PPS 270.01 (PPS136) – CIVIC PARTICIPATION/COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP
For our nation to prosper over the next fifty years, our cities must succeed. This success, if it comes, will be hard won. From New York to Los Angeles to Durham, our cities are challenged by the sharp divisions of race, language and ethnicity; by the influx of new immigrants; by diminishing support from state and federal government; by aging infrastructure, lack of affordable housing, environmental degradation, drugs, crime and poverty.
At the same time, city dwellers across the country are consciously nourishing their own urban revival. We see everywhere the reclamation of abandoned downtowns, the retrofitting of brick factories into offices and shops, the explosion of high-end restaurants and an obsessive food culture, new theaters and stadiums in the middle of downtown. So the questions arise: Who will share in this urban revival? Is it reserved only for a prosperous metropolitan elite? Or can the rebirth of cities include alliances across the lines of race, class, ethnicity and culture to attack our most intransigent social problems together?
Enrollment for this class is limited, so the class will be taught in the seminar style. Seated around the seminar table, we will learn together, and your participation and ideas will be crucial to the success of our class.
Our reading and discussion will involve us in a critical examination of the pressing strategic and ethical issues we face if our cities are to survive and prosper. Along the way, each of you will focus on your own role as a potential civic participant and community leader in our common national effort to make our cities work.
[Areas of Knowledge: SS; Inquiries/Competencies: EI]