IHP Cities in the 21st Century: People, Planning, and Politics (Fall)
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Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program locations can vary from year to year.
Fall Program Sites
United States: New Orleans, LA
Coordinated by SherriLynn Colby-Bottel
For much of its early history, New Orleans was the second-largest port city in the US, and it is still the main entry point for goods that travel up the Mississippi River into North America. People arrived in New Orleans in radically different capacities—from Europeans and free Haitian Creoles of color to enslaved people sold at auction in the antebellum South. The city's particular socioeconomic history has shaped the development of its urban landscape, and the legacies of disparity along the lines of race, class, language, and nationality have resulted in structural inequities that still play out in all facets of daily life. The city of New Orleans has always been host to structural poverty, racial inequities, and a formidable natural environment. These conditions were brought into greater relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The rebuilding of the city has spurred a vibrant local nonprofit and activist community that is now shaping the city's future. Students consider a broad range of issues at play in the rebuilding of a city and learn from public government officials and on-the-ground activists, local anthropologists, community organizers, and representatives from the University of New Orleans Urban Studies program.
Brazil: Sao Paulo, Curitiba
Coordinated by Glenda de la Fuente
Brazil provides an excellent opportunity to see how participation, democracy, and a mobilized citizenry affect change. In multi-ethnic São Paulo, the largest urban area in South America, public infrastructure takes aggressive steps forward, but never seems to catch up to the expanding city’s growing needs. Land and water are plentiful, but how much is available to the secluded rich, the hard-working middle class, or the tenuous poor remains a question. Curitiba provides a laboratory to study exemplary urban planning, especially in transportation and land use, but also in the creative re-use of most everything from buildings to buses to garbage.
South Africa: Cape Town
Coordinated by Sally Frankental
In Cape Town, see how a society that was grossly unequal by design is attempting to transform itself into one that provides equal economic opportunity for all. Contrast the awe-inspiring beauty of Table Mountain of Cape Point, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans’ currents meet, and the charming cobblestone streets of the bustling Green Market Square with apartheid-legacy townships such as Langa, Khayelitsha, Joe Slovo Park, Guguletu, Nyanga, and the Cape Flats. Observe effective community radio stations, food cooperatives, informal traders, taxi companies, and the variety of small businesses, art, crafts, music, and vibrant personalities that make township culture thrive. Meet with government leaders, social activists, and academics from local universities, all involved with transforming Cape Town in the wake of apartheid. There will be a one-week vacation in South Africa.
Rising from poverty and isolation, Hanoi offers examples of rapid human adaptation and resilience. With decades of war all but vanished, a new paradigm of local identity and international connectivity is being tested. Tension grows between the use of public resources for community and environmental benefit or commercial development and private profit. Meanwhile, the basic form of the traditional city—dense, narrow, and vertical—invites examination of the use, purpose, and expectations of public space.
Duration: Fall, 17 weeks
New Orleans, LA, USA; Sao Paulo & Curitiba, Brazil; Cape Town, South Africa; Hanoi, Vietnam.
Prerequisites: Previous college-level coursework and/or other preparation in urban studies, anthropology, political science, or other related fields is strongly recommended but not required. Learn More...
Fall program travel itinerary
Other Program Options:
Spring program travel itinerary
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About the Evaluations (PDF)