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Chico GEOG 425 - Syllabus

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Syllabus Date: August 22, 2011 Page 1 GEOG 425: Planning for Sustainable Communities & Regions M/W 4:00 – 5:15 P.M. Fall 2011 – Butte 503 Dr. LaDona Knigge Office Hours: Office: 533 Butte Hall Tues 2:00 – 4:00 PM Email: [email protected] Wed 1:00 – 1:50 PM or by appointment Campus Phone: 898-5881 NOTE: This syllabus is subject to change. “Much of this urban world is gray, paved with concrete and asphalt, and/or brown, polluted by industry, automobiles, and waste. The challenges of the urban present give rise to widespread trepidation and distrust in our ability to leave a legacy of healthy communities to future generations.” Jennifer Wolch (2007) “Agricultural Urbanism (AU) is an emerging approach to community and city building that weaves together the many threads of urban planning and design with the many threads of sustainable food and agriculture systems. AU plans and designs to optimize performance on food and agriculture systems, within an sustainable community perspective, into all aspects of community planning and design” de la Salle and Holland (2010) Course Description: This course explores the historical roots of today’s sustainability movement and examines ways that geographers and planners can engage in creating more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable communities at multiple scales, from the local community to larger regional communities. The intersection of three crises (global warming, peak oil and financial crises) brings us to a critical time when we need to examine the effectiveness and resilience of traditional planning practices and create new ways of planning and designing communities that meet our needs today. The course will have two components. First, the course emphasizes sustainable planning theory and practice based upon the ecological worldview that differs from traditional planning theory in its long-term perspective on human and ecological well-being with a holistic outlook that honors relationships between humans and the environmental from the scale of the individual to the global scale. Second we will read Agricultural Urbanism, a contemporary practice that combines a sustainable food systems perspective with planning and design to create an approach that goes well beyond community gardens and buying local to propose strategies that support local food processing, wholesale and marketing, education and training programs, as well as celebrating and creating a culture around food. The concept of agricultural urbanism has been declared as the next big movement for New Urbanism in the 21st century as an approach to assist us as we grapple with how to make our cities not only more sustainable, but also great places in which to live. Class Components: • Readings and videos • Required field trip (Saturday October 22nd)Syllabus Date: August 22, 2011 Page 2 • Field trips, exercises and reports • Writing assignments (think pieces, papers) • Discussion leader • Class participation and presentations Course Requirements: Attendance and participation are expected and not rewarded. The success of this seminar depends on regular attendance and participation. Please notify me in advance if you know you will not be in class or email if you cannot attend due to illness or hardship. The pace and amount of reading for this course will be intense. You are expected to have completed all of the reading assignments for each week before class on Monday. All assignments will be completed on time. Late assignments will lose one letter grade per day late. Assignments & Grading: The Think Piece & Discussion Leaders: Think Pieces: There are nine think pieces assigned during the semester. These consist of two parts. First, for each reading, prepare a short summary of the main points of the reading. Basically you will want to restate the text’s main argument in your own words. You can write a summary, make an outline, draw an annotated flowchart or an annotated diagram of the reading, or simply take careful notes. The purpose of this portion is to help you understand as fully as possible the structure and details of the author’s argument and will help you recall the article(s) in detail even weeks later. This will be useful for your other formal writing assignments that require reference to the course readings. Begin the think piece with the citation for the reading, followed by the summary of main points of each reading. The second part of the think piece is a short reflective essay of your thoughts on the reading(s) for the week. This is your own personal reflection or reaction to the readings. You may want to describe your intellectual, philosophical or emotional response to the readings by answering questions like “What does this reading mean to me?” and “What effect does this text have on my values, my beliefs, and my way of looking at the world?” Or you may choose to connect it to other readings, lectures, or field exercises, or to analyze it, illustrate it through your own experience, refute it, get mad at it, question it, believe it, doubt it, or go beyond it. The reflective essay should be 400 – 800 words in length, typed and posted on the BV Discussion Board after your summaries. The pieces are short and so must be written very tightly and concisely. Every word counts. (Please do not go over the assigned length and do not fill the piece with empty verbiage). Your think piece should demonstrate that you have read and are engaged with the readings. Typically you will be given freedom in your response to the readings, but occasionally guiding questions may be assigned. The purpose of these pieces is to encourage you to prepare for class by reading and engaging with the readings thus allowing you to develop a distinct point of view. Your think piece should demonstrate that you have read the readings carefully. Wednesday’s class will be set aside for discussion of the readings lead by at least one discussion leader (see description of discussion leader below). Be sure and properly cite direct quotes with quotation marks and page numbers from source. The summary for each article will be posted on Blackboard Vista Discussion Board followed by your reflective commentary on the readings. Please prepare your think piece in MSWord or other word processing program, save a copy and copy and paste the text into


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