The Suburbs: Divided We Sprawl

Schools of Public Engagement: University Urban Studies

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

The Suburbs: Divided We Sprawl

Fall 2019

Taught By: Rachel Heiman

Section: A

CRN: 7131

Credits: 3

With housing developments bordering dairy farms, office parks adjoining urban centers, and New Urbanism projects flanking strip malls, it is difficult to demarcate suburban, urban, and rural. In their article, “Divided We Sprawl,” Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley suggest that we shed these divides and imagine ourselves as part of a metropolitan whole. At stake are not just interrelated problems of transportation, housing, education, food, jobs, and the environment. With “frantic privacy” winning out over “spontaneous public life,” what becomes of our ability to mingle in crowds, encounter difference, and collectively tackle societal problems? In this course, we explore history, culture, politics, and design of metropolitan centers, from the vantage point of the suburbs. Beginning with the origin of the Anglo-American suburb in Britain and its colonies in the 18th-century, we work our way to contemporary debates over racial segregation, gated communities and suburban redesign, both in the United States and abroad. We examine tensions between “public” and “private” in spaces ranging from living rooms and lawns to highways and malls. Readings include historical texts, ethnographic accounts, sociological commentaries, popular culture parodies, and period films. Student projects will further explore these issues through an in-depth examination of a suburb of their own choosing.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: University Urban Studies (UURB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 9, 2019 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 17, 2019 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

*Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 3:06pm 2/26/2020 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: Wednesday

Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm

Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th

Room: 601

Date Range: 8/28/2019 - 12/11/2019