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Jerold Kayden


Cities are developed by a complex blend of public and private actors and actions. Using lectures, discussions, guest case studies, individual and team exercises, and readings, this course introduces students to the analytic methods, contextual frameworks, and implementation techniques needed by private for-profit, private not-for-profit, and public actors to understand, evaluate, and carry out development in cities. The course commences with instruction about core analytic methods, stressing real estate financial analysis while also addressing modified cost-benefit, economic impact, and fiscal impact analyses. Early classes additionally examine legal, institutional, political, and ethical frameworks equally essential to navigating public and private development. Together, the analytic methods and contextual frameworks form the basis for decision rules about appropriate tradeoffs and deployments of public and private resources as well as the choice of implementation techniques for pursuing urban development. Implementation techniques covered in the course include public subsidies, public land disposition through sale or lease. public land acquisition through eminent domain, public and private provision of physical infrastructure, inclusionary zoning, linkage, exactions, incentive zoning, community benefits agreements, business improvement districts, and “friends” groups. Although most of the implementation tools and examples explored in the course are drawn from United States practice, international tools and examples are introduced from time to time to demonstrate the range of variation. Critical viewpoints about the very model of public and private development will be regularly discussed.

Also offered by the Graduate School of Design as SES-05103. Please note, this is a jointly offered course hosted by another Harvard school and, accordingly, students must adhere to the academic and attendance policies of that school.