A seminar series at Stanford University, offered through the Program on Urban Studies and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
In a rapidly urbanizing world, "the city" plays an outsize role in human development and ecological sustainability. But what does it mean for a city to be “smart”—to be “sustainable”, “resilient”, or "livable”? Municipalities around the world are deploying innovative technologies and experimenting with diverse possibilities as we speed toward our collective urban future(s). At the same time, an ongoing debate is shifting our multidimensional understanding of cities: agglomerations of human beings, engines of economic opportunity, hallmarks of human civilization, networks of engineering and infrastructure, burgeoning civic communities—and much more.
This seminar, led by an interdisciplinary teaching team from Urban Studies and Civil & Environmental Engineering, will explore different conceptions of cities and delve into current debates about urbanism. The goal of this seminar is to provoke vigorous discussion and to foster an understanding of cities that is at once humanistic, scientific, and ecologically sound.
Each week, we will feature guest experts in topics such as big data, human-centered design, new urbanism, natural capital, infrastructure engineering, art and design, and more. We will discover how urban spaces can be shaped—for better or worse—by the complex interaction of human societies, cutting-edge technologies, and the natural environment.