Bachelor of Arts Program Overview:
Core introductory classes present analytic approaches that explore the changing forms of the city over time and analyze the variety of ways through which men and women have recreated urban life through time and across cultures.
With these foundations, students pursue their interests through classes in planning, architecture, urban social and economic relations, urban history and the environmental conditions of urban life. Advanced seminars bring together these discussions by focusing on specific cities and topics.
Syllabi for some of the courses taught in this program can be seen|
in the H-Urban Urban-Related Syllabi pages at:
Hein, Carola: The Form of the City (2000)
Hein, Carola: Japanese Architecture and Planning (2000)
Hein, Carola: Topics in Modern Planning: “The European Metropolis” (2001)
STATEMENT OF PURPOSESince its foundation in 1971, the Program in Growth and Structure of Cities has encouraged commitment to the city as an object of study through interdisciplinary teaching and research. The program integrates the analysis of space and the history of the built environment with the theories and methods, both qualitative and quantitative, of politics, communications, economics and socio-cultural change. Moreover, the Cities Program wants students to engage both multicultural and global perspectives, while exploring questions in and for Greater Philadelphia.
Within a liberal arts program, students should also develop critical perspectives toward the academic disciplines and urban-related professions that they may choose to pursue after graduation. In the major, we offer a forum in which disciplinary approaches are discussed, compared, tested against diverse values and experiences and taken beyond the classroom. Future architects or doctors learn to talk to community organizers and to consider finance as well as aesthetics. Future planners learn to question the tools and categories of their field as social constructs that may blind them to people and solutions.
FIRST-YEAR COURSESTwo annual introductory courses, "City 185: Urban Culture and Society" (Gary McDonogh, Fall, MW 1-2:30) and "City 190: Form of the City" (Carola Hein, Spring, MWF 11-12) introduce the complementary perspectives of social sciences and studies of the built environment and visual representation. While both take global perspectives, City 185 concentrates on contemporary linkages and differences, using extensive readings on Philadelphia, Tokyo, Barcelona, and Sao Paulo. City 190 takes a broader sweep of history from the foundations of cities to their future and deals with debates over the nature of urban form. Both also introduce methods for other research and writing in social sciences and humanities and explore Philadelphia through field trips, class discussion of news, and problems requiring observation in the city. The teaching assistants in these classes may also be of special value to first-year students since they provide another, supplemental level of attention in writing and problem solving.
Two other required introductory courses on the 200-level are also offered annually. "City 253: Survey of Western Architecture" offered by Carola Hein and David Cast (Art History) in the fall term (MWF 11-1) explores the techniques, personalities and achievements of Western architecture worldwide within is global social and political context. Here, you learn to analyze formal and functional aspects of the built environment and to investigate the forces that shape it. This is also an appropriate class for first-year students "City 229: Comparative Urbanism" in the spring (McDonogh, M W 1-2:30), introduces the students to a research seminar format (the class is limited to twenty-five) and the development of a long original research paper (20-25 pages). This is not a class designed for first-year students, although some have taken it in the past (generally after another cities course). The theme for 2000 will be the city and nature, examining Hong Kong, Barcelona, Los Angeles and Mexico City.
First year students considering Cities as a major may also want to look at courses that will intersect with a Cities major. Introductory classes in Earth Systems Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Physics, Economics, Statistics and languages all provide foundations for work in Cities and may, in some cases, count toward the major. Feel free to contact the program director (firstname.lastname@example.org) or chat with junior and senior majors.
INTERMEDIATE COURSESAt the intermediate level, Daniela Holt Voith (Bryn Mawr College '76) and Sam Olshin offer an intensive studio program in architecture and urban design in Rockefeller Studio. While a central part of preparation in pre-architecture, this course would demand commitments of time that are probably not wise for a first-year student. Other regularly scheduled intermediate courses are offered in American architecture by Jeff Cohen, Director of Digital and Visual Resources at BMC.
The Cities Program, however, has never wished that its students should take all their courses within a "departmental" framework. In collaboration with colleagues in other departments, some of whom also serve as affiliated faculty/advisors, we have developed a series of regularly scheduled courses which allow us to constitute suggested "tracks" for students to consider in architecture, planning and public policy, environmental studies, or architectural history. Steve McGovern (Haverford College), for example, regularly offers classes on urban politics, while Harriet Newburger (Bryn Mawr College) researches and teaches about poverty, discrimination and public finance. Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, History of Art, History and East Asian Studies all offer a broad range of courses that illuminate and expand our vision of urban life and possibilities, while courses in Geology, Biology and Environmental Studies also link urban society to themes of health, justice and planning. Each student must work out his or her own program under the tutelage of Cities Program advisors.
THOSE PLANNING TO MAJOR SHOULD CONTACT GARY MCDONOGH 0R CAROLA HEIN BY THE FALL TERM OF THEIR SECOND YEAR.
SUGGESTED WORK PLAN 1: PLANNING AND POLICY
SUGGESTED WORK PLAN 2: PRE-ARCHITECTURE/ARCHITECTURAL: HISTORY
SUGGESTED WORK PLAN 3: ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH ISSUES
FacultyGary McDonogh (director) holds a Ph. D in anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University and has worked extensively in Barcelona, the American South, and Hong Kong on themes of representation and struggles for power. He has begun work in Buenos Aires on city and nature and is engaged in long-term studies on urbanity and mass media.
Carola Hein completed her doctorate in Hamburg after architectural studies in Brussels. She works on planning and architecture in both Europe and Japan, as well as issues of the transnational movement of architectural models.
Daniela Voith and Sam Olshin are active local architects; Voith is past president of the Philadelphia AIA.
Jeff Cohen, with a doctorate from Penn, specializes in 19th century American architecture, especially in Philadelphia.
Finally, emeritus professor Barbara Miller Lane, who continues to offer advanced classes, has become world famous for her work on nationalism and Northern European architecture as well as contemporary planning.