NEW! Last Updated: 02/11/2010
Major areas of study include economics, public policy, land use and history
Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 25% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.
Humans have a basic need for refuge and shelter, yet we rarely think of housing in such simple terms today. This program will explore our conceptual notions of housing, the spatial organization of where we live and what it is like, for many people, to live without a place they can call "home". The program will focus on how housing policies and developments have evolved historically in the United States, occasionally drawing on comparisons from other countries. Consideration will be given to the problems and controversies surrounding the "American Dream", segregation, affordability, urbanization, suburbanization, as well as alternative housing models. As we examine the recent crisis in the housing market and explore possible future options for housing policy, we will keep returning to the issue of how outcomes in the housing market are mitigated by race, class and gender.
The learning objectives for this program include a theoretical as well as an applied understanding of policy, political economy and urban planning as they relate to housing. We will attend events organized by policy makers and community advocates. In addition to these and other field trips, panels of professionals will be invited to speak to the program on local housing issues, and documentary films will supplement our exploration. The applied portion of the program will require that students study the realities of the modern housing market through collaborative research projects which may include reports on: affordable housing, homelessness, common housing formats (apartments, single-family homes, condominiums, mobile homes, dormitories, trailers), spatial locations of housing and residential real estate, as well as alternative ideas of housing in the U.S. or abroad. Site visits, interviews and digital photography may be involved in preparing student reports. Near the end of the quarter, students will present their findings to the entire program, thus significantly broadening our analysis together. Throughout the program emphasis will be added on providing essential skills for students' own participation in the housing market, whether that means understanding an apartment lease or planning for home ownership one day.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in public policy, land use, economics, government and urban design