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Contemporary cities are supported by a diverse range of infrastructure networks including energy, water, wastewater, transportation, and communications. These networks are traditionally defined by their technical and economic characteristics but they also have significant (and often unappreciated) spatial, political, and cultural implications. Today, the upgrading and reimagining of infrastructure services is central to notions of sustainability, resilience, economic prosperity, and improved quality of life.
This course provides an opportunity for students to study the co-evolution of technology and cities using theories and case studies from urban history, science & technology studies, urban geography, planning, and architecture. The course explores historical and theoretical ideas about cities and infrastructure as well as contemporary issues that address infrastructure trends and debates. The course also provides students with the opportunity to develop research skills to study infrastructure networks. The knowledge and skills taught in this course will allow students to develop a critical perspective on technology and society as it relates to cities of the past, present, and future.