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Planning by Design: Campuses, Waterfronts, Districts, and Cities


Units: 12


The focus of this seminar is the connection between design decisions and urban development, and how a better understanding of this relationship will contribute to knowledge, policy and practice of a robust and forward-looking contemporary urbanism. The seminar draws on the instructor's research, teaching, and practice including current projects, focusing on urban design and planning current projects relevant to international, North American, and Pittsburgh perspectives. The course is divided into three units: The Campus in Context; Waterfronts in Transition, and Districts and Design--how urban districts achieve and sustain a meaningful density of interaction and opportunity, and the role of architecture, design, and arts in that achievement. These built environments is that they test the capacity of architecture and development to propose meaningfully complex and resilient program and form, from city centers to polycentric regions. The seminar will address how the design and planning of campuses, waterfronts, and specific "districts" can build up--or tear down--a robust urbanism: to better understand the decisions that can lead to an urbanism that is experientially stimulating, architecturally rich, local and global, and diverse and deep enough for the long term. Each unit will be four weeks, with Campus and Waterfronts completed before Spring Break, the third, Districts, follows, and the semester ends with the final two weeks focused on a synthesizing research project and presentations.