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Growth and Structure of Cities Program
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Ave.
Bryn Mawr. PA 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5334
Fax: 610-526-7955
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Growth and Structure of Cities Department

The interdisciplinary Cities major challenges the student to understand the dynamic relationship of urban spatial organization and the built environment to politics, economics, cultures and societies.

Core introductory classes present analytic approaches that explore the changing forms of the city over time and analyze the variety of ways through which men and women have recreated urban life through time and across cultures.

With these foundations, students pursue their interests through classes in planning, architecture, urban social and economic relations, urban history and the environmental conditions of urban life. Advanced seminars bring together these discussions by focusing on specific cities and topics.

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Cities Department 40th anniversary celebrations

Celebrations of the 40th anniversary began early in the 2010-2011 academic year with a series of dinner research talks at which faculty shared current projects with students and each other. Next was a lecture by professor emeritus Barbara Miller Lane, noted architectural historian, on “Why Study Houses?” Lane emphasized the dominant importance of houses and housing in the cityscape, outlined the role of dwelling design in her own publications, and gave some examples of her current research on American builders’ houses of the 1950s and 1960s.

In March, architect Marianne Cusato, internationally known creator of the “Katrina Cottages”, lectured on “Design and Planning in Times of Natural and Economic Crisis”. Cusato pointed to the double-edged character of twentieth century disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Along with the natural causes of each, she said, the human element has been decisive in survival and recovery. Strong and healthy societies and political entities, she suggested, give thorough attention to good housing and infrastructure, and so are able to rebound from natural disasters and sometimes even become more creative. In her lecture, and in a panel discussion with Cities Department faculty and alumnae/i, Cusato called upon future architects and planners to meet the challenges of ensuring sound housing for all levels of society in the future.

On Friday, April 29, 2011, the Cities Department concluded celebrations of its 40th anniversary with a show of student and alumnae/i work and a reception for faculty, students, and graduates. Represented in the show were four decades of architects, planners, construction managers and engineers, urban historians, landscape designers, community organizers, writers and others whose careers have involved them in analyzing or helping to create the built environment.

EXHIBITORS

Andrea Clark Brown, 1975
Daniela Voith, 1976
Raun Thorp, 1981
Ingrid Go Anderson, 1984
Gil Schafer III, 1984
Yumi Shilowitz Ross, 1984
Ethan S. Nelson, 1985
Justine Jentes, 1988
Glen Valentine, 1989
Beth Miller, 1989
Andy Shanken, 1990
Jennifer Holtz, 1993
Erika O. Jerram, 1994
Julie Beckman, 1995
Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, 1998
Craig Morton, 2001
Alexa Ratzlaff, 2002
Emily Grigg-Saito, 2004
Robert Douglass, 2005
Claudine Johnson, 2005
Jai Agrawal, 2005
Maude Baggetto, 2007
Melissa Andrews, 2009

The exhibition on April 29th revealed the commitment of Cities graduates to these and similar challenges presented by studying and/or seeking to improve the urban built environment. It showed that Cities graduates have followed individual paths, sometimes broadening connections across disciplines to provide diverse pathways. They are the heirs of the interdisciplinary Cities curriculum, and of its faculty members’ efforts to encourage critical thinking and civic engagement.