Course Meeting Times

Seminar: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session


MIT students must get the permission of the instructor to take this course.

Semester-Long Project Description

Your assignment for the semester is to produce a paper that focuses on how city officials and departments can prepare for a specific impact of climate change. The expectation is that each student will work on a distinct and discrete problem. To develop your paper, you will select a potential climate impact as your starting point and then work through how this impact can be addressed from technical, political, intergovernmental, and social perspectives. We will explore the option of combining the papers into an integrated manual

Class Format

In general, the weekly sessions will combine discussions of the readings and updates of your individual work. Some weeks all or part of the discussions of the readings will be lead by the instructor. Other weeks, discussion leadership will be assigned to students and be counted toward your participation grade. Work on your paper will be an integral aspect of our weekly meetings. Each problem being addressed needs to be considered in light of other departments and activities within a municipality. We will draw on the strength and expertise of those in the class to think through the types of challenges that planners, city managers, and public officials must address in preparing for the impacts of climate change.


Reflection exercises 45%
Participation 25%
Final paper/manual 30%