metro lab I - Bridging the Metro Gaps

Prerequisites: None. Recommended to take with Metro Lab II which takes place the following week.

Load: 9 A.M. - 12 P.M. plus  1 P.M. - 4 P.M. on Jan. 9 - 13 (Five six-hour sessions over one week).

Time Outside Class: None Required.

This course is one of two modules that can be taken together or separately. Metro Lab I will be offered in week 2 of IAP. Metro Lab II will be offered in week 3. 

According to UN projections, the world’s urban population will double in just one generation. By 2050, most global cities will have become large metropolitan areas. This massive growth needs to be addressed in ways that will help us face the largest challenges of these times: resiliency and inequality in developing metro areas. This cannot be achieved if cross-sector and cross-jurisdictional collaboration is not enhanced. 

In this section, students will gain an understanding of the implications of rapid urbanization in developing countries at a metro scale. We will discuss learning methods to define and measure metropolitan areas, covering different approaches to the main sectors that shape the metropolis: transportation, housing, water and sanitation and waste management. Lectures in the morning will be followed by workshops in the afternoon where the lessons learned will be applied to cases of specific metropolitan areas. 

The student group will include undergraduates, graduates and practitioners focusing on public policy, urban management, urban planning, urban design, international development, transportation, housing, water and sanitation, waste management, sustainability, and climate change. 

A group of top practitioners from institutions such as The World Bank and UN Habitat will bring their experience and share their knowledge.

The MIT Metro Lab initiative was created last year with the mission to generate applied knowledge to improve awareness about metropolitan issues by bridging the gap between theory and practice. The initiative is promoted by a group of fellows from the Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) and SPURS alumni, as well as by graduate students and PhD candidates from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP)


Metro Lab site: