Urban Specialization

The Urban Specialization prepares students to engage deeply in the management of urban ecosystems. Students will learn to understand and assess key environmental challenges and possible policy and business solutions to address these issues. 

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    The focus students choose will prepare them for their career goals – which may include, for example, working at a city-level on environmental policy, providing research or policy analysis to international development organizations, or joining a scientific research organization, among many other possibilities.

    Note that a capstone course used to fulfill the MEM capstone requirement cannot also be used toward fulfilling an MEM Specialization requirement; a capstone course taken once cannot be used to fulfill multiple requirements. Learn more about YSE capstone courses by visiting the MEM Capstone page.

    Program Courses


    Two required courses.

    Course Fall 2022 Spring 2023 Fall 2023 Spring 2024
    ENV 573
    Urban Ecology for Local and Regional Decision Making
    W 1:00-3:50
    ENV 645
    Urbanization, Global Change and Sustainability
    Tu 9:00-11:50


    Students must select four additional courses, including one course from each of the following four bins below. There is no guarantee that faculty will accept YSE students in classes offered outside of YSE.

    Bin 1: Urban Spatial Analysis

    Course Fall 2022 Spring 2023 Fall 2023 Spring 2024
    ENV 726
    Observing Earth from Space
      Lee   Lee
    ENV 755
    Modeling Geographic Space
      Tomlin   Tomlin
    ENV 756
    Modeling Geographic Objects
    Th 1:00-3:50
    ENV 781
    Applied Spatial Statistics
      Gregoire   Gregoire

    Bin 2: Urban Environmental Resource Management

    Course Fall 2022 Spring 2023 Fall 2023 Spring 2024
    ENV 602
    Ecosystems and Landscapes
    Tu,Th 1:00-2:20
    ENV 608
    Air Pollution and Public Health
      Faculty Faculty
    ENV 712
    Water Management
      Anisfeld   Anisfeld
    ENV 715
    Case Studies in Water Management: Rural-Urban Linkages
    W 1:00-3:50
    ENV 814
    Energy Systems Analysis
    M,W 9:00-10:20
    ENV 878
    Climate and Society: Past to Present
    Th 1:00-3:50

    Bin 3: Land Use and the Built Environment

    Course Fall 2022 Spring 2023 Fall 2023 Spring 2024
    ENV 817
    Urban, Suburban, and Regional Planning Practice
    Tu 4:00-6:50
    ENV 820
    Land Use Law and Environmental Planning
      Shansky   Shansky
    ENV 835
    Seminar on Land Use Planning
    W 10:30-11:50
    ENV 894
    Green Building: Issues and Perspectives
    Th 9:00-11:50
    ENV 956
    Strategies for Land Conservation
      Gentry   Gentry
    ENV 985
    Capstone: Neighborhood Planning Workshop
      Kooris   Kooris
    ARCH 280/URB 280
    American Architecture and Urbanism
    Elihu Rubin
    ARCH 2021
    Environmental Design
    Dyson & Keena
    ARCH 4011
    Introduction to Urban Design
    Plattus & Harwell
    ARCH 4242
    Introduction to Planning and Development
    ARCH 4246
    Introduction to Urban Studies
    MGT 894
    Connected Cities and Urban Ecosystems

    Bin 4: Cities and Civil Society

    Course Fall 2022 Spring 2023 Fall 2023 Spring 2024
    ENV 588
    Community Engagement & Coalition Building - A Practice-based Approach (Fall-1 Sept 12-Oct 17)
    M 5:30-8:20pm
    ENV 631
    Poverty, Environment and Inequality
    ENV 759
    Power, Knowledge, and the Environment: Social Science
    M 1:00-3:50
    ARCH 3303
    Urban Century
    Vyjayanthi Rao
    ARCH 4247
    Difference and the City
    EPH 507a
    Social Justice and Health Equity
    HIST 150J / HSHM 406
    Healthcare for the Urban Poor
    MGMT 536
    Urban Poverty and Economic Development
    MGMT 537
    Inequality and Social Mobility
    MGT 826
    Inclusive Economic Development Lab: Opportunity Zones in New Haven
    MGMT 955
    Urban Resilience: Cities in a Post-Covid19 World: From Crisis & Recovery to Reinvention & Resilience
    SOCY 630
    Workshop in Urban Ethnography

    Additional Electives

    In addition to the two required courses and the four electives, students may select additional electives to complete the requirements for the MEM degree. Additional electives that may support students’ focus area in the Urban Specialization are listed below.

    Course Fall 2022 Spring 2023 Fall 2023 Spring 2024
    ENV 821
    Environmental Policymaking: From Local to Global
    M,W 1:00-2:20
    ENV 855
    Climate Change Mitigation in Urban Areas (Dates TBD)
    ARCH 1239
    Theory Through Objects: Political Form
    Gage   Gage  
    ARCH 3232
    Politics of Space
    McLeaod, Sutton   McLeaod, Sutton  
    ARCH 4011
    Introduction to Urban Design
    Plattus, Harwell   Plattus, Harwell  
    ARCH 4213
    The City and Carbon Modernity
    Iturbe   Iturbe  
    ARCH 4219
    Urban Research and Representation
    Rubin, Elihu
    ARCH 4224
    Out of Date: Expired Patents and Unrealized Histories
    Acciavatti   Acciavatti  
    ARCH 4234
    Residential Design, Development and Management
      Garvin, Salvatore   Garvin, Salvatore
    ARCH 4242
    Introduction to Planning and Development
    Garvin   Garvin  
    EMD 537
    Water, Sanitation, and Global Health
    Chen, Wunder   Chen, Wunder  
    EPH 513
    Major Health Threats: Determinants and Solutions
      Yeckel, Dubrow, Pettigrew   Yeckel, Dubrow, Pettigrew
    URBN 305/ARCH 3265
    Destruction, Continuation, and Creation –Architecture and Urbanism of Modern Japan/ Architecture & Urbanism- Japan
    Yoko Kawai
    Illustration of intersecting tire tracks, foorprints, and animal tracks on a city street

    Learning Community

    There is a corresponding “Learning Community” for each specialization, where anyone interested in the topic can find related news, spotlights, colleagues, and events.

    Explore the Community

    Faculty Coordinator

    Karen C. Seto

    Karen C. Seto

    Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science


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