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Building Sustainable Communities - Detroit and Boston

APPLIED KNOWLEDGE ABOUT CITIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Detroit Farm

Do you want to learn about the strategies that practitioners are using to build sustainable communities? Do you want to see first-hand how urban agriculture and community food systems are transforming cities?  Do you want to connect the theory and practice of sustainable development?  Do you want to understand the social, ecological, and economic aspects of sustainable communities and urban development?  Are you interested in sustainability issues but wondering how you might integrate this into your future?  Are you working or hoping to work in fields related to sustainability, entrepreneurship, urbanism and design, urban planning, social services, environmental education, food systems, or environmental policy?

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course will investigate contemporary urban environments through the eyes of urban farmers and community innovators who are building more equitable communities and sustainable relationships with the land. Fieldwork, class discussions, environmental media, and workshops with community partners will facilitate our engagement with sustainability narratives and practices. Course themes include the urban planning and racial politics, challenges and opportunities of deindustrialization, the environmental justice movement, youth education, organizational development, and community-based urban transformation.

FIELD WORK IN BOSTON AND DETROIT

In order to explore possibilities of sustainable communities in a variety of social and urban contexts, this hybrid course includes one week of fieldwork in Boston, one week of fieldwork in Detroit, and online components. Fieldwork experiences in Boston and Detroit will give students an on-the-ground perspective of urban agriculture, environmental justice, and sustainability practices that are shaping cities around the world. Guest lecturers, field placements, and site visits with organizations that are closest to urban sustainability problems and solutions will compliment classroom instruction. ​

Join us this summer!  Any level of prior coursework, experience, or interest in sustainability and cities is welcome.

For more information, please contact:

Matt DelSesto, delsesma@bc.edu or Mike Cermak, cermakm@bc.edu

Registration Opening in January

What are the social and environmental implications of a post-industrial society? 

How is urban agriculture transforming neighborhoods and communities across the world? 

Who will shape the future of cities?

With more than 1400 farms and gardens, Detroit has become a global leader in urban agriculture and symbol of urban sustainability.  In this course we will investigate the contemporary urban condition through the eyes of Detroit farmers and gardeners who are creating more equitable communities and sustainable relationships with the land.  Daily urban agricultural fieldwork, class discussions, environmental media, and workshops with community partners will facilitate our engagement with Detroit as we reflect on our own relationship to food and cities.  Course themes include urban planning and racial politics, problems and possibilities of deindustrialization, the environmental justice movement, and community-based strategies for urban transformation.

ENVS 332001 Urban Agriculture in Detroit

SOCY 332001 Urban Agriculture in Detroit

For more informaton, please contact:

Matt DelSesto, delsesma@bc.edu or Mike Cermak, cermakm@bc.edu

Program Costs:
Approximately $3600.00

Price Includes: Tuition, meals, activities, accommodations, and on-site travel during fieldwork component of the course.

Travel between Boston and Detroit is not included. 

Growing Detroit

Program Highlights:

  • Earn three elective course credits in Sociology or Environmental Studies (cross listed course)
  • Urban agriculture biking tour with Wheel House Detroit / Keep Growing Detroit
  • End of session cookout/visit to Belle Isle

PROGRAM DATES

FORMAT

May 21 - May 28

Online

May 29 - June 4

On-site in Boston

June 5 - June 12

​On-site in Detroit

June 13 - June 22

Online

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