11.308J / 4.213J Advanced Seminar: Urban Nature and City Design

Fall 2005

Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco.
A waterfall that forms part of San Francisco's Yerba Buena Gardens illustrates one of the elements of urban nature explored in the course. (Photograph courtesy of Francisca Rojas.)

Course Highlights

This course features a complete reading list and exemplary student work files in the  assignments section.

Course Description

This course explores the urban environment as a natural phenomenon, human habitat, medium of expression, and forum for action. The course has several major themes: how ideas of nature influence the way cities are perceived, designed, built, and managed; how natural processes and urban form interact and the consequences for human health and welfare; how planners and designers can shape the urban natural environment. Each student researches and presents a case, either historical or an example of contemporary theory and practice.

Special Features

Donate Now


Prof. Anne Whiston Spirn

Course Meeting Times

One session / week
3 hours / session