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Urban Research Workshop 2007-2008
Center for Urban Research and Policy

  • Interested in comparative urban studies from both a theoretical and a practical perspective?
  • Would you like the opportunity to travel abroad to both conduct research and see directly how cities address issues of sustainability?
  • Are you interested in discussion and debate with some of the most influential researchers in the field of urban sustainability?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then you may be interested in the "URBAN RESEARCH WORKSHOP" (URW), sponsored by the Center for Urban Research and Policy (CURP), Columbia University. The URW consists of three components:

1. BI-WEEKLY SPEAKER SERIES: Some of the top minds in urban studies will be invited to speak on the theoretical and practical issues, including: social inequality, practices of urban sustainability, planning, race and ethnic relations and, economic and community development. The participants in the URW put together the speaker events each semester. While this speaker series is open to the entire university community, students of the URW will have an opportunity to engage in an intimate and lively discussion and debate with these speakers over a dinner that follows each talk. Speakers in previous workshops included, but were not limited to, Jeffrey Sachs, Saskia Sassen, David Harvey, Majora Carter, and Hashim Sarkis.

2. RESEARCH WORKSHOP: Students participating in the URW will attend bi-weekly workshops led by Professor Sudhir Venkatesh, Director of the Center for Urban Research and Policy and Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies. In the workshop, students will discuss the lectures of the invited speakers, including how the presentations relate to student's individual research projects. The workshop will also examine different research methodologies, especially as they help facilitate comparative research. The course will look at substantive issues facing New York and other urban spaces.

3. COMPARATIVE URBAN FIELDWORK IN NEW YORK CITY AND ABROAD: Enrolled students will conduct a year-long research project examining select social, political and economic issues that affect New York City and other cities (in the United States and abroad). Students will conduct fieldwork in New York City during the fall semester. In January, students will travel to at least one other city to listen to speakers and conduct fieldwork. In past years, students have traveled to Mexico City and Chicago for one week.

During the spring semester students will complete their fieldwork and write a final research paper. Students will present their work at a final presentation and reception in May, which will be open to the entire Columbia community. Participating students may use the workshop to fulfill curricular requirements. Opportunities are available to obtain academic credit and to develop thesis projects that fall in line with the workshop themes. Participation will be considered an independent study, and credit will be given accordingly. In some cases, students may be able to use their research for URW as their senior thesis project.

HOW CAN I PARTICPATE IN THE URW? If you are interested in participating in the URW, please contact Clare Casey at the Center for Urban Research and Policy, at 212.854.2072.

URW in past years:

URW 2004-2005: Mexico City and New York City
URW 2005-2006: Mexico City and New York City
URW 2006-2007: Chicago's South Side

URW Alumni

...+ The Center for Urban Research & Policy
T. 212.854.2072 |