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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Fall 2008


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46750 T
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
SRH 3.330

Course Description

This two semester policy research project will examine the social and residential dynamics of the older (formerly) suburban areas of metropolitan cities in the US and Latin America focusing upon two case studies. The first - Austin  will look at the housing needs and population trajectories of older neighborhoods that are undergoing land-use changes associated with a number of urban development processes; renovation and gentrification; infilling; and rental subdivision as they become the new "rooming" districts for low income (often) recent immigrant populations, etc. With the broader US context, case studies (primarily Austin) will be selected to examine these innerburbs as they are sometimes called, and which constitute a new internal frontier of research and policy making. Working in groups, students will analyze the socio-spatial and land-use changes that these areas are undergoing. Data sources will be probably census & GIS, fieldwork, and extensive use of qualitative research techniques to explore the dynamics of these areas and best practice policy approaches. In a similar vein, a second set of students will focus upon the counterpart innerburbs in Monterrey, Mexico. Different in kind, these areas are largely working class ex-squatter areas dating from the 1960s and 1970s which are now fully consolidated and integrated into the city. Although these neighborhoods also offer rooming-house rental opportunities for recent migrants and for younger low income households, the majority of the population are owners who live in self built homes, with higher densities, multiple sharing and dilapidated housing structures that are often ill suited of out of synch with contemporary household needs and family arrangements. Monterrey will form part of a larger umbrella project anchored at UT-Austin that is already underway in several Latin American cities following a similar methodology of GIS data analysis; surveys and qualitative interviews. Thus the Austin and Monterrey projects will be analyzed comparatively such that groups will to explore the processes occurring in a broader comparative perspective. The first semester will be largely archival working with secondary sources; with some fieldwork and interviewing during the fall and winter vacation. The second semester will focus upon policy implications and development arising from the two arenas of study, and will be tied to final participation in meetings and policy workshops with members of the other teams of the research network. One of those meetings will be a capstone conference here in Austin, in April 2009. Both projects will also offer ample opportunities and data for students to undertake their own thesis and dissertation research, either in 2009-10 or concurrently (2008-09). In the latter case, interested students are urged to use part of the summer of 2008 planning and initiating their research and should discuss those plans with the instructor (Ward). The course is both multi- and interdisciplinary. It will involve substantial group work. The final outcome will be a PRP Report, and working (policy) papers on the phenomena of inner-suburban rehabilitation in the metropolitan Americas. All students will need to log onto the Blackboard, since this will be the principal mechanism for information dissemination, and group liaison.


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