Course Name

Power of Place: Media Technology, Youth, and City Design and Development


  • General



A map of Mill Creek, PA.

Mill Creek, PA. (Image courtesy Megan Kogut. Used with permission.)


Prof. Anne Whiston Spirn

MIT Course Number

11.948 / 4.285

As Taught In

Spring 2001



Cite This Course



Course Features

Course Highlights

This class includes final projects based on MIT students working in association with a West Philadelphia middle school, on the urban redesign of neighborhoods near the middle school.

Course Description

This workshop provides an introduction to urban environmental design and explores the potential of information technology and the Internet to transform public education, city design, and community development in inner-city neighborhoods. Integration of comprehensive ("top-down") and grassroots ("bottom-up") approaches to design and planning is a major theme.

Students will work in a real neighborhood with real people on a real project, putting theory into practice and reflecting on insights gained in the process. We will study environmental and community history and devise designs for vacant land near a middle school in West Philadelphia within the context of planning for the larger community and watershed.

The class website can be found here: Power of Place: Media Technology, Youth, and City Design and Development.


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