THE URBAN STUDIES MAJOR Required Courses
URBST 101: Urban Poverty and Affluence
URBST 105: Urban Politics
URBST 200: Urban Research Methods
URBST 221: Making Public Policy
URBST 330W: Contemporary Urban Theory
URBST 370 or URBST 371 VT: Service Learning Practicum or Service Learning Project
PLUS 18 credits in other Urban Studies courses.
ELECTIVES: For your electives, you are free to choose from among any of the department’s dozens of courses.
THE URBAN STUDIES MINOR Required Courses
URBST 101: Urban Poverty and Affluence
URBST 200: Urban Research Methods
- URBST 105: Urban Politics
- URBST 221: Making Public Policy, or
- URBST 330W: Contemporary Urban Theory
At least three other Urban Studies courses at the 200 level or above.
|Public Sector Management
||Social and Economic Policy
|Public Policy and Politics
||Health and Welfare Policy
|Urban Planning and Development
||Urban Culture & Identity
|Environment and Sustainability
14. Urban Aesthetics. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
The city as an aesthetic environment and its effects on aspects of urban life.
101. Urban Issues: Poverty and Affluence. 3 hr., 3 cr.
This course is an introduction to the field of urban studies. We investigate why cities are places of economic and political opportunity for some and of deprivation, discrimination, violence, and impoverishment for others. We explore different theories of urban poverty and inequality and examine the impact of immigration, racial segregation, suburbanization, public policies, and social movements on U.S. cities and their inhabitants. We pay special attention to the existence of inequalities based on race, class, gender, sexuality and analyze proposals to reduce these inequalities.
102. Making the City Work: Delivering Public Services 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Survey of urban public programs. Analysis of selected examples taken from health, transport, housing, education, welfare, protective, and other services. Comparison of analytical approaches to the analysis of institutions. Role of private, voluntary, and labor organizations in service delivery.
103. Urban Diversity. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course provides an introduction to the study of urban diversity in the United States. It explores the different forms of identity, community and cultural belonging that dot the urban landscape, and analyzes the historical, social, political, and economic forces that shape the everyday lives of diverse urban populations. The course also analyzes debates over migration, assimilation, pluralism, multiculturalism, and cosmopolitanism and introduces students to urban studies’ multidisciplinary approaches for the study of diversity and inequality.
105. Urban Politics. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Examination of the governance of US cities, especially New York City, exploring the historical development of governmental structures, political parties, machine politics and reform movements in US cities. Theories of power in the urban setting, and the role of advocacy groups, ethnic organizations, business, labor, and other interest groups will be discussed.
106. Cultural and Historical Development of Cities. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
The anthropological and historical analysis of the development of cities throughout the world and over the past five millennia. The course will present various theories of the emergence of different types of cities.
107. Urban Communities: Global-Local Connections in Queens. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course provides an introduction to the diverse communities of Queens and the local and global issues and networks encountered in them. It focuses on how immigration has created complex settings with multiple cultural groups moving into and out of local neighborhoods. Students will examine the changing demographics and intercultural relations that mark multicultural Queens. They will see how these communities are addressing a series of issues ranging from economic struggles, to the formation of new socio-cultural identities, to new forms of civic and political participation. This course provides an opportunity for students to analyze their individual identity in the context of the cultural diversity of Queens and to perceive their own community within an increasingly globalized world.
108. New York City Politics. 3 hrs.; 3 cr.
This course will provide a historical view of the development of New York City governmental and non-governmental institutions involved in policy-making, such as the development of Democratic and Republican parties, the impact of immigrant and ethnic groups on City politics, reform movements, and changes in NYC governmental structure over time. It will discuss the relation of policy-making in New York City to New York State and federal decision-making. It will analyze the roles and relative political resources of official actors such as the Mayor, the City Council and other citywide elected officials and of non-governmental political actors such as unions, corporations, business associations, civic and neighborhood associations, etc., in the policy-making process. The role of ethnicity, immigrant status, gender and sexual orientation in terms of access to political resources and influence in policy-making will be discussed. The instructor will use a series of historical and contemporary policy case studies as illustrations. The course may include invited speakers involved in
113. Urban Subcultures and Life Styles. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
The study of different subcultural life styles found in the modern city including those based on economic position, ethnic background, age, and social or sexual preference. Also studied are the effects of different urban conditions on individual life styles; attitudes toward life in the city, suburbia, and the country; images of city life.
114. Sex and the City. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
What does sex have to do with urban life? Cities have long been sites for the pursuit of self-discovery and sexual freedom and the creation and growth of robust sexual subcultures and communities. This course explores fundamental concepts in the study of sexuality and urban space, the impact of culture and regulation on urban sexual subcultures, and controversies around new forms of sexuality and sex that are emergent in urban life today.
117. Introduction to Urban Education. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course is designed primarily for non-education majors. The focus is on the structure and history of education in the United States, especially the urban areas. It will explore questions involved in such areas as desegregation, financing, socioeconomic class, multicultural populations, and teaching as a profession.
120. Writing in Urban Studies. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course is designed to build on basic college writing skills by applying them in the context of urban studies, with special attention to issues of evidence and authority. Students practice analyzing sources and constructing analyses and arguments in clear, formal academic prose. They complete the course by writing a research paper on a topic in the area of urban studies.
132. U.S. Health Services and Policy. 3 hr., 3 cr.
An introduction to the structure and function of institutions that provide personal and public health service. The course analyzes public policy issues, including educational licensing and the financing and regulation of health care services.
134W. Writing Tutorial. 1 hr., 1 cr.
A one-credit add-on course to a regular subject matter course on a co-registration basis. This course works on writing that is relevant to the subject matter of the main course. Co-registration means all students in the regular course will not necessarily be in the writing tutorial. The combination of a regular course and an Urban Studies Writing Tutorial satisfies one of the College’s writing intensive course requirements. May be repeated for credit.
135W. Writing Workshop. 1 hr., 1 cr.
A one-credit add-on course to a regular subject matter course on a co-requisite basis. This course works on writing that is integral to the subject matter of the main course. Co-requisite means all students in the regular course will be in the writing workshop. The combination of a regular course and an Urban Studies Writing Workshop satisfies one of the College’s writing intensive course requirements. May be repeated for credit.
151. Neighborhoods in the City and Suburbs. 3 hr., 3 cr.
Analysis of the structural and functional properties of neighborhoods and their relation to the larger city and to urban problems.
200. Methods in Urban Research. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course introduces students to the range of methodological approaches used in urban-related research. These include macroscopic analysis, demography, survey research, historical research, participant observation, community studies, institutional analysis, policy analysis, and evaluation research. Emphasis is placed on the development of critical skills at reading, interpreting, and analyzing social science research, whether this research is encountered in textbooks and lectures, in professional journals, or in the popular media. (Not open to students who have taken Soc. 212 and 334. For Urban Studies majors who have taken these two courses, the requirement of Urban Studies 200 will be waived.)
201. Computer Methods for Urban Policy Analysis. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course introduces the student to a variety of methods for performing urban policy analysis using microcomputers, including the use of spreadsheets, database systems, graphics programs, mapping systems, and statistical packages. Students will be introduced to essential file management functions and will learn to use these computer-based tools to analyze, interpret, and display demographic, economic, and geographic data. Students will carry out and present projects using their own data or data provided by the instructor.
202. Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration. 3 hr., 3 cr.
This course combines historical and sociological approaches in a survey of the racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, tracing their disparate origins and trajectories to the present. Differences between African Americans, with their roots in slavery, and immigrant minorities are emphasized. The course also examines recent trends in immigration, including patterns of incorporation into American society and enduring transnational links to countries of origin.
203. Case Studies of Race and Ethnicity in Urban America. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Each semester a different racial or ethnic minority will be selected for intensive study, with emphasis on how its community and culture have changed through time. Students will be encouraged to participate in field research within the racial or ethnic community under examination. May be repeated once if topic varies.
204. Women in the City. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course studies the special influence of the urban environment on the lives of women. Topics include: Differences in women’s roles between urban and rural societies; “women’s work” in urban societies; the effects of urban habitation and the physical environment (the “built” environment) on women; women as consumers and providers of municipal services.
205, 205W. Urban Cultural Diversity. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course explores the rich and diverse subcultures and communities that dot the urban landscape. In recent years new patterns of cultural belonging and new forms of identity have displaced earlier forms of community organization and neighborhood life. This course traces the emergence of urban subcultures from “Hippies to HipHop”. It will expose students to a number of studies by professional ethnographers and prepare them to undertake an original field study on a topic of their choice.
206. Global Cities. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Studies development of foreign cities and attempts to solve problems that also face American cities. Comparative analysis of urban ecology and urban service institutions.
207. Development of the American City. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course emphasizes the changing structure and function of American cities from their early history to the present day. Emphasis will be placed on the changing economic, political, and social impact of cities on the United States as a whole, and on major public service problems with which cities have had to deal. The various models for administration of housing, employment, transportation public health, education and crime will be studied in historical context, with the special goal of finding relevant messages for contemporary public administration and urban planning.
210. Urban Social Movements. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course analyzes movements for change in urban policies and institutions, especially mobilizations by groups without ready access to power through normal political channels.
211, 211W. Protest Movements in Film. 3 hr., 3 cr.
This course examines the dynamics of urban-centered protest movements in the U.S., such as the labor movement, the African-American, feminist, and gay and lesbian civil rights movements, and the anti-Vietnam war, and pro-life and pro-choice movements through a combination of reading books about such movements and watching film footage featuring the activities of movements.
212. Religion and Polities in Urban Society. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course considers examples of both left-leaning and right-leaning religiously motivated political action, abroad and in New York City. Guest speakers whose political actions are rooted in their religious communities and faith will present their views in class.
214. Urban Religious Movements. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Most new religious movements today are centered in urban areas, and these are the cutting edge of the segment of the population that is becoming more religious while many of the long-established religious groups are experiencing loss in seminarians and in attendance. This course examines the dynamics of these religious movements and their impact on urban society.
216. Immigration in Metropolitan New York. 3 hr., 3 cr.
This course examines the social, political, economic, and environmental factors affecting the successive waves of migration to New York from the 1800s to the present. It analyzes the development and role of ethnic and immigrant organizations during the early migrations and through the changes in contemporary migrant flows. The course introduces theories of immigration and models of assimilation/acculturation and analyzes these processes for several of the newer immigrant groups (Asian, Latino, Afro-Latinos, Indo-Caribbean and others) as compared to several of the older groups (Irish, Jewish, Italian). Finally, the course assists students in conducting immigrant enclave analysis for some of the major groups that have settled in the area in the recent period.
217. Introduction to Social Work. 3 hr., 3 cr.
This course provides an introduction to the values, knowledge, and skills of the social work profession. The focus is on the historical and contemporary roles and relationships of the social work profession to community problems, fields of practice, vulnerable populations, and social welfare history and policy.
220, 220W. Studies of Selected Urban Service Institutions. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Analysis in depth of a public or private institution or system of institutions providing services to urban residents. Different institutions will be analyzed each semester. (May be repeated once for credit provided the institution studied is different.)
221. Making Public Policy. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course uses a variety of frameworks to analyze policymaking in the U.S. The roles of public and private participants in the policy process, the historical development of national political institutions, and the ways in which the structures of policymaking institutions and cultural values influence that process, will be discussed. Case studies will be used to illustrate the policy process in such areas as health, education, housing, tax, and employment. A major objective is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to participate actively in the policymaking process.
223. Introduction to Public Administration. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
An introduction to the field of public administration, from the philosophical, historical, and legal underpinnings of government activities to the structure and function of present-day federal, state and local government programs and agencies. This course provides a base for the study of specialized areas within public administration including policy analysis, human resource management, and the legal foundations of public administration at the federal, state, and local levels.
224. The Changing Neighborhoods of Queens. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
From a few agricultural villages chartered in the seventeenth century New Netherlands, Queens has evolved into a complex urban system. This class will explore the historical and continuing development of the neighborhoods of Queens. Classroom instruction focusing on key concepts will be illustrated and enlarged with guided walks through key Queens neighborhoods.
225. Urban Criminal Justice System. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course deals with the modern criminal justice system as it was developed through time in cities. Special attention will be given to the urban problems that led to the creation and evolution of the professional police, criminal courts, and penal institutions. Emphasis will be placed upon the specifically urban influences (demographic, geographic, political, economic, and social) that originally shaped and continue to mold the criminal justice system.
226. Drugs and Criminal Justice. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course analyzes how the US criminal justice system has impacted on the use of drugs and treatment for drug abuse. It will examine how the Federal, State and local police organizations plan, implement, and coordinate policies and procedures for combating the use of illegal drug. It will focus in particular on the “War on Drugs”. The New York State Penal Laws (Rockefeller Drug) laws will be discussed in depth.
227. Law and Urban Society. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course examines the role of law in relation to a variety of urban issues. It begins with an overview of legal processes within the American constitutional system. It then proceeds to address the relationship of law issues of welfare, housing, racial discrimination, education, and urban crime.
228. Domestic Violence and Criminal Justice. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course will focus on the operation of the criminal justice system in situations of domestic and family violence. Theories dealing with the sources of domestic violence will be reviewed. The focus will be on the operation of those parts of the criminal justice system having principal responsibility for arresting, prosecuting and adjudicating domestic and family violence cases — the police, prosecution, and courts. The role and effectiveness of contemporary public programs and community remedies for domestic violence will also be analyzed.
229. Employment and Labor Law. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course will examine primary (case) and secondary (commentary) materials on the legislative, administrative, and contextual aspects of US employment and labor law, including as they pertain to collective bargaining and union organization. The course will be divided into three parts: (1) U.S. law, employment, and labor relations (including the institutional and sociological aspects of law, a review of the constitutional and common law basis for employment and labor law, and a survey of the history and current status of employment and labor law); (2) The legislative, judicial, and administrative aspects of employment and labor law, including issues concerning jurisdiction, procedure, and interpretation of contracts; (3) Current problems in employment and labor law, with an emphasis on practical applications, will be examined.
230. Environmental and Public Health Policy and Practice. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course introduces public health from a population health perspective, examining the programs and practices needed to keep people healthy. Students will learn how public health practitioners and researchers work to understand the causes of health and disease. Students will also learn some of the tools for investigating and promoting health. We will learn about the major tools of public health such as epidemiology, exposure assessment, and how to develop community-based public health prevention programs. Students will gain a deeper understanding of how to interpret health information they read about or see in the media. Though we will broadly cover the major issues and approaches to public health, our focus will be on urban environments such as NYC.
231. Cities and Social Medicine. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
“Social medicine” is knowledge about how economic, social, and political systems as well as the physical environment shape the health status of individuals, the “health” of communities and cities. There is an emerging consensus that social medicine is central to both limiting the rise of the cost of care and improving health status in the US. This course will discuss both findings of the study of population health and the current private and public programs/policies attempting to use these finding to improve health and reduce inequalities in health status.
232. Health Policy-Making. 3 hr., 3 cr.
An examination of the process of health policy-making at the city, state, and federal levels of government, from agenda-building through policy formulation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation of health policies. The nature of the relationships among executives, legislators, bureaucrats, judges, and other participants will be analyzed.
233. AIDS and Public Policy. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This interdisciplinary course addresses the medical, epistemological, and psychosocial issues surrounding the AIDS epidemic. It places the epidemic within a social, political and policy context, examining the impact of the AIDS epidemic upon the U.S. urban setting, including a specific analysis of the medical, public health, legal, and housing institutions.
234. Advocacy, Politics, and Disease. 3 cr.; 3 cr.
The politics of emergent diseases, the controversies and conflicts among various social groups — communities of sufferers, “disease champions,” medical specialists, and their disciplinary organizations, biomedical researchers and their institutions, politicians and political institutions at the loca, state and federal levels, and governmental bureaucracies — and their impact on whether or not an emergent disease is recognized as a legitimate ailment, and if it is, what level of priority or neglect it deserves in the allotment of scarce financial and bio/scientific resources. The course emphasizes diseases found disproportionately in urban populations, but not to the exclusion of diseases found scattered in the general population.
235. Urban Epidemics: TB to AIDS. 3 cr.; 3 cr.
This course will deal with infectious diseases in American cities over time. Severe epidemics of contagious disease are a creation of civilization, requiring as they do the large population that crowded cities provide. The course will deal with a number of devastating diseases (among them tuberculosis, cholera, syphilis, hepatitis, polio, and AIDS) and their effect on city life. The social construction of disease and the changing cultural meanings of different diseases will be dealt with.
236. Emerging Diseases in the City. 3 cr.; 3 cr.
This course will examine the threat posed to America’s population by the emergence of new or recently discovered infectious diseases. It will explore the causes of their recent appearance and the necessary public policy changes that could prevent their spread to urban populations.
237. Social Welfare Policy. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course examines our government’s efforts to address social-economic problems relating to poverty. After an historical overview of the development of welfare programs in this country, the course focuses on measures taken to combat poverty in the contemporary context. Issues such as the relation of welfare to work, teen pregnancy, single-parent households, and immigration are addressed. While the course primarily emphasizes basic income maintenance, it provides a survey of the network of social welfare policies and programs that have been developed in recent years.
238. Women and Health. 3 hr, 3 cr.
This course examines the broad range of health issues confronting women. Using basic information on the health status of women in the US, the focus is on how this health status is influenced by gender, race, and class. Careful attention is paid to political and economic factors influencing the health of women in our society and to the impact of health policy and social policy on health status. Models of care including the Western medical model as well as some of the new and emerging models are explored. Finally, we examine the latest thinking on specific health issues women face including reproductive health, mental health, peri- to post-menopause, sexually transmitted diseases, and aging.
239, 239W. Urban Labor Movements. 3 hr, 3 cr.
This course introduces students to the nature of work and work organization in contemporary urban settings. It covers such topics as the social organization of work, changes in the composition of the work force, the impact of technology on work and workers, and the organization of workers through labor unions and other forms of worker organization. The evolution of work and worker organization from the beginning of industrialization through the shift to a service-oriented economy will be central focus of the course.
240. Labor Unions and Industrial Relations. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course will examine labor-management relations in the contemporary U.S., considering both the internal dynamics of management, and the structure, governance, and goals of labor unions. Particular emphasis will be given to comparing and contrasting labor relations in unionized and non-unionized workplaces, and in different sectors of the economy (manufacturing, services, and government). Topics to be covered include: the development of management’s industrial relations policies, the impact of the changing international economy on labor, the dynamics of collective bargaining, decision-making processes within unions, and problems of union democracy.
241. Introduction to Urban Planning. 3 hr., 3 cr.
Prereq: URBST 101.
This course provides a broad introduction to urban planning theories, practices, actors, and issues. This course reviews the historical development of modern city planning and introduces the administrative and legal context in which planning takes place and the multiple players that engage in city planning, as well as the theories that shape different types of planning practice. As an introductory course, this class provides an overview of key planning issues including issues like land use and zoning, comprehensive planning, affordable housing, community and neighborhood planning, transportation planning, economic development, and environmental sustainability.
242. Landlord-Tenant Politics in New York. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Dynamics of the landlord-tenant relationship and its political impact. The evolution of this relationship since the mid-nineteenth century is considered, with special attention to issues such as: rent regulations, conversions, gentrification, abandonment, and homelessness.
243. Public Management. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course is devoted to the study of management in local and state government and the nonprofit sector. Defining the unique characteristics of public management is one of the goals of the course. Another is to provide an understanding of what government and nonprofit managers actually do. Finally, the course is intended to develop skills that are essential to effective public management. The course relies heavily on the case method approach, which is intended to simulate the world of actual managers and the processes of management decision making.
244. Human Resource Management. 3 hr., 3 cr.
This course examines personnel management, including the legal issues associated with the day-to-day employment-related decisions and actions of managers. The Human Resources function is divided into major areas of Personnel, Labor Relations, Equal Employment Opportunity, and discipline. Students will discuss topics associated with problems that most typically arise in the work place. The framework for studying the topics will be reading Federal, State, and Local Laws, along with reviewing the government policies and Court decisions.
245, 245W. The Urban Economy. 3 hr., 3 cr.
This course examines the multiple and dynamic industry sectors that comprise an urban economy and trends in economic growth and related consequences for employment conditions and patterns of inequality. We will study emergent sectors based on immigrant entrepreneurship as well as declining sectors such as industrial manufacturing. By focusing on New York City, the class examines the economic restructurings of this current period of globalization, and how these changes in the urban economy create marginal opportunities for immigrants and heightened hardships for native-born minorities. The class introduces debates on strategies for urban economic development including Richard Florida’s Creative City, and Michael Porter’s competitive advantages of inner city neighborhoods, and a new coalition of numerous local community development organizations and advocates to redefine economic development and growth for more equitable outcomes.
246. Human Resources and Law. 3 hr., 3 cr.
This course introduces the principles of employment law. Students are introduced to the principal theories, policies and literature concerning federal and state regulations in the private and public sectors, in the context of problems that typically arise in the work place. They will be exposed to statutes and substantive case law using a case study approach. The statutes and case law examined encompass employment discrimination, New York State employment law statutes and regulations, sexual orientation, Fair Labor Standards Act, American with Disabilities Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act. Lastly, this course will also address issues such as termination-at-will, negligent hiring and retention, wrongful discharge, privacy and drug-free workplace.
247. Race, Ethnicity, and Public Policy. 3 hr., 3 cr.
This course examines public policy issues involving race and ethnicity in the United States. It assesses persistent racial disparities in the aftermath of the civil rights revolution and then focuses on such anti-racist policies as affirmative action, school desegregation, and racial districting. It then shifts the focus on ethnicity, exploring rival conceptions of what it means to be an American and on policy debates regarding immigration, bilingualism, and multicultural education.
248. Organizational Behavior and Urban Politics. 3 hr., 3 cr.
An introduction to the theory of the operation and behavior of public, private, and nonprofit organizations. Students will be introduced to the works of theorists such as Woodrow Wilson, Max Weber, Frederick Taylor, Chester Barnard, Robert Merton, Abraham Maslow, Douglas MacGregor, Frederick Moshier, Robert Dahl, and Charles Lindblom. Students will examine selected aspects of organizational operation including organizational decision-making, organizational, culture, motivation and politics. The course will study human behavior in organizations at the individual and group level, including the effect of organizational structure on employees’ performance. Issues such as diversity in the workplace, ethics, and social responsibility will be analyzed and specific problems discussed in detail. Case analyses are drawn from City and State agnecies and contemporary political issues.
251. Urban Planning in the American Past. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
How Americans designed and built towns and cities. An examination of the city-building process, emphasizing landmark urban plans.
252. The Changing Urban Environment. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course introduces students to the major issues and themes in urban environmentalism. The course integrates urban theory—how we imagine and understand the city—with the contemporary practice of urban environmental design, planning, policy-making, and activism. We examine, through a series of case studies, how the modern city functions as an ecosystem, a network of infrastructure and technology, and a forum for democratic participation. Finally, we explore how these inquiries inform the issue of climate change and policy-oriented efforts to mitigate its negative effects.
253. How Urban Planning Really Works. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course examines conflicts that arise when local government seeks to exercise control over the use of land. This course focuses on major conflicts in the planning of cities and suburbs, and the social, economic and political forces which create these conflicts. It examines the issues of land use, group homes, transportation, business development, hazardous wastes, nuclear power, and community development. Students will be expected to prepare a research project resulting in a professional-quality report. They will learn the basics of preparing such reports, including data collection and anlaysis, research, and presentation.
254, 254W. Urban Transportation. 3 hr., 3 cr.
This course provides an overview of urban transportation in the United States. Course topics include the historic relationship between transportation innovations and urban development; the evolution of federal transportation policy; the impact of the Interstate highway system on U.S. metropolitan areas; the decline and revival of mass transit in U.S. cities; policies for combating traffic congestion; metropolitan sprawl and air pollution; the impact of current transportation policies on women; the elderly and the poor; and recent efforts to encourage the development of pedestrian-friendly cities.
256. Land Use Planning. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
All cities exercise some form of control over the use of the land within their borders. As a scarce resource, it is considered a proper function of government to exercise zoning and other authority over the types of uses to which specific parcels of land are put. This course examines the ways in which New York City has historically exercised the zoning authority and has created a variety of institutions to intervene in the zoning process. It examines the role of real estate interests, the general public, and the City government agencies charged with planning functions.
257. Public Budgeting. 3 hr. 3 cr.
This course provides an understanding of the economic, political and legislative components of public finance, with emphasis on the New York City budget. The goal is to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to understand and participate in the budget process. Principles of taxation, revenue, expenditures and debt will be introduced, balanced budgets, and the economic and the political aspects of budget making will also be covered.
258. Climate Change and Public Policy. 3 hr. 3 cr.
Examination of the science, politics, and economics of global climate change and its likely impact on humankind’s use of energy. Data showing the past and likely future of global warming will be examined, including alternative interpretations and the controversy surrounding these data. The future of energy production and consumption will be studied. Issues related to climate change including population growth, urbanization, transportation, energy consumption and energy alternatives will be discussed. The role of public policy, including urban policy, and of the environmental movement, will be examined. Videos, internet sources, and guest speakers will be brought into the course to provide the most up-to-date information.
260. Planning and Politics. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Land use planning in New York City is governed by a number of regulatory programs including zoning, environmental regulations, and the NYC building code. However, in New York City, as in many other cities, powerful economic and political forces really determine how land is developed. Community and special interest groups confront politicians and developers in determining what eventually gets built. This course looks at all of these factors, focusing in particular on current planning controversies.
261. Urban Job Markets. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Changing job structures and labor force patterns and trends are considered in relation to employment and unemployment, education, discrimination, government programs, labor unions, business policy, and economic and social change. Human resource development and policy are studied in the urban setting.
262. Public Sector Bargaining. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Urban Studies 101.
This course examines the unique roles of public sector unions at the federal, state, and local levels. The growth and development of government unions will be studied. What the private sector can learn from the success of collective bargaining in the public sector will be considered. Compensation, dispute resolution and arbitration, and public sector labor legislation are among the topics to be covered.
263. Introduction to GIS 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts and technologies of geographic information systems (GIS). The course will focus on providing basic and essential GIS functions and applications with a particular focus on applying GIS to different issues facing our cities. It largely employs ArcGIS software, but lessons may also include open-source software such as QGIS and GeoDa.
265, 265W. Special Topics in Urban Studies. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Selected topics in Urban Studies: a lecture course at the intermediate level. (May be repeated for credit provided the topic is different.)
273. Labor and Globalization. 3 hrs.; 3 cr.
This course examines the social, political and economic effects of the expansion of global capitalism, with an emphasis on the impact on workers in the United States, and New York City in particular. The course surveys the phenomenon of “globalization” from several critical angles—as a central aspect of the historic development of capitalism, as a recent development of an old process, as a new frontier in social studies, and as a force for the betterment and/or detriment of the world. It explores theories of economic development and trade and examines those from a variety of differing perspectives. What is the relationship between corporate globalization and economic growth, employment, poverty, and democracy? We examine the impacts on workers and unions and consider models of organizing in the current context including global unions, cross-border solidarity campaigns, anti-sweatshop work, corporate social responsibility, and worker protest. Finally, we consider some of the models of political economy that are posed as alternatives to corporate globalization
285, 285W. Experiments In Democracy: New Voices in the U.S. Public Sphere. 3 hr., 3 cr.
Democracy in the United States is founded on the premise that political power rests in the hands of the people, and that active participation on the part of the public is the cornerstone of successful democratic practice. But what is the public? Who counts (and who doesn’t count) as the public in America? And how do different groups– immigrants, young people, sexual minorities, people of color, working people, and many others–find their public voices? In recent decades, the value and legitimacy of the American public sphere has come under intense scrutiny. As America becomes increasingly diverse, both voters and political leaders have expressed a growing distrust of public interests and priorities, and many Americans now favor private solutions to problems that were once solved by our public welfare and education systems. Some have even gone so far as to argue that the public sphere is so fragmented, so dominated by private interests, that it has ceased to be a public sphere at all. This course in “applied civics” encourages students to interrogate their own relationship and that of their families, friends, and classmates to the U.S. body politic and to the public sphere. It is designed to teach students at Queens College how democracy works in America by asking them to participate in it. After students learn about important historical and contemporary examples of democratic action in America, they will develop their own “democracy projects,” interventions into the public sphere that they devise and implement for themselves.
307. Organizing the Public. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course combines fieldwork in projects sponsored by the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) with lectures and workshops on skills related to citizen organizing. The history of student activism and its relationship to urban problems will also be discussed. Seven hours of fieldwork per week are required, with weekly fieldnotes, and a final report which draws on fieldwork, reading, and class discussions.
310. Community Organization and Advocacy. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Analysis of the structure and organization of urban communities and the ways in which they mobilize community resources to solve social and economic problems.
320, 320W. Special Problems. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Junior standing and permission of department.
Selected issues in urban studies, with individual work done by the student. (May be taken twice for credit provided the topic is different.)
321. Perspectives on the Labor Movement. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course examines theories of industrial relations systems; the philosophy and political perspectives of labor unions; and the current discussion concerning the state and future of the labor movement. Issues examined will include the meaning of work, its changing nature, and the consequent implications for industrial relations and the trade unions.
326. Cities and Diasporas. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course examines the historical and contemporary movement of peoples and their relationships to cities and city building. It introduces students to the key debates in diasporic studies and the study of transnationalism and cosmopolitanism. Material will be drawn from metropolitan New York as well as from diasporic communities in other times and places.
328. Non-profit Management. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course is an introduction to the management and operation of non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations have a long and respected history in the delivery of services to the communities of New York City and State. This course reviews their history and evolution to their current status and importance for the millions of constituents that depend on their existence. We focus on the different types of non-profit organizations, from those whose mission is to deliver services to seniors, adults, and children, to entities that are primarily advocates for specific services and constituencies, to watchdog groups whose oversight and expertise influence public policy. We review their mission statements, corporate infrastructure, budgeting, governance, community outreach, advocacy, the dangers of non-compliance with laws and regulations, and the role they play in the development of public policy.
330, 330W. Contemporary Urban Theory. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
This course explores the principal theoretical perspectives, paradigms and schools of thought that can help our understanding of such urban phenomena as gentrification, urban poverty, urban activism, neighborhood development, segregation, city politics, suburbanization, economic restructuring, and urban planning. Urban theory encompasses many interdisciplinary points of view, and we will explore the work of geographers, sociologists, economists, historians, political scientists and anthropologists. The goal of this course is to understand not only how cities have changed in recent decades, but also the theoretical basis for describing these changes. Students will learn to appreciate the importance of theory for making sense of the social world around us and will learn how to think theoretically, a skill that they can bring to bear in their future analyses of urban issues.
340W. The Greek-American Community In New York. 3hr., 3cr.
Political, social, economic, educational and cultural attributes of the Greek-American community in the New York area, especially in Queens which includes Astoria, the largest “Greek Town” in America. The combination of lectures, research to be carried out by students including the development of a questionnaire, and writing of a term paper will enable them to have a good understanding of the Greek community and of the changing dynamics of the Greek community in Queens.
360, 360W. Urban Research Workshop. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Urban Studies 200 and junior standing preferred, and permission of department.
Exploration of alternative methodological approaches to social research in the urban area. Group research projects will be conducted utilizing these techniques to explore an urban problem in depth. (May be taken twice if the project is different.)
370. Service Learning Practicum.1 hr. plus 70 hrs placement; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Permission of the department.
Students are placed with community partner agencies and participate in an on-campus seminar that meets at least bi-weekly. The combination of community service and in-class learning builds academic and professional skills and helps students connect their academic studies to their community service experiences.
371. VT. Service Learning Project. 3-6 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: URBST 200, junior standing, and permission of the department.
An exploration of several methodological approaches to social research in the urban area. Group research projects utilizing a combination of field research, community service, and in-class learning to build academic and professional skills and help students connect their academic studies to field and community experience. (May be repeated once if the project is different.)
372. Fieldwork in Environmental Studies. 1-7 hr. fieldwork, 3 cr.
Prereq.: Permission of the department.
This course is designed to give the student practical experience in environmental studies and may take a variety of forms, such as development and execution of a research project requiring collection of data in the field, or practical experience under special supervision in a public or non-profit institution carrying out environmental activities. Students will be assigned appropriate required reading. (May be repeated once for credit provided the project is different.)
373. Special Problems in Environmental Studies.3 hr.; 3 cr.
A seminar-type course at the advanced level. Open to environmental studies and environmental science majors. Research into an actual environmental policy or management problem through interactive, self-directed investigations by student teams. Oral and written presentations will be required. (May be repeated for credit provided the project is different.)
375. Internship. Hr. to be arranged,; 3-12 cr.
Permission of the department. Practical experience in urban studies that may take a variety of forms, including development and execution of a research project requiring collection of data in the field or practical experience in an urban institution under special supervision. Up to six fieldwork credits may be applied to the Urban Studies major, but they cannot substitute for the required URBST 370 or 371 for the major.
390. Tutorial. Hr. to be arranged; 1-3 cr. per semester.
Prereq.: One course in Urban Studies at the 200 or 300 level, junior standing, and permission of department.
Further specialization and advanced work involving directed readings and research on a topic chosen by the student and his or her faculty sponsor. Includes regular conferences with the sponsor and preparation of a paper. (A student may receive credit for no more than two tutorials in Urban Studies and may take only one tutorial in a semester.)