MLD-332M: Leadership for a Livable City

Semester: Not Offered

Credit: 0.5

Faculty: David Gergen


Day Time Location
First Day
Meet Day


In the 1970s and 1980s, New York City was thought to be on a similar downward path as Detroit: industrial decline, economic stagnation, a government going broke, waves of crime and drugs, racial animosities, failing schools-the city was in steep decline. But today's New York City looks dramatically different. From historically low crime rates to encouraging economic growth, the City today is more vibrant and young professionals are moving in. While it still has agonizing problems, the City is on the move again. What kind of leadership made a difference? Urban populations are exploding everywhere: by 2050, some three-quarters of the global population will live in urban areas. What lessons can be learned from New York about leadership to create livable cities? In this experimental field-study course, we will explore questions about urban leadership through a hands-on, up-close look at NYC. We will meet with leaders from across the City whose work is crucial to the City's strength-those in government, non-profits, education, health, business, finance, the arts and more. We will seek a better understanding of those struggling in poverty and poor neighborhoods. We will read and consult with top academics and journalists who are experts in metropolitan life. And we will try to sort out hard debates (Has stop-and-frisk gone too far? How fares school reform? What should be done about widening wealth gaps?)

Currently, we anticipate spending two days in classrooms on the HKS campus. Then we will spend eight days in NYC, stretching over a weekend. Funds from the Center for Public Leadership will provide accommodations, breakfasts, and subway passes; students will be responsible for their own travel to/from the City as well as lunches and dinners on most days. Total cost per student should be in the $500-700 range; aid will be available in an extremely limited number of cases. Enrollment limited. See course for scheduling details. Not offered in 2014-15.