Undergrads: L ARCH 454 Urban Environmental Histories – How do place + people shape city?

Urban Environmental Histories:
How do place + people shape a city?

SPRING 2017 5 credits
Dr. Thaisa Way/ tway@uw.edu
College of Built Environments Landscape Architecture

Over half the world lives in cities. Climate Change is a critical challenge of the 21st century. Urban landscapes offer dynamic cultural, economic and political experiences reflecting our collective social and aesthetic values as well as the ecological systems and networks. How do we engage and address the complexities of cities and the environment, culture and nature, past and future?

Urban environmental histories engage social, ecological, economic, and cultural histories to develop narratives of the cities we live in. These histories help us to understand the cities we know and to imagine alternative futures.

This course considers how urban environmental histories are shaped and produced, through the lens of eight cities and their histories. What do we learn bout how environment shapes cities and cities shape environments?

Students will read, map, and research urban histories globally and locally. We will explore intersections of history writing and representation via maps, drawings, and films. Working on a graphic novel, we will curate historic narratives. As a culminating project, students will curate an digitally created graphic novel on Seattle’s urban environmental history as a final project.

This course is recommended for those wishing to explore how urban histories and environmental narratives are shaped and how we might engage these explorations in thinking about our urban futures as designers, planners, and informed


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