The Urban Studies minor is intended for any undergraduate student seeking to develop a multi-disciplinary but focused exploration of cities, urban life and artifacts, and the design and organization of urban space and experience. It is designed to complement pursuit of any major(s) throughout the Liberal Arts, Science and Engineering, Architecture, Public Health, and Business and offers an excellent academic supplement to pre-professional training for many areas of law, social work, and medicine.
Six courses (minimum of 18 credits) are required for the minor in Urban Studies which includes URST 201 (“The City I”) and URST 202 (“The City II”) plus four additional electives from among approved urban courses (see list below). Students must ensure that at least one elective course (3 credits) is at the 300 level or higher and that elective courses are drawn at least two departments, programs, or schools.
* Any course in which a student earns less than C- does not count toward fulfillment of the minor program. Students must achieve a C average across all required coursework.
Urban Studies (URST) Course Descriptions
URST 2010 – The City I
(3 credits, fulfills Comparative Cultures and International perspectives) City I is the first semester of a two-semester-long survey introduction to the multi-disciplinary field of Urban Studies. Three broad substantive themes are explored: (1) History and Morphology of Cities and City Systems; (2) Urban Ecology & Demographics; and (3) Urban Design/ Aesthetics/ Land Use /Planning. Attention is given to historically, geographically, and culturally diverse cases in order to provide a comparative framework and backdrop to contemporary practices.
URST 2020 – The City II
(3 credits, fulfills Comparative Cultures and International perspectives) City II is the second semester of a two-semester-long survey introduction to the multi-disciplinary field of Urban Studies. Four broad substantive themes are examined: (1) Urban Political Economy; (2) the Social Psychology of Cities; (3) Urban Culture and Expressive Arts; and (4) Urbanism & Urban Issues. Course employs a modular focus and historical-comparative framework, but primary emphasis will be on the contemporary era.
URST 3100 - Urban Geography
(3 credits) Surveys discipline of geography with focus on how various traditions within the discipline analyze cities and other human communities as spatial environments. Students will learn the tools, techniques, and datasets geographers employ to investigate questions pertaining to the shape, form, origins, transformative processes, and interaction of the natural and built environments; how and why phenomena are distributed spatially and through time; the concept and perception of “place” and how we distinguish places from one another; and how present-day cityscapes reflect these concerns. Lectures will focus on New Orleans but be comparative and students will be required to apply these approaches to other cities and towns.
URST 3300 - Urban Design Processes and Graphic Communication
(3 credits) Urban Design Processes and Graphic Communication is intended to provide immersion into the mind of the designer via lectures, readings, discussion and short lab based projects. The course is based on the premises that design is the organizing and conceiving of place, information and things; and that access to, and the manipulation of, graphic forms of information is an important precursor of the production of knowledge. For this reason the course is structured around key elements of the design process: 1) posing the question(s), 2) gathering information, 3) analysis and manipulation of information, 4) proposal, and 5) representation.
URST 3400 - GIS- Practical Application in the Built Environment
(3 credits) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are widely used tools in the social, biological, and environmental sciences and in urban planning and design. This course provides a hands-on approach to solve problems and deepen geospatial awareness with a focus on modern urban space. End results are an ability to analyze and present geospatial data, knowledge of fundamentals of GIS, and basic skill in data acquisition and representation. Course provides a framework for functional application of GIS with a focus on local contemporary New Orleans data and issues.
Approved Elective Courses for Urban Studies Minor**( circa 12/1/10)
**Course Table Notes:
1. Additional urban studies elective courses are offered each semester and indicated in the class schedule. Inasmuch as course offerings change, students are advised to check with the Urban Studies Program for up-to-date listings and may petition the Urban Studies Steering Committee in advance regarding other course approvals.
2. Listed courses may have prerequisites. Prospective students should consult the catalog and/or relevant department.
a) AHST 691 crosslisted with RBST 6910
b) CLAS 319 crosslisted with ARHS 3190, HISA 3190
c) ECON 342 crosslisted with HISU 3420
d) EENS 370 crosslisted with EVST 3700
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