Introduction

For the first time in human history, more than fifty percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Cities allow for the exchange of ideas and generate remarkable innovations in business, art, and ideas. Cities are also home to millions living in poverty. Urban living can provide a pathway to a better life, but that’s not always the case for many people around the world.

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CitiesX will give you a far-ranging look at the past, present and future of cities, with the aim of teaching you how to better understand, appreciate and improve urban areas. The course will explore key concepts of urban development by examining cities around the world, including London, Rio de Janiero, New York City, Shanghai, Mumbai, Kigali, and many more.

The course includes a historical exploration of cities: how urban centers like ancient Rome resulted from the consolidation of imperial power, how cities like Sao Paulo grew as important hotbeds of industry, and how cities like Seattle became hubs of technology and human capital.

CitiesX also dives into pressing social and urban planning issues like public health, transportation, zoning, gentrification, cost of living, crime, and congestion. The course includes interviews and insights from academics, policymakers, urban leaders and city residents.

The analytical framework of the course comes from economics but is enhanced by conversations with experts from other disciplines (including Sociology, Urban Planning, Journalism, Anthropology, History, Art & Music) to provide learners with a greater understanding of all aspects of urbanism.

Meet The Faculty

Edward Glaeser

Edward Glaeser

Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1992. He regularly teaches microeconomics theory, and occasionally urban and public economics. He has served as Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. He has published dozens of papers on the economic growth, law, and economics of cities. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1992. His books include Cities, Agglomeration, and Spatial Equilibrium (Oxford University Press, 2008), Rethinking Federal Housing Policy (American Enterprise Institute Press, 2008), and Triumph of the City (Penguin Press, 2011).

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