The Urbanization concentration takes advantage of the setting in Abu Dhabi, a rapidly growing city which is making major investments in infrastructure, public transportation, and environmental sustainability, and drawing international attention as a model of advanced urban planning. Through course work, internships, and research projects, this program gives students first-hand exposure to the complex issues associated with urbanization.
At the start of the 20th century, only one person out of every ten lived in a city. Today, half the world population is urbanized. United Nations projections suggest that more than 70 percent will reside in cities by 2050, with the largest increases expected in the developing world.
The multidisciplinary concentration in Urbanization focuses on this process—the forces that drive it, the cities it creates, and their impacts on well-being and social interactions. Encompassing the social, economic, political, and physical dimensions of urbanization, the concentration provides students with a cross-disciplinary set of perspectives for understanding the urbanization process, across cultures, countries, and time. The concentration is inherently global in nature, with a particular concern for the role of urbanization in the developing world, the multicultural nature of much of current urbanization, and the intersection of this process with the environment and associated issues.