Upham's Corner Online

Harvard Kennedy and Harvard Design Schools Examine Community Issues



In conjunction with the City of Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, two schools at Harvard University are working together on challenges in what has been described as "marginalized Boston communities."
  • The Harvard Kennedy School of Government is offering the course "Solving Problems Using Technology," taught by Susan Crawford
  • The Harvard Design School is offering "Advanced Workshop in Participatory Urban Planning and Design," taught by Michael Hooper.
In the Fall of 2012, students from both courses have been working with the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics to create 'realizable' proposals to local issues as identified by three community partners:
  • Orchard Gardens Residents Association
  • Uphams Corner Main Street
  • Dudley Street Neighborhood Association
The final proposals are being given on December 3, 2012 at Hibernian Hall

Much of the homework, comments and ideas are available at TUMBLR.  http://dudleyclass.tumblr.com/archive/2012/11.


Class posting entries specific to Uphams Corner


Strand Theatre Ideas

Dorchester North Burying Ground

Uphams Corner Community Branding

Uphams Corner Business Recruitment

Fairmount Indigo Line


A Look at the three Components:  Urban Mechanics, Kennedy School, Design School


I.  Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM)

Two websites provide information about MONUM.

City of Boston website:  http://www.cityofboston.gov/NewUrbanMechanics/default.asp

The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics is an approach to civic innovation focused on delivering transformative City services to Boston's residents. “Our job in city government is to be urban mechanics – to fix the basics that make our neighborhoods work. But the truth is, today, our residents, our partners, ourselves —we are all urban mechanics.” -Mayor Thomas M. Menino

MONUM website:  http://www.newurbanmechanics.org/

The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) pilots experiments that offer the potential to improve radically the quality of City services.  MONUM focuses on three major issue areas: Participatory Urbanism, Clicks & Bricks, and Education.  To design, conduct and evaluate pilot projects in these areas, MONUM builds partnerships between constituents, academics, entrepreneurs, non-profits and City staff.



II.  Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Community Innovation Lab
Course Description: 

To view course syllabus, click here

When the tools of governing change, governance changes, too.  This is primarily an experiential course given in collaboration with the Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics.

Class participants will imagine, design, refine, and prototype technological solutions to problems identified by neighborhood clients with whom the class will work closely.  The class also provides an overview of how local and national governments around the world are using digital resources to better serve their citizens and identifies techniques drawn from these pioneering practices. 


Harvard School of Design
III. Harvard School of Design

This workshop combines seminar and studio elements. Students discuss key readings on the theory and practice of participatory planning and design, drawing on both developed and developing country experience.

They also tackle applied planning and design challenges facing marginalized Boston communities.

The studio will be held in conjunction with students in the Kennedy School's DPI 682 (Solving Problems Using Technology) and in partnership with the Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics.


To view the course overview video, click here

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Posted: December 2, 2012     Nancy J Conrad


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