ARC 566-U566- Urban Planning & Design 2
Course No.: 15886
Semester: 2014 Spring
Location: Hayes B – 07
Meeting Day(s): Wednesday
Meeting Time: 8:30AM - 11:10AM
This graduate seminar is open to both MUP and MARC students including dual majors who are in the Urban Design
Specialization and/or Ecological Practices. Those who are not in these specializations will be admitted on the spaceavailable
According to the Harvard economist, Edward Glaeser, 240 million Americans crowed together in the 3% of the country
that is urban. 36 million people live in and around Tokyo, the most productive metropolitan area in the world. 12 million
people reside in central Mumbai, and Shanghai is almost as large. On a planet with vast amounts of space, all of
humanity — more than 6 billion people — could fit in Texas – each of us with a personal townhouse (Glaeser, p.1).
American cities are so thinly spread out compared with many other nations. What is density and what does it mean? What
are the relations between density and sustainability? This graduate seminar is intended to examine density as a most
profound indicator of human settlement pattern especially in urbanized areas. One of hypotheses that the class addresses
is this: Is denser the city, the greener it is or is it? Through the use of provocative readings and comparative analysis and
mapping techniques, we compare major cities around the world to understand the relation between urban density and
urbanism, its economic and environmental robustness: placemaking, good urban form and great streets — all contributing
to making cities great and robust ecologically, economically and socially.
The semester will be organized to foster an understanding of density and how it can influence to enrich the existing urban
fabric. The semester will be structured as follows: density as the basic unit of human civilization; density as mathematics;
density as an economic concept, density as an ecological concept and density as the basic DNA for good urbanism/good
urban form. Ultimately, we will use Buffalo as an experimental site to test the validity of density and its hypotheses.