URBS UN3450 Neighborhood and Community Development. 3 points.

New York City is made up of more than 400 neighborhoods. The concept of neighborhoods in cities has had many meanings and understandings over time. Equally complex is the concept of community used to describe the people attached to or defined by neighborhood. While neighborhood can be interpreted as a spatial, social, political, racial, ethnic, or even, economic unit; community often refers to the group of stakeholders (i.e. residents, workers, investors) whose interests directly align with the conditions of their environment. Community development is “a process where these community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems” that result from the changing contexts in their neighborhoods. Using a variety of theories and approaches, residents organize themselves or work with community development practitioners on the ground to obtain safe, affordable housing, improve the public realm, build wealth, get heard politically, develop human capital, and connect to metropolitan labor and housing markets. To address the ever-changing contexts of neighborhoods, community development organizations are taking on new roles and adapting (in various cases) to larger forces within the city, region and nation such as disinvestment, reinvestment, increased cultural diversity, an uncertain macroeconomic environment, and changes in federal policy.


For more than a century, city-dwellers—and especially New Yorkers—have been tackling these challenges. This course will examine both historic and contemporary community building and development efforts, paying special attention to approaches which were shaped by New York City. This urban center, often described as a “city of neighborhoods,” has long been a seedbed for community-based problem-solving inventions. The course will focus on the theories (why?), tools (how?), and actors (who?) within the field of community development practice and is organized around important sectors (housing, economic development, food systems, arts), case studies, and contested concepts (public participation, social capital, public space).

Spring 2021: URBS UN3450
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
URBS 3450 001/00235 M W 11:40am - 2:55pm
Room TBA
Mary Rocco 3 0/35

Urban Studies

Barnard College

http://bulletin.columbia.edu/barnard-college/courses-instruction/urban-studies/

The Barnard–Columbia Urban Studies program enables students to explore and understand the urban experience in all of its richness and complexity. It recognizes the city as an amalgam of diverse peoples and their social, political, economic, and cultural interactions within a distinctive built environment. Students study the evolution and variety of urban forms and governance structures, which create opportunities for, as well as constrain, the exercise of human agency, individual and collective. They explore the place of the city in different historical and comparative contexts, as well as in the human imagination.

Urban Studies

Columbia College

http://bulletin.columbia.edu/columbia-college/departments-instruction/urban-studies/

...Urban Sociology counts as a Sociology course, URBS UN3450 Neighborhood and Community Development counts as...

Urban Studies

General Studies

http://bulletin.columbia.edu/general-studies/majors-concentrations/urban-studies/

...Urban Sociology counts as a Sociology course, URBS UN3450 Neighborhood and Community Development counts as...