April 4, 2018

HONORS 230A: Ecology of Urban Seattle, A Classroom Without Walls

HONORS 230A
Ecology of Urban Seattle, A Classroom Without Walls

5 credits
T TH 9:15-12:45
Richard Conlin, Urban Design and Planning (rconlin@uw.edu)
Enrollment limit: 20

Notes: Class time includes up to 30 minutes transportation time at beginning and end of class
In this field studies course we will examine the ecological, social, and political factors in urban systems that promote the integration of urban communities and ecological realities. We will do this by traveling to a range of places, from the Northgate Urban Center to the Columbia City Urban Village to the Cedar River watershed, to understand how they work and to hear from and interact with communities and experts. We’ll walk the streets and pathways and look at how the built environment functions to create urban communities, and how these relate to social justice and cultural and community diversity. We’ll also look at the underbelly of the city, the parks, watersheds, water systems, and other elements of the ecology and their interaction with the human community.

By seeing and discussing these, we will gain a deeper awareness of how these systems function in relationship to each other, to social and economic diversity, and to growth management and climate change. Decisions about how to manage human requirements for the use of natural resources like land, water, energy and the interaction of human activities and communities can shape positive or negative relationships with the local and larger ecosystems. This course uses viewing and assessing communities and their contexts on the ground to tell the story of the emerging urban paradigm that can lead to long term sustainability. The class is designed as a core text for those who are beginning to delve into urban issues, and a critical unfolding of realities for those who want to understand how urban systems and ecological realities intersect and co-exist.