Courses for Fall 2021

Title Instructors Location Time Description Cross listings Fulfills Registration notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Theme
URBS 010-401 Homelessness & Urban Inequality Dennis P. Culhane MCNB 395 F 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This freshman seminar examines the homelessness problem from a variety of scientific and policy perspectives. Contemporary homelessness differs significantly from related conditions of destitute poverty during other eras of our nation's history. Advocates, researchers and policymakers have all played key roles in defining the current problem, measuring its prevalence, and designing interventions to reduce it. The first section of this course examines the definitional and measurement issues, and how they affect our understanding of the scale and composition of the problem. Explanations for homelessness have also been varied, and the second part of the course focuses on examining the merits of some of those explanations, and in particular, the role of the affordable housing crisis. The third section of the course focuses on the dynamics of homelessness, combining evidence from ethnographic studies of how people become homeless and experience homelessness, with quantitative research on the patterns of entry and exit from the condition. The final section of the course turns to the approaches taken by policymakers and advocates to address the problem, and considers the efficacy and quandaries associated with various policy strategies. The course concludes by contemplating the future of homelessness research and public policy. SOCI013401, AFRC041401 Cultural Diversity in the US Course is available to Freshmen.
Freshman Seminar
URBS 018-401 Music in Urban Spaces Molly Jean Mcglone COHN 237 F 03:30 PM-05:15 PM The primary goal of the freshman seminar program is to provide every freshman the opportunity for a direct personal encounter with a faculty member in a small sitting devoted to a significant intellectual endeavor. Specific topics be posted at the beginning of each academic year. Please see the College Freshman seminar website for information on course offerings: http://www.college.upenn.edu/requirements-courses. MUSC018401 Cultural Diversity in the US Course is available to Freshmen.
An Academically Based Community Serv Course
Freshman Seminar
https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS018401
URBS 103-401 Industrial Metropolis Daniel Sidorick MCNB 286-7 T 01:45 PM-04:45 PM Although we no longer think of most U.S. cities as industrial cities, metropolitan areas today are all products of industrial economies, technologies, and social systems. This course explores the industrialization and deindustrialization of American cities within their evolving global context from the era of European colonization to the present. It includes weekly readings and discussion, regular response papers and walking tours, in- class exercises, and a research paper using primary sources. Themes include energy and ecology, labor and production, inner city and suburban development, globalization, and economic restructuring. Ultimately, the class aims to give students a broad knowledge of 1) the history of industrial capitalism, 2) its effects on cities and regions over the past three centuries, and 3) analytical tools for understanding the past, present, and future of metropolitan economies, geography, and society. HIST209401 History & Tradition Sector https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS103401 History of Cities, Urban Economics/Finance
URBS 112-401 Urban Sociology Alec Ian Gershberg MCNB 395 TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM This course is a comprehensive introduction to the sociological study of urban areas. This includes more general topics as the rise of cities and theories urbanism, as well as more specific areas of inquiry, including American urbanism, segregation, urban poverty, suburbanization and sprawl, neighborhoods and crime, and immigrant ghettos. The course will also devote significant attention to globalization and the process of urbanization in less developed counties. AFRC011401, SOCI011401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS112401 Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions
URBS 140-301 Inequity and Empowerment Brian Peterson MCNB 309 M 03:30 PM-06:30 PM A central premise of the "American Dream" is economic freedom, implying opportunity, security, and in the minds of many, wealth. The statistical and experiential reality, vividly evident throughout the nation's urban cities, is a staggering inequitable distribution of resources and growing economic instability for scores of households, including those identified as middle class. Educational policy makers and organizations working to address national poverty often rally that "destiny shouldn't be defined by one's zip code," yet, due to numerous factors, it is remarkably difficult for this not to be the case. Place matters. As does history. And race. Through an analysis of ethnographic and historical texts, policy reports, academic studies, and popular media pieces, URBS 140 will help students explore the hidden factors that have formed and sustain inequities in American cities. By studying the roots and contemporary manifestations of policy decisions and practices such as discriminatory housing, predatory lending, unbanking, and deindustrialization, and contextualizing the vast (and growing) wealth gaps in America and the critical importance of intergenerational wealth, URBS 140 will shed new light on how our current economic reality has been shaped. At the same time, the course will also introduce comparative approaches to understanding personal finance. Students will assess their own present and future financial decisions alongside the broader policies and histories that have framed their choices. As an ABCS-optional course, students will share their knowledge about inequity and financial empowerment with area high school students. Students will also generate a policy analysis and/or program proposal as part of their final project that addresses an inequity theme studied in the course. An Academically Based Community Serv Course Urban Economics/Finance
URBS 160-401 Race & Ethnic Relations Tukufu Zuberi MCNB 150 TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM The course will focus on race and ethnicity in the United States. We begin with a brief history of racial categorization and immigration to the U.S. The course continues by examining a number of topics including racial and ethnic identity, interracial and interethnic friendships and marriage, racial attitudes, mass media images, residential segregation, educational stratification, and labor market outcomes. The course will include discussions of African Americans, Whites, Hispanics, Asian Americans and multiracials. AFRC006401, ASAM006401, SOCI006401 Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions, Public Policy/Government
URBS 178-401 Urb Univ-Community Rltns: Faculty-Student Collaborative Action Seminar in Urban Univ-Comm Relations Ira Harkavy NETT CONF W 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This seminar helps students develop their capacity to solve strategic, real-world problems by working collaboratively in the classroom, on campus, and in the West Philadelphia community. Students develop proposals that demonstrate how a Penn undergraduate education might better empower students to produce, not simply "consume," societally-useful knowledge, as well as to function as caring, contributing citizens of a democratic society. Their proposals help contribute to the improvement of education on campus and in the community, as well as to the improvement of university-community relations. Additionally, students provide college access support at Paul Robeson High School for one hour each week. AFRC078401, HIST173401 Cultural Diversity in the US Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Permission Needed From Instructor
An Academically Based Community Serv Course
Benjamin Franklin Seminars
https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS178401 Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions, Public Policy/Government
URBS 200-301 Introduction To Urban Research Ira J Goldstein WILL 301 R 05:15 PM-08:15 PM This course will examine different ways of undertaking urban research. The goal will be to link substantive research questions to appropriate data and research methods. Computer-based quantitative methods, demographic techniques, mapping / GIS and qualitative approaches will be covered in this course. Student assignments will focus on constructing a neighborhood case study of a community experiencing rapid neighborhood change. College Quantitative Data Analysis Req. Majors Only
URBS 202-301 Urban Education Michael C Clapper WILL 306 T 03:30 PM-06:30 PM This seminar focuses on two main questions: 1) How have US schools and urban ones in particular continued to reproduce inequalities rather than ameliorating them? 2) In the informational age, how do the systems affecting education need to change to create more successful and equitable outcomes? The course is designed to bridge the divide between theory and practice. Each class session looks at issues of equity in relation to an area of practice (e.g. lesson design, curriculum planning, fostering positive student identities, classroom management, school funding, policy planning...), while bringing theoretical frames to bear from the fields of education, sociology, anthropology and psychology. Cultural Diversity in the US Permission Needed From Instructor
An Academically Based Community Serv Course
URBS 204-001 Urban Law John Clark Keene EDUC 203 MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM This course will focus on selected aspects of urban law that are particularly relevant to areas of high population density. After an introduction to the American judicial system, it will examine the legal issues that arise in the management of land development and use, with special attention to constitutional questions involving equal protection, due process, and the "takings" clause, and routine run-of-the-mill zoning challenges. This course meets the Cultural Diversity requirement. Cultural Diversity in the US https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS204001 Built Environment, Public Policy/Government
URBS 245-401 Civil Dialogue Seminar (SNF Paideia Program Course) Christopher Satullo
Harris Sokoloff
EDUC 203 T 12:00 PM-03:00 PM The goal of this course is to help students develop concepts, tools, dispositions, and skills that will help them engage productively in the ongoing experiment of American democracy. This nation's founders created a governmental structure that sets up an ongoing and expansive conversation about how to manage the tensions and tradeoffs between competing values and notions of the public good. These tensions can never be fully resolved or eliminated; they are intrinsic to the American experiment. Every generation must struggle to find its own balance, in no small part because in every era people who previously had been unjustly excluded from the conversation find a way to be heard. That inevitably introduces new values and changes how enduring ones get interpreted. The challenge of each generation is to develop that capacity to its fullest. The goal of this course is to equip you to engage fully in your generation's renewal of the conversation. Class sessions will use a variety of modalities: lecture, discussion, case studies, opportunities to experiment with the tools and techniques of civil dialogue and writing. Each session will include some theory or historical context, a case study, exploration of a key concept of civic dialogue with a related tool or technique, and an interactive exercise. This course is part of a larger effort by the university (called the Paideia program) to help Penn students build these skills EDUC244401, COMM244401 Designated SNF Paideia Program Course Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions, Public Policy/Government
URBS 248-301 The Urban Food Chain Domenic Vitiello COHN 203 M 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This class explores the social, economic, ecological, and cultural dynamics of metropolitan and community food systems in U.S. cities. Field trips and assignments immerse students in various forms of experiential learning - including farming and gardening, cooking, eating, and more. After a broad introduction to global, regional, and urban food systems in our first three weeks, across most of the semester we follow the food chain (or cycle), from production to processing, distribution, cooking, consumption, and waste. Specific topics include urban agriculture, community kitchens, grocery, hunger and food assistance, restaurants, neighborhoods, food cultures, food justice, and community food security. Students will gain broad literacies in: metropolitan and neighborhood food environments; food production, processing, distribution, access, and preparation; and the relationships between food, culture, and society. Students taking this class should be open to trying new things, getting hands dirty, and working with others in various settings and activities. Permission Needed From Instructor
Humanities & Social Science Sector
https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS248301 Built Environment, Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions
URBS 264-401 Poverty,Race and Health Courtney E Boen MCNB 410 F 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This course is designed to introduce students to current literature on race/ethnic difference in health and mortality in the United States, covering such topics as explanations for why some race/ethnic groups fare better than others, how inner city poverty and residential segregation may contribute to racial/ethnic differences in health outcomes, and health of immigrants versus native-born populations. Current policy debated and recent policy developments related to health are also briefly discussed. The course is organized as a seminar with a combination of lectures and class discussions. SOCI264401, SOCI564401 Public Policy/Government
URBS 270-401 Migrants, Forced Migration, and the Urban Experience Maria Atuesta MW 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This course focuses on immigrant communities in United States cities and suburbs. We survey migration and community experiences among a broad range of ethnic groups in different city and suburban neighborhoods. Class readings, discussions, and visits to Philadelphia neighborhoods explore themes including labor markets, commerce, housing, civil society, racial and ethnic relations, integration, refugee resettlement, and local, state, and national immigration policies. The class introduces students to a variety of social science approaches to studying social groups and neighborhoods, including readings in sociology, geography, anthropology, social history, and political science. Ultimately, the class aims to help students develop: 1) a broad knowledge of immigration and its impacts on U.S. cities and regions; 2) a comparative understanding of diverse migrant and receiving communities; and 3) familiarity with policies and institutions that seek to influence immigration and immigrant communities. SOCI270401, LALS273401 Society Sector https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS270401 Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions, History of Cities
URBS 285-301 Health On the Urban Margins: the Experience of Health in U.S. Cities R. Tyson Smith WILL 204 TR 05:15 PM-06:45 PM In this course we will investigate the social and spatial determinants of health in contemporary urban American. We will study how cities are impacted by healthcare delivery systems and social policy in the United States, with special attention toward understanding the relationship between health disparities and structures of urban inequality related to racial discrimination, extreme poverty, and the stigma of a criminal record. We will also explore how a variety of marginalized populations from war veterans to parolees to the homeless cope with mental illness and violence-related trauma in the urban environment. Public Policy/Government
URBS 290-301 Metropolitan Nature Michael P Nairn WILL 201 M 01:45 PM-04:45 PM In order to understand the complex and often skewed relationship between the built and natural systems, we must think in processes and examine different scales simultaneously. The course explores urban sustainability and resilience. At its core, sustainability is a radical concept that integrates the economy, equity (social justice), and the environment. Co-opted by marketing slogans, stripped of meaning and context, it has become vague and pliable. Sustainability and resilience demand a holistic systems view of the world. The course focuses on communities such as New Orleans and Eastwick where urban development has focused on economic concerns at the expense of the environment and equity resulting in unintended, and sometimes, catastrophic consequences. Students will have the opportunity to interact with community residents who have organized to develop strategies to address these ongoing issues. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS290301 Built Environment, Public Policy/Government
URBS 294-401 Global Cities: Urbanization in the Global South Nikhil Anand MUSE 328 MW 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This course examines the futures of urbanization in most of the world. With cities in "developing" countries set to absorb 95% of urban population growth in the next generation, the course explores the plans, spaces and social experiences of this dramatic urban century. How do proliferating urban populations sustain themselves in the cities of Latin America, Africa and Asia? What kinds of social and political claims do these populations make more just and sustainable cities? The course investigates the ongoing experiences in urban planning, infrastructure development and environmental governance in cities of the Global South. In so doing, it imagines new forms of citizenship, development and sustainability that are currently unfolding in these cities of the future. ANTH294401 Built Environment, Public Policy/Government
URBS 314-401 Participatory Cities (SNF Paideia Program Course) WILL 214 M 05:15 PM-08:15 PM What is a participatory city? What has that term meant in the past, what does it mean now, and what will it mean going forward? Against the backdrop of increasing inequality and inequity, and the rise in a search for solutions, what role can citizens play in co-creating more just cities and neighborhoods? How can citizens be engaged in the decision-making processes about the places where we live, work, and play? And most importantly, how can we work to make sure that all kinds of voices are meaningfully included, and that historically muted voices are elevated to help pave a better path forward? This course will connect theory with praxis as we explore together the history, challenges, methods, and approaches, and impact of bottom up and top down approaches to community participation and stakeholder involvement in cities. Multiple opportunities will be provided to be involved in community engagement work for live projects in Philadelphia. SOCI314401 An Academically Based Community Serv Course
Designated SNF Paideia Program Course
Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions, Public Policy/Government
URBS 320-401 Who Gets Elected and Why Edward G Rendell COHN 402 M 05:15 PM-08:15 PM What does it take to get elected to office? What are the key elements of a successful political campaign? What are the crucial issues guiding campaigns and elections in the U.S. at the beginning of the 21st century? This class will address the process and results of electoral politics at the local, state, and federal levels. Course participants will study the stages and strategies of running for public office and will discuss the various influences on getting elected, including: Campaign finance and fundraising, demographics, polling, the media, staffing, economics, and party organization. Each week we will be joined by guest speakers who are nationally recognized professionals, with expertise in different areas of the campaign and election process. Students will also analyze campaign case studies and the career of the instructor himself. Edward G. Rendell is the former Mayor of Philadelphia, former Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and former Governor of Pennsylvania. A note about course registration: Please write to urbs@sas.upenn.edu to be added to the waitlist. Waitlisted students are encouraged not to miss the first class. The professors will be able to register some waitlisted students, but only after the first class session on Monday, Sept. 13th, 5:15-8:15pm. PSCI320401, GAFL509401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS320401 Public Policy/Government
URBS 322-401 Big Pictures: Mural Arts Shira Walinsky
Jane Golden Heriza
MORG PRT MW 01:45 PM-04:45 PM The history and practice of the contemporary mural movement couples step by step analysis of the process of designing with painting a mural. In addition students will learn to see mural art as a tool for social change. This course combines theory with practice. Students will design and paint a large outdoor mural in West Philadelphia in collaboration with Philadelphia high school students and community groups. The class is co-taught by Jane Golden, director of the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia, and Shira Walinsky, a mural arts painter and founder of Southeast by Southeast project, a community center for Burmese refugees in South Philadelphia. FNAR622401, FNAR222401 Cultural Diversity in the US Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Auditors Need Permission
An Academically Based Community Serv Course
Built Environment
URBS 330-401 Gis Applications in Social Science Casey Ross WILL 215 MW 07:00 PM-08:30 PM This course will introduce students to the principles behind Geographic Information Science and applications of (GIS) in the social sciences. Examples of GIS applications in social services, public health, criminology, real estate, environmental justice, education, history, and urban studies will be used to illustrate how GIS integrates, displays, and facilitates analysis of spatial data through maps and descriptive statistics. Students will learn to create data sets through primary and secondary data collection, map their own data, and create maps to answer research questions. The course will consist of a combination of lecture and lab. URBS530401 College Quantitative Data Analysis Req. Permission Needed From Department Built Environment, Public Policy/Government
URBS 400-301 Senior Seminar Elaine L Simon MCNB 410 T 05:15 PM-08:15 PM Urban Studies senior research project It is strongly recommended that students take URBS 200 and 300 before the Senior Seminar Seminar. Please contact your URBS advisor to help you with this course planning. Majors Only https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS400301
URBS 400-302 Senior Seminar Elizabeth L Greenspan MCNB 417 T 05:15 PM-08:15 PM Urban Studies senior research project It is strongly recommended that students take URBS 200 and 300 before the Senior Seminar Seminar. Please contact your URBS advisor to help you with this course planning. Majors Only
URBS 412-301 Building Non-Profits: the Business of A Mission-Driven Organization Greg H. Goldman PCPE 203 T 05:15 PM-08:15 PM This course will cover the basic elements of building and growing a non-profit organization, including the development of the mission and the board; needs assessment, program design, development, and management; financial management, contract compliance and understanding an audit; fundraising, public, foundation, corporate, and individual; communication and marketing; organizational administration (including staff and volunteer selection, management and development); public policy, research and advocacy. Students will make site visits and engage role play, in addition to research and writing. Public Policy/Government
URBS 419-301 Urban Transportation in Flux Ariel Ben-Amos MCNB 414 TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM Transportation systems and networks impact everything from the literal shape of American cities to their economic vitality and the well-being of their citizens. Urban Infrastructure in Flux provides students with an overview of the political, business, and policy concerns and processes that inform how Americans get around by foot, transit, and car. URBS 419 explores the use and reuse of legacy infrastructure, and roots innovations such as driverless cars, and scooters, in a historical conflict over the right-of-way (ROW). Students will have the opportunity to meet professionals in the field and engage in primary source research and data analysis. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS419301 Built Environment, Public Policy/Government
URBS 420-401 Perspectives On Urban Poverty Robert P Fairbanks MCNB 395 M 05:15 PM-08:15 PM This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to 20th century urban poverty, and 20th century urban poverty knowledge. In addition to providing an historical overview of American poverty, the course is primarily concerned with the ways in which historical, cultural, political, racial, social, spatial/geographical, and economic forces have either shaped or been left out of contemporary debates on urban poverty. Of great importance, the course will evaluate competing analytic trends in the social sciences and their respective implications in terms of the question of what can be known about urban poverty in the contexts of social policy and practice, academic research, and the broader social imaginary. We will critically analyze a wide body of literature that theorizes and explains urban poverty. Course readings span the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, urban studies, history, and social welfare. Primacy will be granted to critical analysis and deconstruction of course texts, particularly with regard to the ways in which poverty knowledge creates, sustains, and constricts meaningful channels of action in urban poverty policy and practice interventions. SOCI420401, HIST440401 Cultural Diversity in the US https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS420401 Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions, History of Cities, Public Policy/Government
URBS 440-401 Introduction To City Planning: Past, Present and Future Francesca R Ammon PCPE 200 MW 08:30 AM-10:00 AM Orientation to the profession, tracing the evolution of city and regional planning from its late nineteenth century roots to its twentieth century expression. Field trips included. CPLN500401 Permission Needed From Instructor https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS440401
URBS 440-402 Introduction To City Planning: Past, Present and Future Akira D Rodriguez PCPE 101 MW 08:30 AM-10:00 AM Orientation to the profession, tracing the evolution of city and regional planning from its late nineteenth century roots to its twentieth century expression. Field trips included. CPLN500402 Permission Needed From Instructor https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS440402 Built Environment, History of Cities, Public Policy/Government
URBS 451-401 The Politics of Housing & Community Development John Kromer FELS 109 W 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This course offers an exploration of how legislative action, government policymaking, and citizen advocacy influence plans for the investment of public capital in distressed urban neighborhoods. The course will include an evaluation of policies undertaken by Philadelphia Mayor James F. Kenney and his predecessors to reduce poverty and promote equitable development in the city's most distressed neighborhoods. In conversations with individuals who are currently engaged in implementing public- and private-sector development plans, students will discuss land banks, code enforcement, eviction prevention, and homeless housing initiatives, as well as recent and current reinvestment proposals for Camden's waterfront and downtown-area neighborhoods. CPLN625401, GAFL569401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=URBS451401 Built Environment, Public Policy/Government, Urban Economics/Finance
URBS 530-401 Gis Applications in Social Science Casey Ross WILL 215 MW 07:00 PM-08:30 PM This course will introduce students to the principles behind Geographic Information Science and applications of (GIS) in the social sciences. Examples of GIS applications in social services, public health, criminology, real estate, environmental justice, education, history, and urban studies will be used to illustrate how GIS integrates, displays, and facilitates analysis of spatial data through maps and descriptive statistics. Students will learn to create data sets through primary and secondary data collection, map their own data, and create maps to answer research questions. The course will consist of a combination of lecture and lab. URBS330401 College Quantitative Data Analysis Req. Permission Needed From Department Built Environment, Public Policy/Government
URBS 547-401 Anthropology & Education Alexander Posecznick EDUC 120 M 10:15 AM-01:00 PM An introduction to the intent, approach, and contribution of anthropology to the study of socialization and schooling in cross-cultural perspective. Education is examined in traditional, colonial, and complex industrial societies. ANTH547401, EDUC547401 Permission Needed From Department Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions, Public Policy/Government