The First Year

In 2015-16, at the 20th anniversary of The Cities Program, we revised and updated the program to make its curricular structure tighter and more coherent to reflect the complementary expertise of its new faculty members.

The renewed one-year Cities Program consists of:

Fall Semester

CTYP 101/URST 101.  Introduction to Urban Studies - Garth Myers

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.

CTYP 105. Thinking about Cities - Luis Figueroa

This first-year seminar introduces Cities Program students to how a representative group of writers and artists have reflected upon urban life since 1800. Sources include texts from fiction and nonfiction, and works in the visual arts, music and film from a diverse variety of cultures. Topics include the growth of cities and urban cultures; views on experiencing urban neighborhoods, street life and other public spaces, in daytime and nighttime; the evolution of urban planning and architecture; patterns of social class, gender, racial and ethnic relations; and experiences of migration and globalization taking place since the early 1800s.

Spring Semester

CTYP 200:  The American City - Emily Cummins

The course examines the evolution of American cities since the early 19th century, from early, dense centers of commerce and manufacturing to complex, sprawling metropolitan regions. It pays particular attention to Hartford as an example. Major topics include the impact of technological and economic change, attempts to control and guide development, immigration, conflicts among groups, and urban culture. The course will also track the evolution of American discourse about the cities as a social, cultural, and governance challenge, and the eternal effort to “fix” urban life.

CTYP 201/URST 201.  The World of Cities - Xiangming Chen

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.


The Cities Program provides a broad interdisciplinary foundation for students to pursue their urban interests further and deeper. One such opportunity is Trinity’s summer program in China.