URP 566– Urban Design 2: Case Studies

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Course Details

Course No.: 20669

Department: Urban and Regional Planning

Semester: 2016 Spring

Location: Diefendorf – 206

Meeting Day(s): Wednesday

Meeting Time: 8:30AM - 11:10AM

Faculty: Hata

This graduate seminar is open to all eligible students in MUP and MARC programs including dual MARC-MUP majors. It is open to eligible graduate students in other programs from UB including but not limited to Master of Science in Architecture in Urban Design/Historic Preservation and MS ARC in Real Estate Development. If you are interested in questions of shaping cities: why cities take particular shapes and connections to their civilization, humanistic/technological/economic advancement, this would be a good course to take. MUP students in the Urban Design Specialization and dual MARC-MUP majors must take this seminar to fulfill a partial requirement for their programs.
The seminar will be comprised of three sequential modules: first, in Introduction, we will take a broader view of typology and
morphology of cities focusing on understanding of each of generic and unique structure of cities from hamlets to small, large cities to megalopolis.
The second module introduces Normative Theories: why cities took particular shapes as they were evolved over time. Cutting across time and space, the class examines some ancient and others relative new cities. In this, we will closely examine three neat theories: Cosmic Theory; Machine Theory and Organic Theory. With risks of over-simplifications, Normative Theories can provide the students with a holistic view of cities or the world,
thus, they help you understand why some cities have been shaped the way they are at present. This would also help to understand potential for how they would evolve into something in the future.
The third and last module will apply the two previous modules in to a case study using a real site in Buffalo. Our focus will be on how to ensure good urban regeneration and revitalization for the long neglected urban fabric on Niagara Street located in the city’s western edge along Niagara River. Given an incipient movement to become a vibrant mixed-use district, you will learn skillsets to draft a set of urban design guidelines for the street. You will explore potential for this former industrial corridor to be re-shaped in a proper and coherent manner such that “the whole is greater than sum of its parts”. It behooves us to use this case study to create a model for other similar industrial corridors.
You will initially work individually but in collaboration with a few other students on the second and third project: each team (of which you are a member) will submit a semester report containing the three separate projects in one volume. You will purchase required reading-packs in a local printing company at reasonable cost. You will have quizzes but no mid-term and nor final exams.