Young People, Planning, and the City (Urban Studies 151)

Young People, Planning, and the CitySaint Peter’s University: Fall 2013

This course explores urban development and young people’s development as interdependent processes that must be critically considered in order to plan more empowering cities for youth. Course readings are selected to introduce students to some of the sociocultural, technological, political and economic matters that shape both forms of development in the city. Class discussions, multimedia, a group project, and an independent research project are designed to relate reading modules to global and local issues taking place in Jersey City.

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze contemporary urban planning in the context of young people’s development.
  • Compose an annotated bibliography.
  • Create mash-ups of online media for analytical purposes using Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker.
  • Develop a critical research paper focused on young people in Jersey City.

Themed Reading Modules

  • Situating Youth in Urban Development
  • Youth as Cultural Ideal and Lived Experience
  • Social Justice and Citizen Engagement in Urban Contexts
  • Global and Intimate Development
  • Growing Up in the Cybercity
  • Public Education as Urban Infrastructure
  • Planning Jersey City

Course Structure
Discussion Facilitator – Each student will take the lead in facilitating one class discussion. Facilitators will publish a collection of digital media along with three questions to the course blog at least 48 hours prior to their assigned class. Both media (i.e. websites, videos, podcasts, music, etc …) and the questions (open-ended) must be related to the assigned readings and designed to stimulate discussion.

Mapping Jersey City Youth Project – The class will collectively identify several locations within Jersey City that are of importance to the development of JC youth. The locations will then be collaboratively mapped on the course blog and each student will be expected to add field notes for at least one location.

Independent Project – Each student is required to develop a critical research project focused on young people in Jersey City that consists of:

  • A Project Proposal of 500 words that considers a chosen topic from course readings in the context of Jersey City’s youth and outlines a small-scale research project that investigates this topic at the local scale.
  • An Annotated Bibliography that must include at least three of the assigned readings and at least three additional readings from academic texts.
  • A Multimedia Review that uses Popcorn Marker to create a mash-up of media related to the chosen topic as well a digital field notes. It should be 5-10min long and include a written or spoken narrative that directly relates visuals to the literature.
  • A Research Paper that must draw on the selected course readings, external readings, multimedia review, and field work to discuss the chosen topic and design a policy response for Jersey City.