The Cities Program

A selective, one-year non-major curriculum for 15-20 talented and strongly motivated students in each entering class, the Cities Program examines cities and urban issues, past and present, in the United States and elsewhere, from various humanities and social science perspectives. In their first semester, participating students take two courses (Introduction to Urban Studies and City as Built Environment), the latter of which has been expressly created for the program and is not open to other students. In the second semester, students take another specific course for the Cities Program and also choose another elective from a growing number of urban-related classes at Trinity, approved by the student’s adviser and the director of the program.

The Cities Program, which admitted its first students in the spring of 1996, is designed to be compatible with every major offered at Trinity, including not just those in the humanities and social science disciplines that are central to the program, but also those in the arts and the natural sciences. The Cities Program has also become a launching pad for students to continue with an urban studies minor (instituted in 2010) or major, launched in fall 2013.

In March of each year, exceptionally well-qualified applicants for admission to Trinity are invited to become candidates for the program. Applicants to the College who do not receive such an invitation but who find the program appealing may also become candidates by notifying its director, Dean Xiangming Chen, of their interest no later than April 25.

Fall Term

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. (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Myers

202. City as a Built Environment— This course examines the architectural and planning history of major European and American cities from ancient Greece to ca. 1900. Topics will include the nature of city centers and the role of public space, the formalization of town planning as a discipline, patterns of patronage and architectural education, the infrastructure of cities, and the influence of new technologies and industrialization on cities. A selection of examples—Athens, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Washington, DC, Berlin, Vienna, and New York—will serve as case studies. Only students in The Cities Program are allowed to enroll in this course. (FYR1) (Enrollment limited) –Curran

Courses Originating in Other Departments

Art History 247. Renaissance and Baroque Architecture and Urbanism— View course description in department listing on p. 477. –Triff

Spring Term

200. The American City— 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. Only students in The Cities Program are allowed to enroll in this course. (FYR2) (Enrollment limited) –Myers