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2021-2022 Catalog
HIS 3402: Urban Environmental History and Sustainability

Course Description for Urban Environmental History and Sustainability

HIS3402: Urban Environmental History and Sustainability

Description: This course examines the historical relationship between cities and nature, from the early 1800s to the present time. Focusing on Europe and North America over the last two hundred years, we study: (1) how industrial era cities changed their surroundings, leading to smoky skies, polluted canals, unsanitary housing, and shortages of water; (2) how different social and political groups have thought about and tried to improve the urban environment, building water and sewer systems, establishing park space, planting sustainable gardens, and creating sustainable energy, water, waste, and transportation systems; and 3), the ways that different groups have experienced pollution and urban blight, depending upon issues of race, class, and gender. We will explore these themes through lectures, discussions, readings, films, written assignments and field trips.