Urban Change Course will be Open to the Public and to Students from Other New Haven Universities

Yale University’s academic course titled “New Haven and the Problem of Change in the American City” is expanding its scope this spring and inviting students and faculty from Albertus Magnus College, Quinnipiac College, and Southern Connecticut State University to participate. All enrolled students will attend lectures at Yale plus a discussion section at their home campus, earning credit at the school where they are matriculated.

In addition, Yale once again invites the public to attend the free lunchtime lectures, scheduled for Tuesdays beginning Jan. 13, 11:30 a.m.-12:40 p.m. in the auditorium of Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave.

The course provides an in-depth look at the Elm City and at urban issues across the country. The course is taught by Douglas Rae, the Richard Ely Professor of Management at the Yale School of Management and the City of New HavenUs chief administrative officer 1990-1991; Cynthia Farrar, assistant secretary for urban policy development in the Yale Office of New Haven Affairs and adjunct associate professor of political science; and Alan Plattus, associate professor of architectural design and theory and associate dean of the School of Architecture. All three have worked with the Dwight neighborhood as part of a University partnership and with other community projects in New Haven. Historian Stephen Lassonde, an expert on the history of public education in New Haven, will present a guest lecture and teach a section.

Yale made a decision some years ago to turn its urban location into an advantage, Rae said. One element of that is to give New Haven a place in the curriculum. New Haven has a lot to teach our students, and we hope this course will enrich their understanding of American cities in general. Opening the course to regional students extends this line of thought.

“This course is an important aspect of Yale’s New Haven Initiative,S Farrar said. “The course draws on what we have learned from our activities in all three areas of the New Haven Initiative: economic development, human development and neighborhood revitalization. We hope to offer a historical and comparative perspective on the city’s opportunities that will help inform the way in which Yale pursues its longterm partnership with New Haven. For the many Yale students who participate in city life – as residents and community volunteers – the course will provide context for their activities.”

“New Haven and the Problem of Change in the American City” looks at the rapid transformation of New Haven and other American cities over the past century as case studies of urban change and urban policy. One New Haven neighborhoodUs history and prospects will be examined in detail through consideration of a series of time-slice studies of emblematic urban forms: a company, a church, a school and a street. Both this account and the larger national story will be analyzed in terms of the forces that have decentered the population and the economy, and the institutional responses to these forces. Important themes will include the spatial sorting of populations by class, and the planning and policy implications of the flow of higher-income populations away from the inner city.

Historical analysis will be used as a springboard for discussion of issues important to New HavenUs future, including employment, housing, education, health care and public safety.

The analysis of urban prospects locally and nationally will be organized around four stories of urban development: amelioration of deteriorating neighborhoods, gateways (neighborhoods that residents leave as their incomes rise), gentrification (restoration of deteriorated urban areas in which middle- and upper-income residents displace working class), and common gain (the process of improving a neighborhood in ways that enable residents to thrive economically and to stay put). Best practices from around the country will be discussed, especially insofar as they contribute to the creation of communities of common gain in depopulated urban cores.

Inaugurated fall semester 1995, this is the second time the course is being offered.

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Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325