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URBAN STUDIES AT LIU

"The City in You"

 












The city is the place, like no other in society, where an infinite variety of different people, things, ideas, and resources are brought together - a place where they can jumble, brush, jar, irritate, improve, imitate, and affect each other in harsh but often wondrous ways. The city, in essence, stimulates change.

Urban Studies at LIU strives to put "The City in You."

It replicates within the university what all cities have in common - stimulating educational and personal growth. The elements of this approach are as follows.

  • Urban Studies offers a master of arts curriculum that provides students with a deep understanding of the politics, economics, and culture of urban life. Students develop a literacy in urban issues that is practical as well as theoretical.
  • Urban Studies offers courses in the evening when busy adult professionals are most available
  • Urban Studies students learn and master skills in research, statistics, spatial and graphical analysis
  • The ultimate goal of the Urban Studies program is to provide the tools and the understanding we will increasingly need to better manage the changes we will experience in our lives as professionals working in a variety of occupations in the city.
The approach of the LIU - Brooklyn Urban Studies Program is, thus, broad rather than narrow and centered on developing understanding rather than technique. We will train you not only to do urban planning, but to better manage and make use of planning in a complicated and politically charged world. The deep understanding of the city you will gain in the LIU Urban Studies Program will enable you to know how to harness the expertise of urban planners or other experts. Our graduates make best use of the opportunities presented by emerging urban processes to improve the work they do as teachers, managers, stock brokers, realtors, community activists, financial analysts, investment managers, or social workers. Urban Studies students leave LIU with particular and useful skills. But, more importantly, they leave with an improved ability to manage how they will impact on the city as well as negotiate how the city will impact on them.


This is reflected first in the classroom.

    Students are exposed to a wide variety of courses that clarify how the politics, economics, and culture of the city contribute to a continually unfolding urban reality.
    The required courses, such as "The History of American City" and "City planning," prepare students by developing skills that improve their ability to analyze and understand for themselves the factors that create change.
    Students are trained to pursue their own research with the latest investigative methods (Internet, statistical data analysis, and GIS graphic analysis) as well as to make better use of one of the oldest - their brains.
    Urban Studies also offers a continually revised menu of elective courses that are at the cutting edge of recent urban reality. These include courses such as "Minority Community Development and Environmental Issues" and "The City Through Film."
    The majority of Urban Studies courses are taught by people who are active practitioners and advocates in these areas. These courses expose students to many new features of the urban landscape as well as reveal how some urban residents are attempting to manage and wrestle solutions out of city problems.
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Urban Studies also schedules many program activities outside of the classroom. The Urban Studies program sponsors a variety of activities centered on the idea of bringing together odd, even diametrically opposed units of the urban political, economic, and cultural landscape to produce novel and, hopefully, constructive outcomes.

    This has included forums on unusual topics such as Religion and Health, Crime and Education, or the Politics of Waste.
    Urban Studies exposes students and faculty to unfamiliar city experiences and ideas. This includes activities such as "Shopping at live food markets," "Wall Street for Beginners Seminar," or "The educational process in factories and offices."
    On October 21-23, 1998, Urban Studies joined with the History Department at LIU to sponsor a conference that celebrated and analyzed the special place of Brooklyn in urban history as well as in national and international folklore. This conference was part of the year long commemoration of the 1898 incorporation of five boroughs into New York City. Review the program and paper abstracts for Brooklyn USA - A City Apart

Graduates of Urban Studies take with them an understanding as well as an improved ability to negotiate the fact that the city is really less a concrete entity than a volatile mixture of solidified assets which, with a change in financial or political atmospheres, are quickly liquidated, circulated, and congealed elsewhere.

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Jose R. Sanchez - Chair of Urban Studies at LIU (email:jose.sanchez@liu.edu)