Course Descriptions

Urban Studies Courses

URBS 110: Introduction to Urban Studies

Urban Studies allows students to examine the development and impact of urbanization in the great metropolitan regions (comprising larger inner cities and suburban communities) in which a majority of the world's population now lives. This interdisciplinary course focuses on the economic, political, environmental and cultural dimensions of the urban experience, with guest lectures by a variety of college experts. A core professor will coordinate these visits, encouraging students to see how all elements interrelate to both limit and expand what is possible in metropolitan regions. Field trips to both urban and suburban locations will allow students to understand the range of issues confronting these population centers. Students will be challenged to think about how compromise and negotiation are crucial parts of urban planning and to ask how decisions that affect the urban and suburban community ultimately are made. (Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)

URBS 120: American Cities

This course is an introduction to the political, economic, and social forces that have shaped American cities from the colonial era to the present, with a focus on the city of Chicago. We explore the growth of urban economies and new forms of labor, migration and immigration into cities, persistent patterns of racial/ethnic segregation and displacement, and struggles over power and resources that make up urban politics. We also pay particular attention to urban geography and the relationship between cities, rural and suburban areas. Students are introduced to multiple disciplinary approaches to understanding American cities, and take field trips to relevant sites in Chicago. This course is the foundational course for the Urban Studies minor program. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Humanities and Domestic Pluralism requirements. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Humanities requirement.)
cross listed: HIST 235, AMER 263, ES 263