MEM
Specialization

Urban

Our Vision

The pace and magnitude of contemporary urbanization is unprecedented, and urban areas are central to both environmental challenges and their solutions. Finding ways to inform and influence urban growth and development will be key to a sustainable future. Students electing the Urban Specialization at YSE focus on two key themes: 1) how environmental change affects urban areas, and 2) how urban areas and the process of urbanization affect the environment at local to global scales. This specialization will prepare students with the scientific basis to understand and assess environmental issues in towns, cities and other urban areas (e.g., urban heat islands; climate change impacts) and how urban processes contribute to global environmental change (e.g., biodiversity loss and climate change). The specialization also includes a human-policy dimension that focuses on how local strategies can address these issues. The specialization crosscuts the existing YSE specializations by placing a specific urban lens on the thematic aspects of environmental issues.

Program / Courses

specializations URBAN

Purpose and Scope

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.  The focus they 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.

The specialization draws upon the unique strength of YSE and Yale.  YSE boasts leading faculty studying ecology, climate, forestry, soils, health and urbanization science.  Therefore, students selecting the Urban Specialization will develop an understanding of environmental management of urban ecosystems, including land use, urban ecology, spatial analysis and urban climate.  In addition, the Urban Specialization at YSE combines a scientific understanding of environmental issues with a deep understanding of urban challenges from an inter-disciplinary perspective. Faculty at Yale, across disciplines, offer classes and conduct research on the most current and pressing issues of urban growth.  Students benefit from the world-class research and scholarship on urban and environmental issues with cutting-edge practical skills to apply to future work.

In addition to providing students with a holistic view of urbanization and its challenges and a deep set of skills and tools to work with, the YSE Urban Specialization is a unique asset at Yale. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the specialization, students will take classes in a number of other Yale Schools and work and interact with students from other disciplines, cultivating a wider awareness on urban environmental issues.  Activities such as speaker series’, workshops, and publications engage faculty and students from across the University to discuss and debate local and global urban issues.  Finally, the YSE Urban Specialization provides a starting point for inter-disciplinary research engaging faculty across the University to address urban challenges from a research and policy perspective.  Thus, the specialization attracts students who plan to work at the city level, and also students with ambitions to work on national security, biodiversity, or climate negotiations at the national or international levels, among other topics.

The Urban Specialization will draw on core courses offered by YSE faculty and faculty cross-listed at YSE, as well as courses offered across Yale.  Faculty across Yale are leading experts in their disciplines, and many are engaged in research and work with a connection to urban areas. 

Specialization Coordinator: Karen Seto

Core

Two required courses.
Course Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Fall 2021 Spring 2022
ENV 573
Urban Ecology for Local and Regional Decision Making
Grove
Tu 5:00pm-7:50pm
  Grove
Tentative
 
ENV 645
Urbanization, Global Change and Sustainability
Seto
M 3:00-5:50
  Seto  
 

Electives

Students must select four additional courses, including one course from each of the following four bins below. While not explicitly required, a GIS course is strongly encouraged.
 

Bin 1: Urban Spatial Analysis and Planning

Course Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Fall 2021 Spring 2022
ENV 726
Observing Earth from Space
  Smith
  Smith
ENV 755
Modeling Geographic Space
  Tomlin
  Tomlin
ENV 756
Modeling Geographic Objects
Tomlin
Tu 10:00-12:50
  Tomlin  
ENV 817
Urban, Suburban, and Regional Planning Practice
Kooris
W 5:00-7:50
  Kooris  
ENV 820
Land Use Law and Environmental Planning
  Shansky
  Tentative
 

Bin 2: Urban Environmental Resource Management

Course Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Fall 2021 Spring 2022
ENV 602
Ecosystems and Landscapes
Bradford
M,W 8:00-9:20
  Bradford  
ENV 608
Air Pollution and Public Health
Faculty
W 10:00-11:50: 2:00-2:50
  Faculty
Tentative
 
ENV 712
Water Management
  Anisfeld
Anisfeld  
ENV 714
Environmental Hydrology
          Saiers
ENV 724
Watershed Cycles and Processes
Saiers
M,W 10:00-11:20
  Saiers  
ENV 814
Energy Systems Analysis
  Rao
Rao  
ENV 826
Foundations of Natural Resource Policy and Management
  Clark
Clark  
ENV 878
Climate and Society: Past to Present
Dove
Th 1:30-3:20
  Dove  
 

Bin 3: The Built Environment

Course Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Fall 2021 Spring 2022
ENV 835
Seminar on Land Use Planning
Bacher
W 10:00-11:20
  Bacher  
ENV 894
Green Building: Issues and Perspectives
Yost
F 8:00-10:50
  Yost  
ARCH 2236
Design Data Biology
  Dyson   Dyson
ARCH 4219
Urban Research and Representation
Rubin   Rubin  
ARCH 4233
Ghost Towns
  Rubin   Rubin
MGT 894
Connected Cities and Urban Ecosystems
Darwish   Darwish  
 

Bin 4: Cities and Civil Society

Course Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Fall 2021 Spring 2022
ENV 759
Power, Knowledge, and the Environment: Social Science
Dove
M 9:00-11:50
  Dove  
ENV 846
Perspectives on Environmental Injustices
  Doolittle
  Doolittle
EPH 507a
Social Justice and Health Equity
Staggers-Hakim   Staggers-Hakim  
HIST 150J / HSHM 406
Healthcare for the Urban Poor
Abedin   Abedin  
MGMT 536
Urban Poverty and Economic Development
Cooney   Cooney  
MGMT 537
Inequality and Social Mobility
  Biasi   Biasi
MGMT 955
Urban Resilience: Cities in a Post-Covid19 World: From Crisis & Recovery to Reinvention & Resilience
       
SOCY 630
Workshop in Urban Ethnography
Anderson   Anderson  
 

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 2020 Spring 2021 Fall 2021 Spring 2022
ENV 707
Introduction to Environmental Chemistry
Benoit
Tu,Th 1:00-2:15
  Benoit  
ENV 799
Sustainable Development Goals and Implementation
  Geballe
       
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 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