Garvin - Great City Syllabus

­­­­WHAT MAKES A GREAT CITY

Mondays 3:00-5:00pm

March 5th- April 9th

Professor Alexander Garvin

garvin@alexgarvin.net

COURSE DESCRIPTION

What Makes a Great City deals with great cities (not a good cities or functional cities but a great cities) that contain places that people admire, learn from, and replicate. Class discussions will examine the public realm of great cities in terms of their history, demographic composition, politics, economy, topography, layout, architecture, and planning. In particular, they will focus on the interplay between people and public realm. The emphasis will be on 19th and 20th century New York City, Paris, and London, as well as specific twenty-first century initiatives in Houston, Atlanta, Brooklyn, and Toronto.

 

3/5          INTRODUCTION –

              THE IMPORTANCE & CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PUBLIC REALM

 3/12        ATTRACTING & RETAINING USERS OF THE PUBLIC REALM

 3/19        PUBLIC REALM FRAMEWORKS THAT SHAPE URBANIZAITON

 3/26        A HABITABLE ENVIORNMENT & A CIVIL SOCIETY

 4/2          USING THE PUBLIC REALM TO SHAPE DAILY LIFE

 4/9          THE 21st PUBLIC REALM

 REQUIRED READING:               

  • A. Garvin: WHAT MAKES A GREAT CITY, 2016, Island Press

RECOMMENDED READING:

  • A. Garvin: THE PLANNING GAME, 2013, W. W. Norton & Company
  • Edmund Bacon:  DESIGN OF CITIES, NY, Penguin Books, 1976
  • Hillary Ballon (ed.): THE GREATEST GRID: Master Plan of Manhattan 1811-2011, Museum of the City of NY, 2012
  • Frederick Law Olmsted (in FREDERICK LAW OLMSFTED ESSENTIAL TEXTS, edited by Robert Twombly, WW Norton, NY, 2010
  • Gehl, Gemzoe, Kirknaes, & Sondergaard: NEW CITY LIFE, Copenhagen, Danish Architectural Press, 2006
  • Charles H. Bohl: PLACE MAKING, ULI-Urban Land Institute, Washington DC, 2002

*Please have the required reading done prior to the session it is assigned for to fully participate in the class discussions.

 

COURSE SYLLABUS

                                                                                                Session I:       Due:  3/5

 INTRODUCTION – THE IMPORTANCE & CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PUBLIC REALM

 Reading

Alexander Garvin: WHAT MAKES A GREAT CITY, 2016, New York, Island Press

Chapter 1 – The Importance of the Public Realm, pp. 1-10

Chapter 2 – The Characteristics of the Public Realm, pp. 11-20

                                                                                                Session II       Due:  3/12

ATTRACTING & RETAINING USERS OF THE PUBLIC REALM

 Assignment: (1) Select your favorite public realm in NYC and be prepared to discuss why people are attracted to it and keep returning.

Reading

Alexander Garvin: WHAT MAKES A GREAT CITY, 2016, New York, Island Press

Chapter 3 – Open to Anybody, pp. 21-56

Chapter 4 – Something for Everybody, pp. 57-90

Chapter 5 – Attracting & Retaining Market Demand, pp. 91-124

                                                                                          Session III :      Due:  3/19

 PUBLIC REALM FRAMEWORKS THAT SHAPE URBANIZATION

Assignment: (1) Prepare to discuss the pros and cons of the Manhattan Grid.

Reading

Edmund Bacon:  DESIGN OF CITIES, NY, Penguin Books, 1976 –

Baroque Rome – pp. 131-163

Alexander Garvin: WHAT MAKES A GREAT CITY, 2016, New York, Island Press

Chapter 5 – Providing a Successful Framework for Urbanization, pp. 125-158

Alexander Garvin: THE PLANNING GAME, 2013, W. W. Norton & Company,       

Chapter 4 – The Public Realm Approach: Making Paris PARIS, pp. 65-96

Resource for Browsing

Hillary Ballon (ed.): THE GREATEST GRID: Master Plan of Manhattan 1811-2011, Museum of the City of NY, 2012

                                                                                     Session IV     Due:  3/26

 A HABITABLE ENVIORNMENT & A CIVIL SOCIETY

 Assignment: Prepare to discuss whether the NYC Park System provides a sufficiently habitable environment for all NYC residents and the ways in which it encourages or fails to encourage a civil society

Reading

Alexander Garvin: WHAT MAKES A GREAT CITY, 2016, New York, Island Press

Chapter 7 – Sustaining a Habitable Environment, pp. 159-194

Chapter 8 – Nurturing & Supporting a Civil Society, pp. 195-218

Frederick Law Olmsted (in FREDERICK LAW OLMSFTED ESSENTIAL TEXTS, edited by Robert Twombly, WW Norton, NY, 2010 and other anthologies:

                12. “Address to the Prospect Park Scientific Association” (1868) – pp. 187-200

                13. “Public Parks and the Enlargement of Towns,” (1870) – pp. 201-282

                                                                                   Session V:     Due: 4/2

USING THE PUBLIC REALM TO SHAPE DAILY LIFE

 Class Activity: pick + prepare to discuss 2 examples of the public realm in any of 5 NYC boroughs that have reshaped daily life for the better or worse.

Reading

Alexander Garvin: WHAT MAKES A GREAT CITY, 2016, New York, Island Press

Chapter 9 – Using the Public Realm to Shape Daily Life pp. 219-246

Resource for Browsing

Gehl, Gemzoe, Kirknaes, & Sondergaard: NEW CITY LIFE, Copenhagen, Danish Architectural Press, 2006

                                                                                           Session VI     Due:  4/9

THE 21st PUBLIC REALM

Class Activity: Propose changes to the public realm in any of 5 NYC boroughs that would reshape daily life for the better.

Reading

Alexander Garvin: WHAT MAKES A GREAT CITY, 2016, New York, Island Press

Chapter 10 – Creating a Public Realm for the 21st Century -  pp. 247-290

Resource for Browsing

Charles H. Bohl: PLACE MAKING, ULI-Urban Land Institute, Washington DC, 2002

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