Urban Planning

The Urban Planning node is comprised of academics and practitioners who work in collaboration with communities to improve the quality of life in cities. The desire to promote equitable development and social justice, urban resilience and sustainability raises urgent questions about, among other things, the future of governance and democracy, the role of markets, stewardship of nature and the environment and the role of race, immigration status and identity in constructing communities. Knowledge generated through the lived experience of urban residents themselves can serve to inform successful approaches to these challenges.

Aditi Mehta, Node Chair aditim@mit.edu.


  • MIT@Lawrence Story Project

    The MIT@Lawrence Story Project was a culminating product of nearly ten years of collaboration that examined the partnership through dozens of interviews with participants. The project was motivated in part by a need to report the outcomes of a multi-year HUD Community Outreach Partnership Center grant. But Lawrence residents were interested in the project as ...

  • Are you an activist scholar? You are not alone.

    In this essay, Activist Scholar Lorlene Hoyt uncovers the importance of universities and communities collaborating to solve modern urban problems. Hoyt calls for activist scholars to boldly explore alternative forms of scholarship. Read more here. Author(s): Lorlene Hoyt Publication Date: 2010   Image by Talloires Network

  • The Theory of Participatory Action Research

    This course provides an introduction to the theory of participatory action research and more generally to competing ideas about the uses of social research to promote social change. Students will explore the epistemological foundation for action research, knowledge generation in action research, the role of the “friendly outsider,” action science and organizational learning, participatory evaluation ...

  • Reflexive Research Ethics for Environmental Health and Justice: Academics and Movement Building

    Community-engaged research on environmental problems has reshaped researcher–participant relationships, academic-community interaction and the role of community partners in human subjects protection and ethical oversight. The authors drawn on their own and others’ research collaborations with environmental health and social justice movement organizations to discuss the ethical concerns that emerge in community-engaged research. This paper introduces ...

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