Urbanization And International Development

Institution(s): Harvard

Discipline(s): Design

Faculty Member(s): Michael Hooper

Keyword(s): Design, Policy, Social Justice, Urbanism

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This course undertakes a detailed examination of international development in the context of global urbanization. It begins by introducing the historical context for urban growth in the developing world, examining in particular colonial policies towards urban settlements and urbanization. It then turns towards the challenge of defining international development, a task undertaken in part through a critical examination of key debates in development theory. The majority of the course concentrates on two main themes. In the first, it presents and evaluates the key policy frameworks and theoretical paradigms through which the challenges facing contemporary urban settlements in the developing world are understood and addressed. In the second, it focuses on an in-depth analysis of the principal substantive challenges facing developing world cities, ranging from rural/urban migration and the rapid growth of informal settlements to violence and urban health. The course makes a concerted point throughout of examining areas of overlap between developing and developed world experience, looking in particular at parallels between urban challenges in developing world cities and issues facing marginalized communities in North America and Europe.