From the earliest eras, the cities along the Yangtze, the Mekong, the Red River, and the Chao Phraya constituted the political and cultural centers, marketing axes, and transportation hubs that shaped civilizations and ecological systems. Using two prominent river/city systems, the Yangtze and the Mekong, as case studies, this course will provide integrated historical, sociological, and environmental understandings of key cities in these two river environs including Chongqing in China, Luang Prabang in Laos, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and Ho Chi Minh City on the edge of the Mekong delta in Vietnam. The course will be followed by a required 2.0-credit traveling program to these cities in summer 2012.
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 301
Community Oriented Development Strategies to Address Urban Decline in the United States
In this course we will explore the causes of neighborhood decline, examine the history, current practice and guiding policies of community development, and see firsthand selected community development strategies at work in the local communities surrounding Trinity College. We will pay close attention to the influence of ideas in good currency in the field of urban development such as smart growth, transit oriented development, land-banking and place-making. The course is organized around four questions: What are the underlying forces behind neighborhood decline? How and why did community development emerge? How has community development practice reconciled itself with current concepts that guide urban development such as new urbanism, smart growth, place-making and land-banking. What does the future hold for disinvested communities and for community development practice?
Prerequisite: Urban Studies 101 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 302
Global Cities
This seminar examines the contemporary map of interactions between cities in the world. There is now a considerable array of research analyzing what are variously termed global or world cities in the hierarchy of the world economy, and a counter-critique has emerged which seeks to analyze all cities as ordinary, moving beyond old binaries of 'developed' and 'developing' worlds of cities. We will interrogate this debate in both its theoretical and its empirical dimensions, with case studies from Africa and assessment of cultural, political, economic and environmental globalization.
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 303
Advanced topics in Geographic Information Systems
This course applies spatial analysis techniques to a variety of topics in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. Prerequisite: ENVS 286 or instructor permission.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Environmental Science 286 or permission of instructor
1.00 units, Lecture
URST 310
Urban and Regional Development in China
Taking advantage of both stationary and travel investigations in Shanghai and other cities in the lower Yangtze region, this course will examine various dimensions of sustainable urban development in China’s largest and most prosperous economic region. We will focus on the interactions among the rapid growth, massive migration, heavy pollution, high consumption, and stressed ecological system in and around these cities. One area of inquiry will be the disposal of municipal waste and how the potentially underdeveloped capacity of handling the huge amount of waste can threaten sustainable development in the megacity of Shanghai. We will also examine how the heavy use of material and human resources, coupled with high municipal and private debts, can undermine the sustainable development of smaller cities like Wenzhou.
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 313
River Cities of Asia
Today, throughout Asia, many cities are undergoing rapid growth resulting in dramatic economic, social, cultural, and environmental transformation. Because of the strong relationship between cities and rivers, such rapid growth puts increasing pressures on water resources, river ecosystems, and the human frameworks. Using two prominent river/city systems, the Yangtze and the Irrawaddy, as case studies, this summer course will provide integrated historical, cultural, and environmental understandings of four key cities — Shanghai, Chongqing, Mandalay, and Yangon — located on the banks of these waterways. The course will examine the historical emergence of the cities we visit, explore interrelationships between urban expansion and environmental consequences of rapid economic growth, and examine people’s perceptions of environmental and cultural change in China and Myanmar.
1.50 units, Seminar
URST 328
Transnational Urbanism: Life in Urban Spaces
This course explores urban history and the history of urbanism by focusing on a selected group of cities in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. It traces the global routes that urbanism has taken since Paris was transformed in the 19th century into the ideal city of modernity. Topics examined include not only urban space, planning, and architecture, but also politics and social movements, capitalism, and mass consumption, as well as sports, literature, and film. Throughout we will pay close attention to how each city's national and international context produced particular urban forms and urban cultures that nonetheless shared certain global patterns.
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 399
Independent Study
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment.
Prerequisite: Urban Studies 101 or permission of instructor.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
URST 401
Senior Seminar
This course serves as a capstone seminar with two purposes. First, it provides a comparative and integrated treatment of the urban scholarship through an intensive and interdisciplinary reading of advanced books and articles, rigorous discussions, and in-depth writing. This course allows students to widen and deepen the cumulative content and experience they have gained from previous urban courses, study abroad programs, and urban engagement and internship projects. Secondly, by connecting and even tailoring some of the seminar’s content to individual students, the course prepares and guides students to undertake and successfully complete a senior thesis for the Urban Studies major.
Prerequisite: Urban Studies 201, Sociology 227 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
URST 466
Teaching Assistantship
No Course Description Available.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
URST 497
Single Semester Thesis
Submission of special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the director are required for enrollment.
1.00 units, Independent Study
URST 498
Senior Thesis, Part 1
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment.
2.00 units, Independent Study
URST 499
Senior Thesis, Part 2
Written report and formal presentation of a research project. Required of all students who wish to earn honors in Urban Studies. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment.
2.00 units, Independent Study