N.b.: all readings are to be completed before class on the date indicated.


August 28, 2017
the city and social science, why careful theory and data collection are central to our project


the history of cities

August 30, 2017
sociocultural evolution and the rise of cities and states
reading: text chapter one

September 4, 2017
Labor Day holiday, classes do not meet

September 6, 2017
the earliest cities
reading: text chapter two

September 11, 2017
medieval cities

September 13, 2017
industrial cities
reading: text chapter three



September 18, 2017
contrast theories: Marx, Simmel, Durkheim, Toennies
reading: text chapter five

September 20, 2017
urban ecology
reading: text chapter six

September 25, 2017
urban political economy
reading: text chapter seven

September 27, 2017
urban political economy
reading: Austin American-Statesman, “In Depth: Economic Mobility” (a four part series, pay particular attention to part one, “Overview, Inheriting Inequality,” and part three, “Building a Divide”


urban planning

October 2, 2017
pitfalls of planning
reading: text chapter fourteen

October 4, 2017
New Towns
reading: Johnson, “New China Cities: Shoddy Homes, Broken Hope”

October 9, 2017
zoning and development codes
reading: Chase, “Self-Driving Cars Will Improve Our Cities…”


midterm exam

October 11, 2017
midterm exam



October 16, 2017
urbanism and time discipline
reading: Lackman, “The New French Hacker-Artist Underground”

October 18, 2017
clocks, cities, and standardization


the car, the suburbs, and sprawl

October 23, 2017
the first cars and the good roads movement
reading: text chapter four

October 25, 2017
the rise of the ‘burbs

October 30, 2017
the absolute triumph of the suburbs
reading: “Levittown, Building the Suburban Dream” (spend half an hour or so poking around this website)

November 1, 2017
sprawl, traffic, & the soul crushing sameness of it all

November 6, 2017
sprawl, the beloved disaster
reading: text chapter eight

November 8, 2017
neighborhoods and community in America today

November 13, 2017
social capital, pros and cons
reading: Betancur, “Gentrification and Community Fabric in Chicago” 



November 15, 2017
reading: skim text chapters ten, eleven, and twelve

November 20, 2017
reading: skim text chapters ten, eleven, and twelve

November 22, 2017
Thanksgiving holiday, classes do no meet

November 27, 2017


the new megacities

November 29, 2017
global population and the theory demographic transition
reading: text chapter thirteen

December 4, 2017
the new megacities
Reading: Krulwich, “The Big Squeeze: Can Cities Save the Earth?”
   also review text chapter seven

December 6, 2017
slums, development, and underdeverlopment
reading: Power, “The Magic Mountain” (You’re going into Alkek’s database here – you’ll have to log in or be on campus. Then click the relevant buttons/links to find the full article.)


final exam

Wednesday, December 13, 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.