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The Contested City -- Culminating Project

300 (presentation 100 points, paper 200 points)

Working alone or in pairs, students will choose a contemporary urban site or issue for examination of the complexities of urban life.  In lieu of a final examination students will demonstrate their knowledge of and ability to apply course concepts to a real-world situation during a 15 minute class presentation. You will describe the site/situation you choose and explain how and why it is contested.  Who are the parties, what are their positions and their claims to the site?  What are the roots of the dispute and how is it being addressed by the parties involved and by local authorities? How do power, race, class, and/or gender factor into the dispute?  Explain how the dispute was resolved or if unresolved, what resolution you anticipate or propose.  What, if any, alternative resolution would you propose that serves the common good?  Tie your arguments to your sources, and course readings and discussions. 

You are welcome to use multimedia equipment available to students through the media center located in WG108. You will be graded on the content, delivery, coherence and creativity of your presentation, your 4-6 page double spaced paper is essentially the text and summarized background research for the presentation. Be responsive to assignment prompts, informative and creative. In lieu of a final examination, this project is the course culminating project and your opportunity to demonstrate mastery of course themes and your ability to apply course concepts to a real-world situation. 


Sample Topics:

  • Use of retail space in Downtown core
  • Dome District, Brewery District or MLK Subarea plans
  • Bike/pedestrian/family-friendly policies and infrastructure
  • Medical/recreational marijuana
  • Parking/public transportation
  • EB-5 immigration investment program
  • Waterfront/Brownfield Development
  • Historic Preservation
  • Business recruitment/retention
  • Gentrification and displacement, housing affordability
  • Mixed use development
  • Amenities in the downtown core
  • Food Carts
  • Homelessness
  • Tax abatements
  • Toll Roads