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Open Cities Lab: Urban Regeneration
Field Studies in Sustainable Urbanism
Open Cities Lab: Urban Regeneration
Field Studies in Sustainable Urbanism
Open Cities Lab: Urban Regeneration
Field Studies in Sustainable Urbanism

The Open Cities Laboratory is our center for research on the social, spatial and environmental complexities of the 21st century city. With us you will focus on Rome but the issues explored can be applied to any city. 

Cities are humankind’s nature. They offer opportunities not only for innovation and economic growth but for a positive impact on the environment. The courses taught in the Open Cities Laboratory take advantage of our critical location in Rome, a European capital at the crossroads of the global north and south. You will study the historic growth and transformation of the city, the challenges it has repeatedly faced over time, and those it faces today. How does Rome propose dealing with its changing climate? 

Milano Piazza

“The challenge for urban design in its second half-century, as the authors in this issue recognize, is not to establish a canon for the discipline based on a particular idea about what a city ought to be. It is to come to terms intellectually with the diversity of urban dwellers' needs and desires: to develop a sophisticated awareness of the environment and one’s impact upon it; to be more civil and responsive towards others; to not simply express concern for those less fortunate but to act on their behalf; to use technological advances for more equitable distribution of resources, not only for increasing personal wealth; and to tolerate less waste and redundancy. Different “urbanisms” should flourish in a still urbanizing world, including places where cappuccino may be happily consumed…”

Professor Alex Kreiger, Harvard GSD, Professor in Practice of Urban Design, Emeritus

Course Offerings

OCL 301 SUSTAINABLE URBANISM IN ITALY

Fall (4)

Credit recommendation:

Open to: All majors

The course presents Roma as a laboratory for sustainable urbanism where 2700 years of continuous inhabitation has left valuable material for today’s designer to study and learn from. Taught in the classroom and onsite in the field, the intended result is that students develop a rich understanding of the operational technologies of cities and a critical attitude towards the negative impact these technologies have on our environment. Students will learn and use basic analytic techniques and terminology through readings, lectures, seminars and local site visits and apply these observations and interpretations in the creation of the required short video.

 

OCL 302 URBAN REGENERATION AND PRESERVATION 

Fall (4)

Credit recommendation:

Open to: Architecture, History, Preservation, Anthropology, Archaeology

The course presents an an overview of the fields of urban design, with a focus on urban regeneration, and historic preservation with particular emphasis on adaptive reuse of architecture.

OCL 401 URBAN ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN STUDIO 

Fall (4)

Credit recommendation: Recommended for students in Architecture, Sustainable Urban Development, Urban and Public Affairs, Community Development

Open to: Architecture, Urban Design, Design Studies

The course gives students an exciting experience in urban design and architecture in a creative international student environment.  

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