Urban Studies (URBS)

URBS 010 Homelessness & Urban Inequality

This freshman seminar examines the homelessness problem from a variety of scientific and policy perspectives. Contemporary homelessness differs significantly from related conditions of destitute poverty during other eras of our nation's history. Advocates, researchers and policymakers have all played key roles in defining the current problem, measuring its prevalence, and designing interventions to reduce it. The first section of this course examines the definitional and measurement issues, and how they affect our understanding of the scale and composition of the problem. Explanations for homelessness have also been varied, and the second part of the course focuses on examining the merits of some of those explanations, and in particular, the role of the affordable housing crisis. The third section of the course focuses on the dynamics of homelessness, combining evidence from ethnographic studies of how people become homeless and experience homelessness, with quantitative research on the patterns of entry and exit from the condition. The final section of the course turns to the approaches taken by policymakers and advocates to address the problem, and considers the efficacy and quandaries associated with various policy strategies. The course concludes by contemplating the future of homelessness research and public policy.

Taught by: Culhane

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: AFRC 041, SOCI 041

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 011 Crime and Punishment

How have definitions of crime and forms of punishment changed over time? What have been the uses and legacy of extra-legal violence? How have the forms of crime and punishment reflected the structure of American society? Using both historical and contemporary texts, this freshman seminar will explore these and other questions and in the process analyze the development of juvenile justice, the organization of corrections, the application of the death penalty, and the rise of the drug economy.

Taught by: Schneider

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Previously URBS 110

URBS 018 Freshman seminar

The primary goal of the freshman seminar program is to provide every freshman the opportunity for a direct personal encounter with a faculty member in a small sitting devoted to a significant intellectual endeavor. Specific topics be posted at the beginning of each academic year. Please see the College Freshman seminar website for information on course offerings: http://www.college.upenn.edu/requirements-courses.

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: MUSC 018

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 046 Urban Sound Studies

Sound is all around us and shapes almost every aspect of our everyday days, and yet, in comparison to our rich descriptions of visual culture, we often lack the explanatory power to analyze and assess the overwhelming influence of the sonic. This introduction to sound studies course will combine a rigorous conceptual and a creative, hands-on approach. We will explor how sound and auditory cultures have been theorized, how soundscapes shape built environments and transorm social relations, and how technologies have affected our relationships to sound. The course will focus on urban spaces. Cutting across disciplinary, historical and geographical boundaris, we will cover themes including sound-reproduction and mobile technologies, sonic consumption, noise regulation, protest, the politics of listening under Trumpism. We will encounter a wide variety of materials from literary texts to mobile apps and video games, not to mention a vast range of sounds drawn from fieldwork around the world from Las Vegas to Shanghai, Paris to Johannesburg. Alongside written work, you will make fieldwork recordings on the streets of Philadelphia and develop creative projects using media of your choice to reflect upon urban sound.

Taught by: Waltham Smith

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: MUSC 046

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 050 Womanism and Identity Politics in the Realm of Hip-Hop

This course centers on the intersections of womanism, woman of color identity development, and agency within hip-hop culture. We will touch on several topics that uncover the condition of minoritized women in hip-hop media, including creating/owning space, lyrical assault, defining womanhood, sexuality, and fetishes. In exploring music, literature, advertisements, film, and television, we will discuss the ways women of color construct understandings of self, while navigating and reimagining reality within hip-hop contexts.

Taught by: Patterson

Also Offered As: GSWS 040

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 103 Industrial Metropolis

Although we no longer think of most U.S. cities as industrial cities, metropolitan areas today are all products of industrial economies, technologies, and social systems. This course explores the industrialization and deindustrialization of American cities within their evolving global context from the era of European colonization to the present. It includes weekly readings and discussion, regular response papers and walking tours, in- class exercises, and a research paper using primary sources. Themes include energy and ecology, labor and production, inner city and suburban development, globalization, and economic restructuring. Ultimately, the class aims to give students a broad knowledge of 1) the history of industrial capitalism, 2) its effects on cities and regions over the past three centuries, and 3) analytical tools for understanding the past, present, and future of metropolitan economies, geography, and society.

For BA Students: History and Tradition Sector

Taught by: Vitiello

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: HIST 209

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Course is available to freshmen and sophomores

URBS 104 Transformation of Urban America

The course traces the economic, social, and political history of American cities after World War II. It focuses on how the economic problems of the industrial city were compounded by the racial conflicts of the 1950s and 1960s and the fiscal crises of the 1970s. The last part of the course examines the forces that have led to the revitalization of cities in recent years.

For BA Students: Society Sector

Taught by: Gillette

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: HIST 153

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 106 Freshman Seminar

Topic varies. Fall 2017: This course will examine the fascination with ecology in artistic thinking from late Modernism to the present, with a particular attention to the developing interest in social and environmental systems in the late 1960's and early 1970's. From Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, artists, scholars and activists of this generation were deeply invested in the interconnectedness of life in all its forms. This new sensitivity to the affinities that bind individuals, and our vulnerability to social, political and economic environments, enabled new aesthetic approaches that have continued relevance today. As part of the course, we will meet with a range of artists, curators and institutions in Philadelphia who are continuing these investigations, including the Colored Girls Museum in Germantown and the Health Ecologies Lab here at Penn. No familiarity with contemporary art is required.

Also Offered As: ARTH 100, CIMS 016, ENGL 016

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: For Freshmen Only

URBS 112 Urban Sociology

This course is a comprehensive introduction to the sociological study of urban areas. This includes more general topics as the rise of cities and theories urbanism, as well as more specific areas of inquiry, including American urbanism, segregation, urban poverty, suburbanization and sprawl, neighborhoods and crime, and immigrant ghettos. The course will also devote significant attention to globalization and the process of urbanization in less developed counties.

Taught by: Flippen

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: AFRC 011, SOCI 011

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 121 Origin and Culture of Cities

The UN estimates that 2.9 of the world's 6.1 billion people live in cities and that this percentage is rapidly increasing in many parts of the world. This course examines urban life and urban problems by providing anthropological perspectives on this distinctive form of human association and land use. First we will examine the "origin" of cities, focusing on several of the places where cities first developed, including Mesopotamia and the Valley of Mexico. We will then investigate the internal structure of non-industrial cities by looking at case studies from around the world and from connections between the cities of the past and the city in which we live and work today.

For BA Students: History and Tradition Sector

Taught by: Zettler

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: ANTH 121, NELC 103

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 122 The City in South Asia

This interdisciplinary social science course examines key topics, themes, and analytic methods in the study of South Asia by focusing on significant South Asian cities. With one-fifth of the worlds population, South Asia and its urban centers are playing an increasingly important role in recent global economic transformations, resulting in fundamental changes within both the subcontinent and the larger world. Drawing primarily on ethnographic studies of South Asia in the context of rapid historical change, the course also incorporates research drawn from urban studies, architecture, political science, and history, as well as fiction and film. Topics include globalization and new economic dynamics in South Asia; the formation of a new urban middle class; consumption and consumer culture; urban political formations, democratic institutions, and practices; criminality & the underworld; population growth, changes in the built environment, and demographic shifts; everyday life in South Asia and ethnic, and ethnic, cultural, and linguistic identities, differences, and violence in South Asia's urban environments. This is an introductory level course appropriate for students with no background in South Asia or for those seeking to better understand South Asia's urban environments in the context of recent globalization and rapid historical changes. No prerequisites. Fulfills College sector requirement in Society and foundational approach in Cross-Cultural Analysis.

For BA Students: Society Sector

Taught by: Mitchell

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: ANTH 107, SAST 002

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 136 Urban Politics in the United States

This course focuses on political responses to urbanization in the United States. Topics include local government, national urban politics, and the changing nature of cities.

For BA Students: Society Sector

Taught by: Reed

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: AFRC 136, PSCI 136

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 139 Ancient Civilizations of the World

The archaeology of the complex societies of the Old and New Worlds from the end of the paleolithic up to and including the earliest civilizations.

For BA Students: History and Tradition Sector

Taught by: Zettler

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: ANTH 139, NELC 182

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 160 Race and Ethnic Relations

The course will focus on race and ethnicity in the United States. We begin with a brief history of racial categorization and immigration to the U.S. The course continues by examining a number of topics including racial and ethnic identity, interracial and interethnic friendships and marriage, racial attitudes, mass media images, residential segregation, educational stratification, and labor market outcomes. The course will include discussions of African Americans, Whites, Hispanics, Asian Americans and multiracials.

Taught by: Charles, Kao, Zuberi

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: AFRC 006, ASAM 006, SOCI 006

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: Previously URBS 214

URBS 167 The New African Diaspora: African Immigrant Lives in West Philadelphia

This seminar will examine the experiences of recent African immigrants and refugees in Philadelphia in an historical framework. We will employ a variety of sources-newspapers, census data, legal briefs, literature and film, and diaspora internet sites-to explore the lives, aspirations, and perceptions of Philadelphia's African residents. There will be opportunities for dialogue with high school students, teachers, and parents; with representatives of African community and business organizations; and with local government and service agencies. Students will be required to do a final project which involves volunteering with an African immigrant non-profit or business and/or conducting focused research on specific African communities in Philadelphia.

Taught by: Cassanelli

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: AFRC 167, AFST 167, HIST 167

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 178 Faculty-Student Collaborative Action Seminar in Urban University-Community Relations

One of the goals of this seminar is to help students develop their capacity to solve strategic, real-world problems by working collaboratively in the classroom, on campus, and in the West Philadelphia community. Research teams help contribute to the improvement of education on campus and in the community, as well as the improvement of university-community relations. Among other responsibilities, students focus their community service on college and career readiness at West Philadelphia High School and Sayre High School. Students are typically engaged in academically based community service learning at the schools for two hours each week.

Taught by: Harkavy

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: AFRC 078, HIST 173

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: previously URBS 078; Benjamin Franklin Seminar

URBS 181 Comparative Cultures of Sustainability

Sustainability is more than science, engineering, policy, and design. Surveying the world, we see that the politics and practice of sustainability play out in different ways depending on cultural factors. Some cultures are more prone to pursue ecological goals than others. Why? Do the environmental history and experience of a nation affect policy? Do nature and the environment play a crucial role in the cultural memory of a nation? Can cultural components be effectively leveraged in order to win approval for a politics of sustainability? And what can we, as residents of a country where climate change and global warming are flashpoints in an enduring culture war, learn from other cultures? This course is designed to equip undergraduate students with the historical and cultural tools necessary to understand the cultural aspects of sustainability in two countries noted for their ecological leadership and cultural innovation, Germany and the Netherlands. This hybrid course combines online instruction with a short-term study abroad experience in Berlin and Rotterdam. During the pre-tip online portion of the course, students will become acquainted with the cultural histories of German and Dutch attitudes toward sustainability and the environment through a combination of recorded lectures by the instructor, reading assignments, viewing assignments (documentary and feature films), threaded discussions, and short written assignments. The goal of the pre-trip instruction are to help students develop tools for analyzing and interpreting cultural difference, construct working models of German and Dutch concepts of sustainability, and formulate hypotheses about the relation between culture and policy in Germany and the Netherlands.

Taught by: Richter

Course usually offered summer term only

Also Offered As: ENVS 181, GRMN 181

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites or language requirements.

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: Summer abroad course.

URBS 200 Urban Research Methods

This course will examine different ways of undertaking urban research. The goal will be to link substantive research questions to appropriate data and research methods. Computer-based quantitative methods, demographic techniques, mapping / GIS and qualitative approaches will be covered in this course. There will be a set of assignments including one in which students have an opportunity to undertake their own field research in a Philadelphia neighborhood involving multiple methods of scientific inquiry. All instructional materials will be based on data related to contemporary public policy issues.

Taught by: Stern, Mark or Goldstein, Ira

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Fulfills Quantitative Data Analysis Requirement

URBS 202 Urban Education

This seminar focuses on two main questions: 1) How have US schools and urban ones in particular continued to reproduce inequalities rather than ameliorating them? 2) In the informational age, how do the systems affecting education need to change to create more successful and equitable outcomes? The course is designed to bridge the divide between theory and practice. Each class session looks at issues of equity in relation to an area of practice (e.g. lesson design, curriculum planning, fostering positive student identities, classroom management, school funding, policy planning...), while bringing theoretical frames to bear from the fields of education, sociology, anthropology and psychology. Among the theoretical frames students will learn will be the tools of systems thinking (Bertalanffy, 1968). While most of us have internalized the key lesson of the industrial revolution-that to understand something we must break it into its parts; systems thinking, in contrast, is about understanding the parts in relation to whole. The power of systems thinking is that each point of connection also serves as a point of intervention. By showing the importance of decisions of those within classrooms and those outside of them, this course is well-suited to students of education, but also any who seek a role in creating a more just society.

Taught by: Paul Skilton Sylvester

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: EDUC 202

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 203 Introduction to City Planning: Planning Urban Spaces

This course will provide a general introduction to the concepts and practice of city planning. Topics to be discussed include: the process and nature of planning - theories, methods and roles as manifested in practice; history and trends in city planning; functional planning practice; planning within constraints--a field project; planning in the international arena; present crisis in planning.

Taught by: Gorostiza

Course usually offered summer term only

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 204 Urban Law

This course will focus on selected aspects of urban law that are particularly relevant to areas of high population density. After an introduction to the American judicial system, it will examine the legal issues that arise in the management of land development and use, with special attention to constitutional questions involving equal protection, due process, and the "takings" clause, and routine run-of-the-mill zoning challenges. This course meets the Cultural Diversity requirement.

Taught by: Keene

Course usually offered in fall term

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 205 People and Design

The built environment of a city is more than a mere backdrop; the design can actually affect people's experiences. Environmental design primarily focuses on the relationship between people and the built environment. It also looks at how the built environment interacts with the natural one (and the potential for greater sustainability). This course will allow students to gain a deeper understanding of how people create, perceive, and use the designed environment. We'll approach these concepts by analyzing design at a variety of scales, from products to interior design to architecture. Finally, using that knowledge, we'll conclude by analyzing urban spaces of the city.

Taught by: Berman

Course usually offered in spring term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 206 Public Environment of Cities: An Introduction to the Urban Landscape

This course will explore the role of public spaces - streets, boulevards, parks and squares - in cities and their social uses. With the University of Pennsylvania campus and the City of Philadelphia serving as our laboratory, we will critically examine the evolution of the movement of corridors, open space and buildings of the urban landscape and their changing uses. Case studies of social spaces on campus and public open spaces in Center City will help inform our understanding of how public environment serves, well or poorly, the varying needs of diverse users. While graphic skills are not required, graphic means as well as writing will be employed to communicate critical thought, ideas, and conclusions.

Taught by: Nairn

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: URBS 506

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 207 Asian American Communities

Who is Asian American and how and where do we recognize Asian America? This interdisciplinary course explores the multiple factors that define Asian American identity and community. In order to provide a sketch of the multifacted experience of this growing minority group, we will discuss a wide variety of texts from scholarly, artistic, and popular (film, cinematic) sources that mark key moments in the cultural history of Asia America. The course will address major themes of community life including migration history, Asian American as model minority, race, class, and transnational scope of Asian America. In combination with the readings, this class will foster and promote independent research based on site visits to various Asian American communities in Philadelphia and will host community leaders as guest lecturers.

Taught by: Khan

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: ASAM 205

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 210 The City

Urbs/Hist 210 will focus on Baltimore and use The Wire as one of its core texts. The course will explore the history and development of the city and its institutions, with a thematic focus on issues such as industrialization and deindustrialization; urban renewal and the role of universities; public education and youth; policing and the criminal justice system; drugs and underground markets; public housing and suburbanization; and Baltimore's so- called renaissance amidst persistent poverty. The seminar will include field trips both in Philadelphia and a concluding all-day trip to Baltimore.

For BA Students: Humanities and Social Science S

Taught by: Nairn

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: HIST 210

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Also fulfills General Requirement in Society for Class of 2009 and prior

URBS 213 Urban Ethnography: Capturing the Cultures of Cities

With its multi-ethnic neighborhoods and rich cultural life, Philadelphia is an ideal site for learning how to carry out urban ethnography. In the course, students will understand the ethnographic approach and learn skills to conduct their own ethnography as they explore urban life and culture in the nation's sixth largest city. The course is structured as a seminar in which students will read ethnographic studies of Philadelphia and other urban settings. With our focus on the urban landscape, we will gain an appreciation for the macro processes, such as globalization, that shape the city. Ethnography attends to such processes as well as how humans experience them. The class will explore various themes, including the ethnic city, the gendered city, the contested city, the sacred city, the global city, and the aesthetic and expressive city. In addition to reading assignments, we will look at images, videos, and online material. Students will design and execute their own ethnographic fieldwork project on an urban topic that interests them. Through step-by-step instruction throughout the semester, students will learn qualitative research techniques such as field notes, participant-observation, interviewing, and how to interpret their own data, so that they will be able to complete their semester project.

Taught by: Saverino

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: FOLK 513, URBS 513

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 216 Social Entrepreneurship

Amidst perceptions that public sector and philanthropic support for local communities is increasingly scarce, many community development practitioners are turning to social enterprise as a means to improve social and economic conditions in their neighborhoods. This course will examine and evaluate a number of recognized social enterprises tackling housing, workforce development, and job creation challenges, including several planned field visits. Building on their understanding of these fields, students will then divide into groups and develop business plans for their own social enterprises.

Taught by: Mandujano

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 218 Introduction to African American Politics

This course provides an introduction to the political experience of African Americans. While the course will explore historical themes, it will be contemporary in its temporal focus. Topics will include African American political thought, leadership and political economy, voting and participation, urban politics, race and electoral politics. Additional topics will also include crime, the judiciary, and punishment; and issues of gender, class, age, and sexual identity at the intersections of black politics.

Taught by: Harris

Also Offered As: AFRC 217

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 219 The Heart of Social Change

The Heart of Social Change: Experiments in Urban Development, Activism, and Social Entrepreneurship will seek to challenge those who desire to work for social change to consider how they may not only employ their heads and their hands, but also their hearts as they work to improve the aspects of contemporary society that mean the most to them. This seminar-based class will examine past and contemporary examples of heart-based activism, urban development and social entrepreneurship yet it will also be a space where students will be asked to experiment with ways that they too may be change agents.

Taught by: Charles Howard

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 233 World History: East Asia or Latin America

Topics Vary

Also Offered As: ARTH 369, HIST 233

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 234 Topics in Transnational

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: HIST 234

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 236 Iraq: Ancient Cities and Empires

This course surveys the cultural traditions of ancient Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, a region commonly dubbed "cradle of civilization" or "heartland of cities," from an archaeological perspective. It will investigate the emergence of sedentism and agriculture; early villages and increasingly complex Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures; the evolution of urban, literate societies in the late 4th millennium; the city-states and incipient supra-regional polities of the third and second millennium; the gradual emergence of the Assyrian and Babylonian "world empires," well-known from historical books of the Bible, in the first millennium; and the cultural mix of Mesopotamia under the successive domination of Greeks, Persians and Arabs. The course seeks to foster an appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of ancient Mesopotamia, an understanding of cultural continuities in the Middle East and a sense of the ancient Near Eastern underpinnings of western civilization. No Prerequisite.

Taught by: Al Kuntar

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: ANTH 236, NELC 241

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 237 Berlin: History, Politics, Culture

What do you know about Berlin's history, architecture, culture, and political life? The present course will offer a survey of the history of Prussia, beginning with the seventeenth century, and the unification of the small towns of Berlin and koelln to establish a new capital for this country. It will tell the story of Berlin's rising political prominence in the eighteenth century, its transformation into an industrial city in the late nineteenth century, its rise to metropolis in the early twentieth century, its history during the Third Reich, and the post-war cold war period. The course will conclude its historical survey with a consideration of Berlin's position as a capital in reunified Germany. The historical survey will be supplemented by a study of Berlin's urban structure, its significant architecture from the eighteenth century (i.e. Schinkel) to the nineteenth (new worker's housing, garden suburbs) and twentieth centuries (Bauhaus, Speer designs, postwar rebuilding, GDR housing projects, post-unification building boom). In addition, we will read literary texts about the city, and consider the visual art and music created in and about Berlin. Indeed, Berlin will be a specific example to explore German history and cultural life of the last 300 years. The course will be interdisciplinary with the fields of German Studies, history, history of art, and urban studies. It is also designed as a preparation for undergraduate students who are considering spending a junior semester with the Penn Abroad Program in Berlin.

For BA Students: Humanities and Social Science S

Taught by: Weissberg

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 237

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: All readings and lectures in English

URBS 242 Food Habits in Phil Comm

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: ANTH 252

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 244 Metropolis: Culture of the City

An exploration of modern discourses on and of the city. Topics include: the city as site of avant-garde experimentation; technology and culture; the city as embodiment of social order and disorder; traffic and speed; ways of seeing the city; the crowd; city figures such as the detective, the criminal, the flaneur, the dandy; film as the new medium of the city. Special emphasis on Berlin. Readings by, among others, Dickens, Poe, Baudelaire, Rilke, Doeblin, Marx, Engels, Benjamin, Kracauer. Films include Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run.

For BA Students: Arts and Letters Sector

Taught by: MacLeod

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: COML 254, GRMN 244

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: All lectures and readings in English

URBS 250 Urban Public Policy: Philadelphia -- A Case Study

An introduction to a broad range of substantive policy areas affecting the city, and an exploration into the complexities of policy formulation and implementation in a large and pluralistic metropolitan setting. The course subtitle, "Philadelphia -- A Case Study," describes our approach. Donna Cooper currently leads the region's foremost child advocacy organization focused on poverty, child welfare and education issues, she formerly served as the Deputy Mayor for Policy for the City of Philadelphia, and Secretary of Policy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Taught by: Donna Cooper

Course usually offered in spring term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 252 Urban Journalism

This course will examine the state of urban journalism today with special emphasis on how large newspapers are redefining themselves, and the news, in an era of dwindling readership and growing financial pressures. The course will look at online journalism, ethics, and alternative sources of news, and will explore the techniques journalists use in reporting the news. Students will report and write four pieces of their own about Philadelphia and its environs. The course is taught by Dan Rubin, Enterprise Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Daily News and philly.com.

Taught by: Rubin

Course usually offered in spring term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 253 Cities, Suburbs, Regions

This course will explore the political, economic, social, and demographic forces impacting development patterns in metropolitan areas, with a particular focus on Philadelphia. We will examine the government policies, economic forces, and social attitudes that affect the way a region grows, and the impact of these forces on poverty, equity and segregation. Specific topics to be discussed include the factors that make a region competitive, the city's changing role in the region, the impact place has on opportunity, and approaches to revitalizing and improving communities.

Taught by: Black

Course offered spring; even-numbered years

Also Offered As: SOCI 254

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 264 Poverty, Race and Health

This course is designed to introduce students to current literature on race/ethnic difference in health and mortality in the United States, covering such topics as explanations for why some race/ethnic groups fare better than others, how inner city poverty and residential segregation may contribute to racial/ethnic differences in health outcomes, and health of immigrants versus native-born populations. Current policy debated and recent policy developments related to health are also briely discussed. The course is organized as a seminar with a combination of lectures and class discussions.

Taught by: Jaeger

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: SOCI 264

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 270 The Immigrant City

Immigration is among the most important yet controversial forces shaping cities, regions, and neighborhoods. The diversity of immigrant and receiving communities means that the dynamics and impacts of migration are varied and complex. This course examines the development of immigrant and receiving communities in the urban and suburban United States. It surveys public policy and community and economic development practices related to migration at the local, regional, national, and trans-national scale. Class readings, discussions, and visits to Philadelphia's immigrant neighborhoods explore themes including labor markets, housing experiences, political mobilization, civil society, cultural preservation, and the built environment.

For BA Students: Society Sector

Taught by: Vitiello, Domenic

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: CPLN 676, SOCI 270

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 273 Advanced Non-Fiction Writing

Writing with a view to publication in the freelance sections of newspapers such as THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER and THE NEW YORK TIMES, in magazines such as THE ATLANTIC and THE NEW YORKER, and in the literary quarterlies and the journals of opinion. Among the areas likely to be considered are writing as a public act, issues of taste and of privacy, questions of ethics and of policy, methods of research and of checking, excerpting, marketing, and the realistic understanding of assignments and of the publishing world. Student papers will be the basis of weekly editorial sessions, with concentration on the language: how to render material literate, how to recognize and dispose of padding and self-indulgence, how to tighten structure and amplify substance. See the English Department's website at www.english.upenn.edu for a description of the current offerings.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: AFRC 145, ENGL 145

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: This course is not open to freshmen. May be repeated for credit with a different instructor.

URBS 274 Advanced Topics in Theatre

This course will combine an intensive practical and intellectual investigation of some area of the making of theatre: performance techniques, theatrical styles, a particular period of theatre history. For the current topics contact the Theatre Arts office or visit the website. One section of 275 every other Spring will consist of a small number of Theatre Arts majors selected by the faculty to become members of "the Edinburgh Project." This ensemble will mount a production that will be performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August. Many of the readings and exercises in this course will be geared to prepare for production; rehearsals for the project will continue after the exam period at the end of the semester.

Taught by: Fox, Ferguson, Malague, Mazer, Schlatter

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: THAR 275

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: This course, with different topics, may be repeated for credit. Please look at the program website for the current semester's topic(s).

URBS 280 Neighborhood Dynamics of Crime

Crime varies in time, space and populations as it reflects ecological structures and the routine social interactions that occur in daily life. Concentrations of crime can be found among locations, with antisocial activities like assaults and theft occurring at higher rates because of the demographic make-up of people (e.g. adolescents) or conflicts (e.g. competing gangs), for reasons examined by ecological criminology. Variation in socio-demographic structures (age, education ratios, and the concentration of poverty) and the physical environment (housing segregation, density of bars, street lighting) predicts variations between neighborhoods in the level of crime and disorder. Both ethnographic and quantitative research methods are used to explore the connections between the social and physical environment of areas and antisocial behavior.

Taught by: Loeffler

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: CRIM 280, SOCI 380

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 290 Metropolitan Nature

In order to understand the complex and often skewed relationship between the built and natural systems, we must think in processes and examine different scales simultaneously. The course explores urban sustainability and resilience. At its core, sustainability is a radical concept that integrates the economy, equity (social justice), and the environment. Co-opted by marketing slogans, stripped of meaning and context, it has become vague and pliable. Sustainability and resilience demand a holistic systems view of the world. The course focuses on communities such as New Orleans and Eastwick where urban development has focused on economic concerns at the expense of the environment and equity resulting in unintended, and sometimes, catastrophic consequences. Students will have the opportunity to interact with community residents who have organized to develop strategies to address these ongoing issues.

Taught by: Nairn

Course usually offered in fall term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 294 Cities of the Future: Urbanization in the Global South

This course examines the futures of urbanization in most of the world. With cities in "developing" countries set to absorb 95% of urban population growth in the next generation, the course explores the plans, spaces and social experiences of this dramatic urban century. How do proliferating urban populations sustain themselves in the cities of Latin America, Africa and Asia? What kinds of social and political claims do these populations make more just and sustainable cities? The course investigates the ongoing experiences in urban planning, infrastructure development and environmental governance in cities of the Global South. In so doing, it imagines new forms of citizenship, development and sustainability that are currently unfolding in these cities of the future.

Taught by: Anand

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: ANTH 294

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 312 Health in Urban Communities

This course will introduce students to anthropological approaches to health and to theories of participatory action research. This combined theoretical perspective will then be put into practice using West Philadelphia community schools as a case study. Students will become involved in design and implementation of health-related projects at an urban elementary or middle school. As one of the course requirements, students will be expected to produce a detailed research proposal for future implementation.

Taught by: Johnston

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: ANTH 312, HSOC 321

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 320 Who Gets Elected and Why? The Science of Politics

What does it take to get elected to office? What are the key elements of a successful political campaign? What are the crucial issues guiding campaigns and elections in the U.S. at the beginning of the 21st century? This class will address the process and results of electoral politics at the local, state, and federal levels. Course participants will study the stages and strategies of running for public office and will discuss the various influences on getting elected, including: Campaign finance and fundraising, demographics, polling, the media, staffing, economics, and party organization. Each week we will be joined by guest speakers who are nationally recognized professionals, with expertise in different areas of the campaign and election process. Students will also analyze campaign case studies and the career of the instructor himself. Edward G. Rendell is the former Mayor of Philadelphia, former Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and former Governor of Pennsylvania.

Taught by: Rendell

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: GAFL 509, PSCI 320

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 321 Urban Ethnography: Documenting The City of Brotherly Love

How do qualitative social scientists study urban communities? What kinds of powerful tales can be told about urban lifestyles and social issues/conflicts in places like Philadelphia? This course will allow students to study various ethnographic treatments of urban communities in the United States, using films, articles, TV serials, and books as guides for the framing of their own independent research on the streets of Philadelphia. Students will also form production teams of two or three people, and these production teams will be responsible for (i) identifying and researching an important urban issue in contemporary Philadelphia and (ii) turning that research into a 15-30 minute radio documentary that will be broadcast on a local Philadelphia radio station, WURD 900AM. Mixing radio/audio journalism with ethnographic methods, will enhance their skills at archival and social research, participant- observation, interviewing techniques, sound editing, and production. This course is intended to be a rigorous and exciting opportunity for students to tell empirically grounded stories using the voices of their subjects and the sounds of the city. Potential texts include: Sidewalk (a book and documentary film my Mitchell my Mitchell Duneier), Righteous Dopefiend (a book and museum exhibit by Philippe Bourgois), and excerpts from other ethnographic work by Ana Ramos-Zayas, Elijah Anderson, Todd Wolfson, David Grazian, Setha Low, Ulf Hannerz, Leith Mullings, John Gwaltney, Dana-ain Davis, Carol Stack, Melissa Checker, Katherine S. Newman, and others. By Permission Only.

Taught by: Jackson

Also Offered As: ANTH 320, COMM 320

Prerequisite: COMM 220 or permission of instructor

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 322 The Big Picture: Mural Arts in Philadelphia

The history and practice of the contemporary mural movement couples step-by- step analysis of the process of designing with painting a mural. In addition, students will learn to see mural art as a tool for social change. This course combines theory with practice. Students will design and paint a large outdoor mural in West Philadelphia in collaboration with Philadelphia high school students and community groups. The instructor, Jane Golden, is the founder and Director of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

Taught by: Golden/Walinsky

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: FNAR 222, FNAR 622

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Previously URBS 222. The Undergraduate Fine Arts Department will now include a $75 fee for this course.

URBS 323 Tutoring School: Theory and Practice

This course represents an opportunity for students to participate in academically-based community service involving tutoring in a West Phila. public school. This course will serve a need for those students who are already tutoring through the West Phila.Tutoring Project or other campus tutoring. It will also be available to individuals who are interested in tutoring for the first time.

Taught by: Parker, Cheryl

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: EDUC 323

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 326 Tutoring in Urban Public Elementary Schools: A Child Development Perspective

The course provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in academically based community service learning. Student will be studying early childhood development and learning while providing direct, one-to-one tutoring services to young students in Philadelphia public elementary schools. The course will cover foundational dimensions of the cognitive and social development of preschool and elementary school students from a multicultural perspective. The course will place a special emphasis on the multiple contexts that influence children's development and learning and how aspects of classroom environment (i.e., curriculum and classroom management strategies) can impact children's achievement. Also, student will consider a range of larger issues impacting urban education embedded in American society. The course structure has three major components: (1) lecture related directly to readings on early childhood development and key observation and listening skills necessary for effective tutoring, (2) weekly contact with a preschool or elementary school student as a volunteer tutor and active consideration of how to enhance the student learning, and (3) discussion and reflection of personal and societal issues related to being a volunteer tutor in a large urban public school.

Taught by: Fantuzzo

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: EDUC 326

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 330 GIS Applications in Social Science

This course will introduce students to the principles behind Geographic Information Science and applications of (GIS) in the social sciences. Examples of GIS applications in social services, public health, criminology, real estate, environmental justice, education, history, and urban studies will be used to illustrate how GIS integrates, displays, and facilitates analysis of spatial data through maps and descriptive statistics. Students will learn to create data sets through primary and secondary data collection, map their own data, and create maps to answer research questions. The course will consist of a combination of lecture and lab.

Taught by: tba

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: URBS 530

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Fulfills the Qualitative Data Analysis Requirement

URBS 332 Digital City: Approaches to Urban Memory & Cartography

Cities have existed through time with layered histories. Such histories are intelligible to dwellers of urban space in the present who seek them out and others who by default interact with the effects of memory through art and culture. Through the expansion of digital mapping tools, location-enabled devices, online sharing sites, and social media memes, those layers of urban memory are newly accessible and thus enhance experiences and explorations in a city. How do websites and apps devoted to mapping cities across space and time help us access and redefine the cultures of cities? What approaches, programs, and philosophies do the newfangled mapmakers and their co-creators use, and how do they differ from analog approaches to research and placemaking? What are the possibilities and responsibilities of such digital cartographies and locales? Where and for whom do the digital divides still exist? In "Digital City: Approaches to Urban Memory and Cartography," we will seek solutions to these prompts by conducting case studies of digital map projects from transnational and local perspectives, including a particular focus on Philadelphia-based sites. Students will gain skills in cultural analysis and the digital humanities, and will produce a final research project that will result in a website, mobile app, or critical assignment of their own direction mapping a city's past onto its present or future spaces.

Taught by: Farber

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 352 Food Habits in Philadelphia Communities: Exploring Eating and Changing Food Habits in Philadelphia Middle Schools

In this course, Penn undergraduates will explore and examine food habits, the intersection of culture, family, history, and the various meanings of food and eating, by working with a middle-school class in the Philadelphia public schools. The goal of the course will be to learn about the food habits of a diverse local community, to explore that community's history of food and eating, and to consider ways and means for understanding and changing food habits. Middle school students will learn about the food environment and about why culture matters when we talk about food. Topics include traditional and modern foodways, ethnic cuisine in America, food preferences, and 'American cuisine'. The course integrates classroom work about food culture and anthropological practice with frequent trips to middle school where undergraduates will collaborate with students, their teachers, and a teacher partner from the Agatson Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI). Students will be required to attend one of two time blocks each week to fulfill the service learning requirement-times TBA. Undergraduates will be responsible for weekly writing assignments responding to learning experience in the course, for preparing materials to use middle school children, being participant-learners with the middle school children, and for a final research project. The material for the course will address the ideas underlying university-community engagement, the relationships that exist between food/eating and culture, and research methods.

Taught by: Kauer

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: ANTH 252

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 359 Nutritional Anthropology

This course will explore the significance as it relates to food behaviors and nutritional status in contemporary human populations. The topics covered will be examined from a biocultural perspective and include 1) definition and functions of nutrients and how different cultures perceive nutrients, 2) basic principles of human growth and development, 3) methods to assess dietary intake, 4) food taboos, 5) feeding practices of infants and children, 6) food marketing, 7) causes and consequences of under- and over-nutrition, and 8) food insecurity and hunger.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: ANTH 359

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 367 Philadelphia, 1700-2000

Using Philadelphia as a lens, this course will examine the transformation of American cities from the colonial period to the present. Through readings, lectures, and tours, we will consider urbanization and suburbanization, race, class, and ethnicity, economic development, poverty and inequality, housing and neighborhood change, urban institutions, and politics and public policy.

Taught by: Sugrue

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: HIST 367

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 390 Urban Agriculture

Urban Agriculture is a growing global trend. This course examines urban agriculture as an issue of sustainablity, social justice, public health, and vacant land. It explores the potential of urban agriculture in both the Global North and South to provide a safe and secure source of food to city residents. Major topics include sustainable agricultural practices, operational and spatial requirements, distribution systems, and access to fresh food. Using Philadelphia as a laboratory, the course explores its robust agricultural scene of community gardens, guerilla gardens, and entrepreneurial farms, as well as its distribution system including programs such as City harvest, the emerging Common Market, and established farmers' markets. The course will integrate lectures about sustainable agricultural practices with field trips to and hands-on work at community gardens and farms.

Taught by: Nairn

Course usually offered summer term only

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 400 Senior Seminar

Urban Studies senior research project

Taught by: Grossman/McGlone/Simon

Course usually offered in fall term

Prerequisite: URBS 200; URBS 300

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 401 Urban Studies Honors

Students in the fall Urban Studies Senior Seminar (URBS400) whose papers are exceptional and show promise for publication will be invited to participate in the spring honors seminar. If they choose to participate, honors seminar participants will revise and refine their research/papers with the goal of their work for publication in an academic journal relevant to the topic. The seminar meets periodically during the semester, structured around a set of assignments geared to facilitate the process of revision. Students will be assigned to read each other's work and meetings take the form of a workshop with students reporting on progress and providing feedback to improve and develop each other's papers. In addition to completing the revised paper for a grade, participants in the honors seminar are required to present their work to a wider Urban Studies audience in a special session at the end of the semester and to provide documentation that they have submitted their papers for publication. Students who successfully complete the honors seminar will graduate with distinction in the major, noted on their transcripts and in the graduation materials.

Taught by: Simon

Course usually offered in spring term

Prerequisite: URBS 400

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 404 Philanthropy & The City

This course will focus on how urban communities are shaped by the nonprofit sector and the billions of philanthropic dollars that fuel their work. By bridging theory and practice, the class explores what dynamics are at play to deliver vital services or programs in healthcare, education, the arts, community development, and other issues. The course will also focus on these important questions: (1) Whose responsibility is the public good? How is that responsibility shared by the public, private, and nonprofit sectors? and (2) Given that responsibility for the public good, which individuals and groups make the decisions about how to serve the public good? How are these decisions made, and who benefits from these decisions? Students will consider these questions in an interdisciplinary context that will bring a historical and philosophical perspective to the examination of the values and institutions that characterize the contemporary philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.

Taught by: Bauer/Goldman

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: NPLD 797

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 405 Religion, Social Justice & Urban Development

Urban development has been influenced by religious conceptions of social and economic justice. Progressive traditions within Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Baha'i, Humanism and other religions and systems of moral thought have yielded powerful critiques of oppression and hierarchy as well as alternative economic frameworks for ownership, governance, production, labor, and community. Historical and contemporary case studies from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East will be considered, as we examine the ways in which religious responses to poverty, inequality, and ecological destruction have generated new forms of resistance and development.

Taught by: Lamas

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: AFRC 405, RELS 439

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 412 Building Non-Profits: The Business of a Mission-Driven Organization

This course will cover the basic elements of building and growing a non-profit organization, including the development of the mission and the board; needs assessment, program design, development, and management; financial management, contract compliance and understanding an audit; fundraising, public, foundation, corporate, and individual; communication and marketing; organizational administration (including staff and volunteer selection, management and development); public policy, research and advocacy. Students will make site visits and engage role play, in addition to research and writing.

Taught by: Goldman, Greg

Course usually offered summer term only

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 417 Cities and Sustainability

A good idea is not enough - developing innovative and sustainable projects in cities requires understanding "how to get things done." Developing projects to promote sustainability in major US cities requires sensitivity to the political and operational context within which cities implement innovative initiatives. Cities and Sustainability uses Philadelphia as a case study to explore the issues confronting modern American metropolises as they look to manage their resources and promote environmentally friendly policies. URBS 417 will introduce students to leading Philadelphia practitioners of sustainability and municipal projects. Students will be given the tools to politically, economically and critically analyze various sustainable policy initiatives across the United States.

Taught by: Ben-Amos

Course usually offered in spring term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 419 Transportation & American Society

Transportation affects every aspect of American society; from how we get to work or school, to how we shop and play. Transportation policy at all levels of American government has serious implications for social justice and economic development. Moreover, some of today's most intense political battles center on transportation policy across America and within its cities, be it funding High Speed Rail in California or placing bike lanes in the heart of Manhattan. Transportation and American Society will expose students to the role transportation has played the development of America and its cities as well as its impact on politics and society.

Taught by: Ben-Amos

Course usually offered in fall term

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 420 Perspectives on Urban Poverty

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to 20th century urban poverty, and 20th century urban poverty knowledge. In addition to providing an historical overview of American poverty, the course is primarily concerned with the ways in which historical, cultural, political, racial, social, spatial/geographical, and economic forces have either shaped or been left out of contemporary debates on urban poverty. Of great importance, the course will evaluate competing analytic trends in the social sciences and their respective implications in terms of the question of what can be known about urban poverty in the contexts of social policy and practice, academic research, and the broader social imaginary. We will critically analyze a wide body of literature that theorizes and explains urban poverty. Course readings span the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, urban studies, history, and social welfare. Primacy will be granted to critical analysis and deconstruction of course texts, particularly with regard to the ways in which poverty knowledge creates, sustains, and constricts meaningful channels of action in urban poverty policy and practice interventions.

Taught by: Fairbanks

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: HIST 440, SOCI 420

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 423 Fantastic Citites: Urban Landscapes Seen Through Memory Imagination and Dreams

This seminar introduces the notion of the city, or polis, as a powerful current in our cultural imagination. In contemporary discourse, cities have an edge of glamour: they elicit both fear and desire. Historically, however, cities have been understood as microcosmic models of the organization of human society; a walled city was a place of safety and order, not a site of danger or chaos. This course explores different moments in the cultural fantasies surrounding cities, paying special attention to topics such as the role of the imagination in experiencing cities, historical urban strata, subways and other subterranean spaces below the modern city, urban peripheries, and the modern aesthetic of transparency. The course focuses on representations of some actual cities -- Rome, Berlin, New York, London, Lagos -- as well as a series of utopian and dystopian imagined cities.

Taught by: Svendsen

Course usually offered summer term only

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 428 Research Seminar in 21st Century Urbanism

A seminar run in conjunction with the Institute for Urban Research at Penn, students will learn about the range of cutting-edge topics in urbanism that Penn faculty are working on and work closely with a faculty member on current research. Students will learn about new topics and methods in interdisciplinary urban research, and get first hand experience collecting urban data under the close supervision of an experienced researcher. Students and faculty jointly will present their findings for discussion. This course is a good introduction for how to frame and conduct an urban research project.

Taught by: Ehlenz

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: CPLN 528

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 431 Mapping Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a city that was mapped before it was built. Founder William Penn's original concept for the gridded city continues to inform the historical evolution of Philadelphia, even as city planners, architects, artists, and social justice activists work to transform the layers of our built environment. This class will study the city through a variety of archival maps, historical mapping practices, and emergent digital approaches to representing space and time. We will explore public history projects that seek approaches to place-making and place-keeping at neighborhood intersections, share dialogue with social practice artists who produce site- specific works, and visualize civic data through platforms such as OpenDataPhilly. Each student will pursue a final research project resulting in a close study of a particular street or intersection in the city.

Taught by: Paul Farber

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 435 The Political Economy of Urban Development

This course provides an introduction to the economic and political theories that have come to shape, for better or for worse, the spatial characteristics of late 20th century urbanism. It is intended to offer a range of analytical approaches to understanding the urban structures and processes that strategies of community-based organizers and urban policy planners seek to influence. The course focuses on postwar U.S. cities (Chicago and other Midwestern/ Northeast rust belt cities in particular), though a number of readings explore these issues in broader contexts. As a way to further understand postwar US urbanism, we will expand our focus briefly to the geopolitical/international scale during the weeks on neoliberalism and microfinance. Urban political economy refers to different theoretical traditions within the social sciences that explain urban development in terms of the relationship between markets, states, and community actors (or, civil society). Part I of the course covers four different theories of modern political economy: Neoclassical, Keynesian, Marxian, and Neoliberal. Our purpose is to provide a framework for political economic analysis and an historical foundation for understanding postwar transformation. Part II of the course grounds the foundational material of Part I by tracing the economic and political forces that have shaped post-war urban development trends in Northeastern and Midwestern cities (especially Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and NY). Particular attention will be given to issues such as race, suburbanization, deindustrialization, welfare state retrenchment, gentrification, and public housing transformation. Part III examines a range of contemporary (post 1970) approaches to urban development, focusing on processes of neoliberalization, neo-clientalism, urban informality, sub prime mortgage lending, and microfinance.

Taught by: Fairbanks

Course not offered every year

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 440 Introduction to City Planning: Past, Present and Future

Orientation to the profession, tracing the evolution of city and regional planning from its late nineteenth century roots to its twentieth century expression. Field trips included.

Taught by: Vitiello or Ammon

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: CPLN 500

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 448 Neighborhood Displacement & Community Power

This course uses the history of black displacement to examine community power and advocacy. It examines the methods of advocacy (e.g. case, class, and legislative) and political action through which community activists can influence social policy development and community and institutional change. The course also analyzes selected strategies and tactics of change and seeks to develop alternative roles in the group advocacy, lobbying, public education and public relations, electoral politics, coalition building, and legal and ethical dilemmas in political action. Case studies of neighborhood displacement serve as central means of examining course topics.

Taught by: Palmer

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: AFRC 448

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 450 Urban Redevelopment

This course will consider urban redevelopment from the early 20th century to the present day, looking at ways the economic, political, and social underpinnings of redevelopment practice have changed over that time. From the City Beautiful movement to Transit Oriented Development, the course will look at why and how the public, private, and non-profit sectors have intervened in urban neighborhoods, and will contemplate consequences - positive and negative - of those interventions. Students will be introduced to some of the technical aspects of redevelopment, including architecture/design, planning, and financing. The class will be in seminar format, mixing lecture, discussion, and guest speakers. The course requirements include a mid-term paper, an in-class charrette, and a final development project.

Taught by: Rachlin, Andrew

Course usually offered in spring term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 451 The Politics of Housing and Urban Development

This course offers an exploration of how legislative action, government policymaking, and citizen advocacy influence plans for the investment of public capital in distressed urban neighborhoods. Course topics this semester will include an evaluation of the results of City of Philadelphia development policies under the administration of former Mayor Michael A. Nutter, as well as onsideration of plans being undertaken by the administration of Mayor James F. Kenney, who took office in January. The course will also include an assessment of a large-scale property acquisition and development strategy being implemented by the Philadelphia Housing Authority in North Philadelphia and a review of recent and current reinvestment proposals for Camden's waterfront and downtown-area neighborhoods.

Taught by: Kromer

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: CPLN 625, GAFL 569

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 452 Community Economic Development

Community economic development concerns the revitalization of impoverished communities. As with all things economic, poor and working people may be the subjects or the objects of development. We will utilize case studies from Philadelphia and around the world in an exploration of various models of economic justice and sustainable development.

Taught by: Lamas

Course usually offered in fall term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 453 Metropolitan Growth and Poverty

This course analyzes the role of metropolitan regions in the U.S. and global economies, including the sources of metropolitan productivity, the ways that metropolitan structures affect residents, and analyses of public policy in metropolitan areas. The economic, political, and social forces that have shaped World War II urban and regional development are explored, including technology, demography, and government. Special attention is paid to how metropolitan change affects residents by income and race. Topics include: gentrification, schools, suburbanization, sprawl, metropolitan fragmentation, concentration of poverty, race, and various economic revitalization initiatives.

Taught by: Madden

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: SOCI 453

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 454 City Limits: The Impact of Urban Policy

This course assesses the changing role of public policy in American cities. In the past, government often believed that it could direct urban development. New realities - the rise of an informal labor market, global capital and labor flows, the flight of businesses and the middle class to the suburbs - have demonstrated that government must see itself as one - but only one - 'player' in a more complete, transactional process of policy making that crosses political boundaries and involves business, organized interest groups, and citizens. This seminar uses a case-study method to study how public policy can make a difference in the revitalization of distressed American cities. The seminar is designed for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Seminar readings and projects will be organized around three themes: 1) history and vision, 2) data and analysis, and 3) policy and implementation. Students will be divided into project teams assigned to work on current development issues that will be reviewed by both public and private-sector experts. Extensive use will be made of real estate, economic development, and social indicator data to understand the complex forces at work in both large and small cities. Students will learn to access, analyze, and map information; to frame and interpret these data within a regional perspective; and to construct profiles of cities and neighborhoods. Students will study recent urban redevelopment initiatives in the Philadelphia region, including Philadelphia's Neighborhood Transformations Initiative and New Jersey's Camden Revitalization plans.

Taught by: Goldstein, Stern

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: SWRK 712, URBS 554

Prerequisite: Student must have taken an introduction to research methods course

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 457 Globalization & The City

Over the past two decades, the public imagination has been gripped by the concept of globalization. Scholars, corporations, advertisers and government officials have latched onto this idea as a defining feature of our current era. These various constituencies use globalization not only to account for epochal shifts in our economy and society, but also to justify new types of business strategy and public policy. This course will examine three interlinked dimensions of globalization: Global economic processes (e.g. the transnational operations of multinational firms that have given rise to a new international division of labor); cultural globalization (e.g. the spread of American brands like Coca Cola, Nike and Hollywood films), and political globalization (e.g. the rise of supranational organizations like the IMF, World Bank and WTO that promote the idea of free markets). Moreover, we will study globalization in the context of cities because, given their centrality to globalization processes, it is in cities that we can best understand how globalization takes place. In cities, we can study the global economic processes that restructure urban space, giving rise to new financial districts, international art exhibits and post-modern architecture and entrepreneurial strategies that seek to elevate cities to world city status. The course will examine these processes in a comparative light, contrasting urban globalization processes in Europe and North America with those in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Taught by: Shankar

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: SOCI 435

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 473 History & Theory of Community Organizing

Power is the ability to create change. This course will integrate the history and theories of community organizing so that each student will be able to develop a transformational praxis. We will examine social inequality and intersectionality, and explore effective strategies in organizing for social change. This course is inter-disciplinary, involving political economy, sociology, history, social work and leadership theory. Inquiry-based and problem-posing methods will serve as the primary means of formative assessment.

Taught by: Becker

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: SOCI 473

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 475 Public Performance Art in the Global Age

Variously termed relational aesthetics, socially engaged art, or new genre public art, the exploding global expansion and wildly proliferating forms of what this course will term public performance art is one of the most exciting and consequential artistic, cultural, and political movements of the start of the 21st Century. This course will chart the history of this phenomenon from its radical origins in Futurism, Constructivism, and Dada cabaret, through Happenings, the inter-disciplinary collaborations of Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns, site-specific and installation art, to current practitioners around the world, such as Ai Weiwei, Thomas Hirschhorn, Marina Abramovic, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude, among others. The course will outline the theoretical and philosophical foundations of this work and the political controversies it has ignited. Special focus will be on the engagement of this work with public space and contemporary urban life. Course requirements include wide reading and class discussion, and oral presentations on artists, collectives, and movements that have significantly shaped the current landscape. The course includes a laboratory component in which students will have the opportunity to construct a performance art or installation piece in campus public space. This public art piece will serve as site research for a final paper. All students welcome. No previous experience or special expertise in the field required. Just genuine interest or curiosity.

Taught by: Public Performance Art in the Global Age

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: THAR 475

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: Master of Liberal Arts open to undergraduates.

URBS 476 Urban Housing & Community Development Policy in America

This course examines how public policy influences housing markets and how markets influence public policy. The course reviews the development of housing policy since World War II and how shifts in policy have influenced people's ability to find suitable shelter. Topics include: poverty and affordability, residential segregation / civil rights in housing, the financial crisis of 2008, mortgage foreclosure, affordable housing, and homelessness. The course focuses on the changing roles of different levels of government in housing policy and how the financial sector, the construction industry, and non-governmental organizations influence Americans housing options.

Taught by: Stern, Goldstein

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 478 Elements of a Sustainable Development Policy

This course has several objectives. The central focus will be on developing a comprehensive understanding of the principles of sustainable development, a broad, deep, and in fact, revolutionary new way of shaping the operations of society. It was first defined in the 1987 Report of the United Nations' World Commission in Environment and Development (the Brundtland Report) as: "... development that meets the needs to the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." The course will combine lectures on general concepts and ways of viewing sustainable development with individuals and team presentations on a wide variety of sustainable development programs. Students will examine the efforts of universities, companies, local governments, state governments, and national governments to being to moderate man's impact of the natural environment and to make societies more economically viable and just - and therefore, more sustainable - in the long run. Students will learn how sustainable development strategies involve the full range of human activities, such as energy production and use, creation of urban communities, transportation, food systems, building construction and operation, waste disposal, control of environmental pollution, water use and treatment, and social inclusion, migration, and global poverty.

Taught by: Keene

Also Offered As: CPLN 678

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 480 Liberation and Ownership

Who is going to own what we all have a part of creating? The history of the Americas, and of all peoples everywhere, is an evolving answer to the question of ownership. Ownership is about: the ties that bind and those that separate; production, participation, and control; the creation of community and the imposition of hierarchies--racial, sexual, and others; dreams of possessing and the burdens of debt and ecological despoliation; dependency and the slave yearning to breathe free. Of all the issues relevant to democracy, oppression, injustice, and inequality, ownership is arguably the most important and least understood. Utilizing a variety of disciplinary perspectives--with a particular emphasis on radical and critical theories of liberation, and by focusing on particular global sites and processes of capitalism, students will assess and refine their views regarding ownership and liberation in light of their own social, political, religious, aesthetic, and ethical commitments.

Taught by: Lamas

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: AFRC 480

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 501 Community Partnerships in Visual Arts & Education

This course will connect students with artists from the 40th Street Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program, which provides free studio space and in exchange asks residents to share their talents with the local community. This course is designated as an Academic-based Service Learning (ABCS) class, meaning that students will be evaluated partly on their work in the community outreach situation. Course registration is open to advanced undergraduates.

Taught by: Epstein

Also Offered As: EDUC 501

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 506 Public Environment of Cities: An Introduction to the Urban Landscape

This course will explore the role of public spaces - streets, boulevards, parks and squares - in cities and their social uses. With the University of Pennsylvania campus and the City of Philadelphia serving as our laboratory, we will critically examine the evolution of the movement of corridors, open space and buildings of the urban landscape and their changing uses. Case studies of social spaces on campus and public open spaces in Center City will help inform our understanding of how public environment serves, well or poorly, the varying needs of diverse users. While graphic skills are not required, graphic means as well as writing will be employed to communicate critical thought, ideas, and conclusions.

Taught by: Nairn

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: URBS 206

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 513 Urban Ethnography

Using Philadelphia as the site of students' praxis, this course explores the symbolic meanings and social production of urban life and culture in the nation's fifth largest city. This course is structured as a seminar with ethnographic background readings from Philadelphia and other urban settings to introduce students to the study of the city as a site of everyday practice, as well as training in conducting an ethnographic fieldwork project. The urban landscape provides an intensification of macro processes such as globalization. Such processes and how humans experience them are more easily studied and understood in an urban setting. The class will explore social relational and cultural themes such as the ethnic city, the gendered city, the contested city, the sacred city, the global city, and the aesthetic and expressive city. A diverse range of reading assignments, images, and videos will augment our understandings of urban life. Students will design and execute their own ethnographic fieldwork projects on an urban topic that interests them. Through step-by-step instruction throughout the semester, students will learn qualitative research techniques such as field notes, participant-observation, interviewing, and how to interpret their own data, so that they will be able to complete their semester project.

Taught by: Saverino

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: FOLK 513, URBS 213

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 516 Public Interest Workshop

This is a Public Interest Ethnography workshop (originally created by Peggy Reeves Sanday - Department of Anthropology) that incorporates an interdisciplinary approach to exploring social issues. Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students, the workshop is a response to Amy Gutmann's call for interdisciplinary cooperation across the University and to the Department of Anthropology's commitment to developing public interest research and practice as a disciplinary theme. Rooted in the rubric of public interest social science, the course focuses on: 1) merging problem solving with theory and analysis in the interest of change motivated by a commitment to social justice, racial harmony, equality, and human rights; and 2)engaging in public debate on human issues to make the research results accessible to a broad audience. The workshop brings in guest speakers and will incorporate original ethnographic research to merge theory with action. Students are encouraged to apply the framing model to a public interest research and action topic of their choice. This is an academically-based-community-service (ABCS) course that partners directly with Penn's Netter Center Community Partnerships.

Taught by: Suess

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: AFST 516, ANTH 516, GSWS 516

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 519 Cities in Global Econ

Also Offered As: PSCI 519

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 524 Metro Labor Markets

This course examines contemporary labor markets through two thematic lenses. One is the growing discussion of knowledge industries and "knowledge workers" and their importance to regional innovative capacity and competitive advantage in a global economy. The other is the persistent challenge of unemployment, underemployment and working poverty within metropolitan regions. In exploring these themes, readings for the class synthesize perspectives on work, labor markets and economic growth from economics, sociology, history and political science. Class lecture and discussion, supplemented by the occasional guest practitioner, will focus on translating academic research into knowledge that can be used in local economic and community development practice.

Taught by: Wolf-Powers

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: CPLN 624

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 530 GIS Applications in Social Science

This course will introduce students to the principles behind Geographic Information Science and applications of (GIS) in the social sciences. Examples of GIS applications in social services, public health, criminology, real estate, environmental justice, education, history, and urban studies will be used to illustrate how GIS integrates, displays, and facilitates analysis of spatial data through maps and descriptive statistics. Students will learn to create data sets through primary and secondary data collection, map their own data, and create maps to answer research questions. The course will consist of a combination of lecture and lab.

Taught by: Hillier

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: URBS 330

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 547 Anthropology and Education

An introduction to the intent, approach, and contribution of anthropology to the study of socialization and schooling in cross-cultural perspective. Education is examined in traditional, colonial, and complex industrial societies.

Taught by: Hall or Posecznick

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: ANTH 547, EDUC 547

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 554 City Limits: The Impact of Urban Policy

This course assesses the changing role of public policy in American cities. In the past, government often believed that it could direct urban development. New realities - the rise of an informal labor market, global capital and labor flows, the flight of businesses and the middle class to the suburbs - have demonstrated that government must see itself as one - but only one - 'player' in a more complete, transactional process of policy making that crosses political boundaries and involves business, organized interest groups, and citizens. This seminar uses a case study method to study how public policy can make a difference in the revitalization of distressed American cities. The seminar is designed for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Seminar readings and projects will be organized around three themes: 1) history and vision, 2) data and analysis, and 3) policy and implementation. Students will be divided into project teams assigned to work on current development issues that will be reviewed by both public and private-sector experts. Extensive use will be made of real estate, economic development, and social indicator data to understand the complex forces at work in both large and small cities. Students will learn to access, analyze, and map information; to frame and interpret these data within a regional perspective; and to construct profiles of cities and neighborhoods. Students will study recent urban redevelopment initiatives in the Philadelphia region - including Philadelphia's Neighborhood Transformations Initiative and New Jersey's Camden Revitalization plans.

Taught by: Goldstein, Stern

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: URBS 454

Prerequisite: Student must have taken a research methods course

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 608 Proseminar in Urban Studies

Open to PhD students, this scholar-oriented seminar explores how academic researchers from different disciplines define researchable questions, craft research designs, and contribute to knowledge through an examination of important and/or recently published books and monographs with an urban focus. Required of all doctoral students enrolled in the Urban Studies Graduate Certificate Program. Enrollment is limited to 15 students. Other doctoral students may enroll on a space available basis. Course requirements include completion of a major research paper on a topic selected in consultation with the instructor.

Taught by: Stern

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: CPLN 800, HIST 608, SOCI 608

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 614 Weimar Landscapes

This new course is designed for students of literature, landscape architecture and urban planning, and cultural history in general. It will explore the ideas of, and attitudes towards, landscape in selected works by Wolfgang Goethe, and consider his own considerable practical involvement in reshaping the town and gardens of Weimar. The course will provide the larger context of German literature, aesthetics and landscape taste, and politics of the later 18th and early 19th centuries. We will consider the development of new gardensv and parks in a "new" style (e.g. Worlitz); they were regarded to be less formal and more "natural" than their French predecessors. We will study the English models for this movement, and offer and particular attention to the major German theorist, C.C.L. Hirschfeld, who would soon become famous outside Germany as well.

Taught by: Weissberg/Hunt

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: ARTH 782, COML 615, ENGL 584, GRMN 614, LARP 770

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 619 Critical Perpectives in Contemporary Urban Education

The focus of this course is the conditions for teaching and learning in urban public schools, current theories of pedagogy in urban education, and perspectives on urban reform efforts.

Taught by: Schultz

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 623 Workshop in Urban Ethnography

The ethnographic and sociological interpretation of urban life. Conceptual and methodological issues will be thoroughly discussed. Ongoing projects of participants will be presented in a "workshop" format, thus providing participants the opportunity of learning from and contributing to ethnographic work in progress. Selected ethnographic works will be read and assessed.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: AFRC 623, SOCI 623

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 624 Race Relations in American Cities

The ethnographic study of race relations in the United States. The social life and culture of urban race relations in the United States will be emphasized, stressing conceptual and methodological issues. Selected ethnographic literature will be read and discussed. Students will be expected to carry out an ethnographic site study.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: SOCI 624

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 670 Ethnicity: The Immigrant City

Immigration is among the most important yet controversial forces shaping cities, regions, and neighborhoods. The diversity of immigrant and receiving communities means that the dynamics and impacts of migration are varied and complex. This course examines the development of immigrant and receiving communities in the United States. It surveys public policy and community and economic development practices related to migration at the local, regional, national, and trans-national scale. Class readings, discussions, and visits to Philadelphia's immigrant neighborhoods explore themes including labor markets, housing experiences, political mobilization, civil society, cultural preservation, and the built environment. The first half of the course surveys migration and community formation among a broad range of ethnic groups in different parts of the city and suburbs, mainly through history, sociology, and geography; the second half focuses on specific policy and community and economic development initiatives. The major class project will be a study of gentrification in Philadelphia's Chinatown with the community organization Asian Americans United, part of a multi-city Chinatown study in collaboration with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and colleagues in Boston and New York.

Course usually offered in spring term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

URBS 672 Introduction to Ethnographic and Qualitative Research in Education

A first course in ethnographic participant observational research, its substantive orientation, literature, and methods. Emphasis is on the interpretive study of social organization and culture in educational settings, formal and informal. Methods of data collection and analysis, critical review of examples of ethnographic research reports, and research design and proposal preparation are among the topics and activities included in this course.

Taught by: Hall, Wortham

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: FOLK 672

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 706 Culture/Power/Subjectivities

This doctoral level course will introduce students to a conceptual language and theoretical tools for analyzing and explaining the complex intersection of racialized, ethnic, gendered, sexual, and classed differences and asymmetrical social relations. The students will examine critically the interrelationships between culture, power, and subjectivity through a close reading of classical and contemporary social theory. Emphasis will be given to assessing the power of various theories for conceptualizing and explaining mechanisms of social stratification as well as the basis of social order and processes of social change.

Taught by: Hall

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: ANTH 704, EDUC 706, FOLK 706

Prerequisite: EDUC 547

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

URBS 714 Policy Analysis & Program Evaluation for Planning

Exploration of the intended and unintended consequences of public policy pertaining to land use, transportation, housing, education, growth management and economic development.

Taught by: Wong

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: CPLN 714

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit