Lifelong Learning On-Campus
The American City (LLS 162)
Meets Thursdays, 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Sept. 19 to Nov. 7
Kohlberg Hall, Room 226
Cities in America originally sprang up around shipping points, natural ports, or sources of natural resources. Such reasons generally matter less these days, yet many cities continue to attract people.
Others, such as Camden or Buffalo, are losing residents. Even within growing cities, some neighborhoods are shrinking or are stuck in seemingly intractable poverty. Economic and racial segregation continue to loom large.
To understand these realities participants will read classics such as Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities, as well as more recent authors. Special attention will be paid to the one city we have in common, Philadelphia, by examining historical and contemporary case studies.
- The attraction of cities in the past and present
- Urban trends: growth and sprawl, stagnation and decay
- Can thoughtful urban design help make cities successful?
- Will the internet and other technologies discourage dense living?
- Do cars and traffic congestion spell the death of dense urban centers?
- Is urban segregation by income and race declining? Why so or why not?
- American cities compared with those abroad
- Philadelphia as case study: its economic history and the challenges it faces now
John Caskey, Professor of Economics at Swarthmore, teaches urban economics and has published articles exploring the forces that shape Philadelphia. A resident himself of Philadelphia, he loves this city and other cities around the world.