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The project offers you the opportunity to apply the themes covered in “Introduction to Urban and Metropolitan Studies” to a topic of personal interest. The assignment has two parts:
1. A written element which introduces and contextualizes your project. This document will outline the “problem” that you are intending to address and will discuss relevant academic literature (i.e. statistics which define the scope of the problem, academic studies which help establish a way to address the issue, and existing projects which can be used as “case studies”).
2. A visual element which describes the specific aspects of your own city proposal. Select the visual format which best suits your project (i.e. PowerPoint, PREZI, Adobe Illustrator document portfolio, etc.) and create a product which shares your “vision” with others.
Potential themes that your final project might address include: urban decline/renewal, public safety, transportation, social cohesion, green spaces, other types of public gathering spots, industrial spaces, cultural centers, access to amenities like grocery stores, etc.
Craft your project from a specific point of view (i.e. are you coming at this work as a potential city manager, urban planner, commercial developer, social activist, neighborhood association president, or even just “concerned Public Policy student”?). Your intended audience is the city council of a REAL city (either the city in which you currently live or one that you are intimately familiar with).
Something to consider: the most effective proposals are often small in scope— that is, they address changes related to an individual city block, neighborhood, or park. Similarly, a “small scope” project might also address a specific change which can be applied to every instance of something in a city (for example, you might develop a proposal for adding braille to the signage of every bus stop in a city).
Craft a 3-4 page (Times New Roman, 12-point font, normal margins, double spaced, separate cover and reference pages which do NOT count toward the page minimum) written statement which contextualizes your project within the larger field of Urban Studies. This “introduction” to your project will help explain why your project is important by addressing some of the following questions:
· What is your topic and why is it a “problem”? What is the history of this issue within cities? How did the concern/problem begin?
· Why is it important for your particular city to address this issue? What might happen if the city ignores the issue? Has any research been done to demonstrate the positive things which can result from addressing the issue? Has any research been done which demonstrates the negative things which can result from ignoring the issue?
· Have other cities already addressed this issue? What did they do? How successful were they?
Develop a “creative” visual aid which fully explains your own ideas for a public or private endeavor which can improve your selected city. While of the size of your visual aid will be determined by the specific format that you select, each presentation should include the following:
· The scope of the proposed project (are you addressing an entire city? a neighborhood? one department within the city’s management?) and who it will involve.
· The specific steps involved in your project, a timeline for implementing them (what comes first? what goes last?), and ideas on how to follow-up and maintain your project once it is completed.
· Address how you will negotiate any resistance to your project, should it be encountered. How might you avoid resistance in the first place?
· Finally, really “sell” your idea! Excite your audience by describing all of the benefits that the completed project will deliver. These might be social, economic, environmental, and/or cultural benefits.