Introduction to Urban Design and Development

A black and white photo of the Chicago skyline at night.

The Lindbergh Beacon shines from the top of the Palmolive Building in downtown Chicago, IL. (Courtesy of Chris Smith on Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA.)


MIT Course Number

11.301J / 4.252J

As Taught In

Fall 2016



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course examines both the structure of cities and the ways they can be changed. It introduces graduate students to theories about how cities are formed, and the practice of urban design and development, using U.S. and international examples. The course is organized into two parts: Part 1 analyzes the forces which act to shape and to change cities; Part 2 surveys key models of physical form and social intervention that have been deployed to resolve competing forces acting on the city. This course includes models of urban analysis, contemporary theories of urban design, and implementation strategies. Lectures in this course are supplemented by discussion periods, student work, and field trips.

Other Versions

Related Content

Dennis Frenchman, and Colleen Xi Qiu. 11.301J Introduction to Urban Design and Development. Fall 2016. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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