A study of a special topic with an emphasis on discussion and participation. Descriptions of HIST 290 courses offered in a given semester are available on the History department Website or in the History department office prior to registration for that semester. May be repeated for credit with different topics.
Current Semester InformationGlen Kuecker
290A: Tps:Eco Cities
With global population trends showing that humanity will be two-thirds urban by 2030, a startling growth in the size and number of cities is taking place. Existing cities will increase in size, and we will be building hundreds of entirely new cities, especially in Asia. These demographic trends have raised concern about sustainability. When we look at the current ecological footprint of cities, that concern appears very real. Some argue that cities constitute humankind's greatest invention, and as such our urban world will be a problem-solving machine, a dynamic social system driven by innovation and creativity that will take on the great challenges of the 21st Century. A new trend within architecture, design, planning, and finance is already in play in places like Dongtan (China), Masdar City (United Arab Emirates), and New Songdo City (South Korea). These are ecocities, built entirely from scratch with the goal of becoming the solution to our global problems. It is an audacious undertaking, full of experimentation, creativity, and innovation. This course deploys a workshop method for thinking about the ecocity. We will work together as research teams to learn as much as we can about the social, political, economic, and cultural forces at play in the ecocity phenomena. As the ecocity is a remarkably fertile topic for social science theory, the workshop will also use the case studies to learn about a range of topics within urban studies. As a workshop, the course design is very much an open-ended, exploratory, and dynamic learning community. It requires dedicated students who are looking for a merging of independent and collaborative work, as well as a chance to pursue an interdisciplinary course of study into one of the 21st centuries most pressing topics.