Designing Cities

Designing Cities

40 h
This content is rated 4.3333 out of 5
  • From
  • Self-paced
  • Free Access
  • Fee-based Certificate
More info
  • 10 Sequences
  • Introductive Level

Their employees are learning daily with Edflex

  • Safran
  • Air France
  • TotalEnergies
  • Generali
Learn more

Course details


  • Week 1 - How Today’s City Evolved
    Sometimes people talk about cities as if they are outside people’s control, like the weather. We are using the word designing in the name of our course, because everything that happens to shape cities is actually the result of decisions made by governments, bu...
  • Week 2 - Ideas That Shape Cities
    During the opening week we have given you a very quick sketch of the evolution of cities from pre-industrial times to today’s multi-centered urban regions. Of course you understand that charting the development of cities encapsulates almost everything that has...
  • Week 3 - Tools for Designing Cities
    We have seen that powerful design ideas can have a big influence on cities: towers surrounded by open space, a tree-lined boulevard, houses set amid lawns and gardens, a corridor of denser buildings supported by a transit line. But city design is not an “act o...
  • Week 4 - Making Cities Sustainable
    Last week we learned about tools that manage the design and development of cities, including infrastructure investments, codes and design guidelines, financial incentives for better city design, and negotiations for common goods between those who build cities ...
  • Week 5 - Cities in the Information Age
    This week we focus on the issue of communication in cities. The ability to communicate with others is becoming the central purpose of cities as they become more and more centered on service economies. It determines where people wish to live, their travel patte...
  • Week 6 - Preserving Older Cities
    We ended last week describing how mixing home, work, culture and recreation, rather than separating them by regulation is the key to creating 21st century cities. Inherited environments almost always have part of that urban mix already. This week we will deal ...
  • Week 7 - Designing New Cities, Districts and Neighborhoods
    Last week we focused on ways to maintain and capitalize on the unique aspects of a city’s past, through creating historic districts and designating historic buildings, and re-using and sometimes repurposing older structures. Preservation has cultural importanc...
  • Week 8 - The Challenges of Informal Cities and Disadvantaged Neighborhoods
    Much of our discussion to this point in Designing Cities has focused on more developed cities in Europe, North America and Asia. But over the next several decades, the rapidly multiplying cities of Latin America, Africa and South Asia will represent a large fr...
  • Week 9 - Visionary Cities
    So far we have focused on city designs that were actually built. But throughout history, architects, artists and philosophers, have imagined and drawn up visionary cities. Many of these designs are what we call “paper” projects, since they were typically releg...
  • Week 10 - Concluding Comments
    We have come to the end of our course, and while we could say much more, you need a break from our thoughts and images. As we have said in past reviews, the assignments submitted have spanned the globe, and brought to us very interesting observations about wha...




Gary Hack
Professor and dean emeritus
City and Regional Planning, PennDesign

Jonathan Barnett
Professor of Practice in City and Regional Planning
City Planning

Stefan Al
Associate Professor of Urban Design
City and Regional Planning


The University of Pennsylvania (commonly known as Penn), founded in 1740, is a private university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. A member of the Ivy League, Penn is the fourth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and considers itself the first university in the United States to offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees.


Coursera is a digital company offering massive open online course founded by computer teachers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller Stanford University, located in Mountain View, California. 

Coursera works with top universities and organizations to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in many subjects, including: physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, data science, and other subjects.

This content is rated 4.3333 out of 5
(no review)
This content is rated 4.3333 out of 5
(no review)
Complete this resource to write a review