Cities and their neighborhoods are where cultural history, communal use, wildlife conservation, green infrastructure, and urban growth and decay interface. The concept of civic ecology seeks to understand how and why people care for their community, and ultimately shape their urban and natural environment. In this course, we will discuss the emerging understanding of cities as urban ecosystems and how designers can recognize and support those people who are most disenfranchised, including those experiencing post natural disasters or war. Lectures, readings and videos highlight how civic ecology practices are co-producers with communities to address the challenges of when race and class, urban and suburban, gender and sexuality, public and private, bodies and buildings intersect.
Through the interdisciplinary study of place in combination with practices of biophilic design, students learn about ecological stewardship and restoration in the context of social and environmental justice. Participation in a service-learning project offers students first-hand observation of, and engagement in, a local civic ecology practice working to restore and revitalize a neighborhood. As a final project, students create a multimedia “story” of a civic ecology practice of their choosing.
For RISD degree students, satisfactory completion of this course with a ‘C’ or better can count as 3 transfer credits toward the HPSS elective requirements.
June 25–July 31, 2020
Thursdays + Fridays
9 am–12:30 pm (no class 7/3)
Tuition for RISD Alumni and Students $2,380