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Designing Cities, University of Pennsylvania

436 ratings
107 reviews

About this Course

Each module in Designing Cities will focus on a different aspect of city design including: How Today’s City Evolved; The Ideas That Shape Cities; Tools for Designing Cities; Making Cities Sustainable; Cities in the Information Age; Preserving Older Cities; Designing New Cities, Districts and Neighborhoods; The Challenges of Informal Cities and Disadvantaged Neighborhoods; and Visionary Cities. Materials will be presented by the instructors and guest faculty from PennDesign through a series of five or more lessons per module, each typically 10-12 minutes long. The first lesson in each module will be a roundtable discussion among professors Stefan Al, Jonathan Barnett, and Gary Hack introducing the big issues associated with the subject. Each succeeding module will be a self-contained illustrated presentation of a set of ideas and images. There will be a list of suggested readings for those who wish to follow up on the ideas in each module. Everyone enrolled in Designing Cities will be expected to complete 3 assignments. These will be posted on the course site and they will be in the form of peer assessments. There will be a great deal to be learned from the ideas participants submit, reflecting cities of all sizes and circumstances across the globe so once you submit your assignment, you'll be able to see what your peers have done....

Top reviews


Apr 19, 2016

good course, however, it was almost impossible to figure out how to do some of the assignments. I have no idea how to do PDF files. Although, I learned some of the key concepts easily.


Jul 03, 2016

I like the way what we have learned in this course. The material, concepts & professors. The only issue is with the platform, in the referenced reading, we have to buy all this books?

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106 Reviews

By Jovana Vieira

May 13, 2019

I think content is too long, it could be better summarized... and some of the lectures has a voice that makes us turn back to listen again due to don't understandable words and phrases. Usually I take a short time to finish courses but this one was the first I subscribed and I could just finish months later, thanks to the absence of dynamism, sort of "boring" methodology if you compare to other courses of coursera. Stefan is a lecturer who is objective and speaks 'understandable', the others we know that are authorities and pretty intelligent, but the classes are not good.

By Sudharshun Madhavan

Apr 22, 2019

Useful and incredibly relevant information for everyone in the world to have!

By Vinita Banerjee

Apr 18, 2019


By Adriana Nițu

Mar 14, 2019

Really good couse, super assignments, and amazing teachers! I deeply recommend it.

By Sandra Lancas

Feb 26, 2019

A great, well planned course for urban planners. We are in touch if many other professors around the world.

By Sejal Shah

Jan 09, 2019

An amazing course for architecture and design students, with par excellence professors. The course delves towards urban design providing great insights to reading and analyzing a city structure and design process.

By Muhammad Farooq

Sep 08, 2018

Indeed a very elaborate and technical approach followed by the respected professors towards designing this course taking in view the modern day challenges and planning techniques needed for planners across the glob, A very well designed and taught course i would recommend this course to every one whether they are planners, architects and designers.

By E

Jul 20, 2018

Interesting course showing the complexity and enormous task of the responsibilities involved to accommodate to the well-being of millions of people. People, being a most difficult and stubborn species to please.

By Ayushi Agarwal

Jul 20, 2018

Except the peer review system, i liked the course.

After all, a student from one country cannot judge the situation of a city in another country.

By Guy Grimm

Jul 06, 2018

Very well put together course about designing cities.