fbpx Housing and Urbanization in Global Cities | Harvard Kennedy School

Alexander von Hoffman

Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design, GSD


This course analyzes housing policy and planning in developing urban societies around the world and especially in the Global South. Through slide presentations, guest lectures, texts, and class discussions, we will examine the significance of shelter and its production in urban contexts ranging from informal settlements to booming neighborhoods. To understand the effects of different national and cultural environments, we will study the ways private developers, planners, designers, non-government organization officers, and government officials work within local systems of land use, law, and finance to produce homes for people. In particular, we will investigate issues related to slums, such as irregular land tenure; housing microfinance; upgrading and redevelopment schemes; the capacity of municipal governance and planning; and the role of bi-lateral and multilateral organizations. In addition, we will explore the way that the production of residences shapes the spatial forms of global cities. This course will prepare students for courses in international housing, social policy, planning, and design, as well as be of interest to students who are interested in social engagement and the diverse methods of producing low-income housing in global cities.

Also offered by the Graduate School of Design as SES-05337.