Required Courses

Fall Term 1
  • UD 61001 Urban Design Studio I

    Working both collaboratively and individually, students will pursue the design of an autonomous city in an abstracted setting. The studio-utopian in mood-investigates principles and practices of city design at regional, urban, neighborhood, and architectural scales and engages a wide variety of analytical, representational, and expressive media.

  • LAAR 61500 Physical Geography

    The students will be introduced to the study of landforms and their evolution. Emphasis is placed on topographic expression of geologic structures and features, as well as on the relationships between properties of earth materials and the forces applied to them by all agents of erosion, including humans.

  • or LAAR 63300 Environmental Planning

    This course provides an overview of the physical environment of the New York City metropolitan region, including geology, soils, surface water, dominant weather systems, the changing climate, and plant communities, as the basis for an examination of urban infrastructure: circulatory, energy, economic, water supply and management, and solid and liquid waste systems. Large-scale planning initiatives in the New York area are examined from the perspective of how they address the complex local environmental ecologies. Theory and history readings are assigned and discussed weekly to support the class presentations. Each student prepares a colloquium presentation (short paper and slides) on a design practitioner/practice working at the scale of the urban plan. The presentations explore, assess and communicate valuable tactics for ecologically viable design in the urban realm. This course is also an elective in the MS Sustainability in the Urban Environment and Urban Design programs.

Spring Term 2
  • UD 62001 Urban Design Studio II

    The second urban design studio will incorporate strategies and methods developed in the first semester in the investigation of a large urban site in New York City. Drawing on a variety of "real world" influences and sources, students will produce viable designs that investigate the interplay of scale, site, program, and vision.

  • UD 62007 Theory of Urban Design: Radical Urbanism

    This course studies key texts and theories of urban design and explores these texts with an emphasis on social and environmental justice. Throughout the semester, we will construct our own collective, contemporary, evolving glossary of urban design, as explored from our readings and transformed your individual research questions.

  • A total of four courses is required each semester. The electives are chosen from the remarkable and wide-ranging urban offerings and distinguished faculty at the School of Architecture and City College at large, the Urban Affairs and Planning Program at Hunter College, and the CUNY Graduate Center. In recent years, students have had the opportunity to study with Tom Angotti, Marshall Berman, Denise Hoffman Brandt, Joan Copjec, Toni Griffin, Marta Gutman, David Halle, David Harvey, Lily Hoffman, Cindi Katz, Setha Low, Dean MacCannell, Susan Saegert, Neil Smith, Ida Susser, Achva Stein, Mike Wallace, and many more from across CUNY.

Mumford Lecture

Each spring, the Urban Design Program presents the Lewis Mumford Lecture and seminar. Named for writer, architecture critic, and urbanist Lewis Mumford, who attended City College, the series invites the world’s most distinguished urbanists to speak freely and publicly about the future of cities in the grand setting of City College’s Great Hall.

2015 Rebecca Solnit

2014 Theaster Gates

2013 Marshall Berman

2012 Janette Sadik-Khan

2011 Richard Sennett

2009 Paul Auster

2008 David Harvey

2007 Amartya Sen

2006 Enrique Peñalosa

2005 Mike Davis

2004 Jane Jacobs