Theory of City Form OpenCourseWare: Graduate Level Free Online Course by MIT on the Study of City Form and City Design

Published Jan 06, 2009

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers 'Theory of City Form' free online as OpenCourseWare. This graduate-level Architecture course is best suited for advanced students, such as those pursuing a master's degree in Architecture. Through readings and lectures, students examine examples of various theories of city design and building throughout history, focusing on the development of modern cities and hypotheses about city design, including the dramatic changes many cities underwent in the 19th century.

Theory of City Form: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Graduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Theory of City Form: Course Description

This course has been taught as part of the master's degree program in Architecture at MIT for almost 50 years. Since 1980, MIT Professor Julian Beinart has led the class, which consists of 26 lectures divided into three sections that analyze the field of city form theory, the growth and progress of modern cities since the 1700s, and the latest thinking and custom in urban development. Each lecture presents at least one case study as an example, including examinations of the architectural development of Chicago, Barcelona and London. The lectures, case studies and associated readings cover urban design theory and historical development of the city, examining how those historical underpinnings have influenced the contemporary practice of urban design.

The free OpenCourseWare class materials include extensive lecture notes, PDF handouts that students can download and a very thorough reading list about urban design. To find out if this free class might be for you, visit the city form and design course page.

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