RISD Summer Programs course: Civic Ecologies: Designing for a Changing Urban Climate

Civic Ecologies: Attending to a Difference in Urban Design (Liberal Arts)

Cities and urbanization unequally shape urban natures, requiring communities to find a range of situated stewardship practices. The concept of civic ecology seeks to understand these practices that emerge as people seek more livable and ecologically linked futures, and ultimately shape their urban ecologies. Throughout the course, students will investigate their own lived experience and positionality, developing and sharing stories of their orientation to caring for meaningful places.

Lectures, readings and videos highlight examples of how transdisciplinary and participatory practices of stewardship seek to address unequal ecologies, particularly those shaped by processes of urbanization. Through the study of place, students learn about situated stewardship practices, particularly in the context of social and environmental justice. As a final project, students create a multimedia “story” of a civic ecology practice of their choosing.

RISD degree students: Satisfactory completion of this course with a ‘C’ or better can count as 3 transfer credits toward the HPSS elective requirements. This course offers 3 transfer credits with pre-approval from your department head or major advisor using the Prior Approval for Transfer Credit Form. Submit the signed form to the Registrar’s office and then complete the online course registration.

Technology Requirements:

  • This class will be taught through our online course management platform (CE Link).
  • Please visit our Registration FAQ for additional information and resources.

Course #3264
Bryce DuBois

Online Course
June 22–July 31, 2020

Tuition $2,200
3 Credits


Bryce DuBois

Bryce DuBois is a public space advocate, educator and social scientist who works in the nexus between communities, public space and urban ecology in the context of change and uncertainty. He is an environmental psychologist who draws from fields of psychology, geography, anthropology and natural resources in order to contribute to a better understanding of complex environmental conflicts and to support community-level responses. Most of his work is focused on urban coastal areas of New York City and, more recently, Rhode Island. His dissertation, Beaches, People and Change, was an ethnographic work focused on the restoration of NYC’s Rockaway Beach after Hurricane Sandy and the related conflicts over inequities in resource distribution. An assistant professor in RISD’s History, Philosophy and the Social Sciences department, DuBois holds a BA from Salve Regina University, MA from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and PHD from CUNY Graduate Center.