Island at the Center of the World: Early and Contemporary Views of New York City Using Google Earth
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This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

The course provides an introduction to the special characteristics of the “Island at the Center of the World” and methodologies to interpret its built form. The students will develop a working understanding of the characteristics of lower Manhattan’s residential, vacant and publicly-owned land markets setting the framework for examining land price trends from the days of New Amsterdam to the Wall Street of the future for the world’s financial center through the study of primary source documents. Student will learn the use of geographic information tools such as Sketch-up and Google Earth 4.3 to examine the evidence of a prototype area of 17th century New Amsterdam, later named New York City, and compare it to today’s built form. Examination of the evidence of its built form and the use of primary source documents to enable the students to develop their own interpretation of the settlement patterns and economic conditions that have influenced the development of the “Island at the Center of the World” today and yesterday is the subject matter of the course. Training in the use of Sketch-up and Google Earth 4.3 will be part of the curriculum. Initially, the course will focus on historical land price change and the current land market to assess the impact of September 11, 2001 on the course of such trends. Examination of smart growth options, community preservation and policy change within this urban land market in transition requires an understanding of the influence that transportation improvements, waterfront access and land value change have on housing development, the cost and benefit of open space and the potential for preservation and re-use of old buildings for housing. Land policy options will be analyzed using spatial analysis techniques and geographic information systems to assess the importance of location, land use regulation, property tax policy, public investment, open space and other economic factors on land value and property development potential. Particular attention will be paid to land form and function, infrastructure and economic development, trading practices, and land policies and financing strategies. The material culture and population characteristics of the Native American, African American and European settlers will be examined through a review of geographic, economic and environmental conditions that have influenced regional development.
The Class: Format: WSP Project
Limit: 20
Requirements/Evaluation: completion of a "digital" interpretive model of a selected building that was part of the New Amsterdam's 1660 Castello Plan with attention to content, effort and development of the "digital model", based on individual review of primary source documents a
Extra Info: Meeting times: mornings, twice a week for three-hour sessions;Most of the development work will be completed outside the classroom
Extra Info 2: Courtney A. Haff, AICP, Ph.D., president of a firm specializing in investment banking, real estate market analysis, & town plans, has extensive experience in economic development finance, land planning, environmental protection & historic preservation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Students must have access to a College computer with Google Earth and Sketchup or supply their own lap top computer equipped with this
Materials/Lab Fee: $75 including approximately $50 for books

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