'Listening To The City'

A graduate course makes students put aside preconceptions and discover the realities of local urban environments.

"[Professor of Urban Design and Planning Theory Margaret] Crawford's approach comes out of her work on the history and theory of the urban environment. Before coming to Harvard in 2000, she lived and worked for many years in Los Angeles, where she began taking a fresh look at parts of the city that more traditional urbanists either ignored or saw as problem areas. She began to see street vendors, unlicensed entrepreneurs, and other inhabitants of these poorer areas, not as disturbers of the social order, but as individuals creating their own public space in a process she called 'reterritorialization.'

"For her class 'Listening to the City,' Crawford developed a methodology to enable students to put aside their preconceptions and open their eyes to the realities of the local urban environments."

Thanks to Jim Barrows

Full Story: Chelsea, Mass.: A very special place

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