Why Study Urban Studies at New College?

As an Urban Studies student at New College, you will learn about cities throughout the world, as well as the range of issues that these cities grapple with. This program will ignite the intellectual curiosity that fires you to formulate solutions to these problems and better understand the world around us.

What is urban studies at New College?

Students in Urban Studies draw on multiple disciplines from across the curriculum in order to understand the social, political-economic, cultural and ecological processes of growth and decline that have shaped the structure and development of human settlements, from rural villages to metropolitan regions.

The focus of urban studies is the city, but this is not as narrow as it might seem. Urban studies covers the history and development of forms of human settlement from rural villages and small towns to sprawling metropolitan regions and contemporary global “mega-cities.” To understand the city as a form of human settlement, it is necessary to understand the history and processes of urban growth (and decline); the patterns of urban vs. suburban development; the politics, economics and sociology of the way we create and occupy the built landscape; the contested nature of the city as a site of inequalities of class, race and gender; and the relationship of the built environment to the underlying natural systems of the planet.

For an area of concentration in Urban Studies, students design a multidisciplinary program of course work that includes a core introduction to urban issues, tools for urban analysis, and foundational work in disciplines related to the student’s particular interests and career aspirations. Advisers work closely with students to explore career possibilities and craft a coherent and focused program, oriented towards a career path.


President & CEO
Manatee Glens Hospital and Addiction Center

Partner, Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, LLP

Graphic Designer & Assistant Professor
Ontario College of Art and Design

Director of Career Services
Westwood College

Owner/President & Chief Creative Officer
Leverage Media

Recent Theses

  • Thermal Comfort Through Vernacular Architecture.
  • From Overtown to Rosemary: Exploring Race and Space Through Oral Histories of Sarasota’s First African American District.
  • City Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process
  • New Genre Public Art and Participatory Planning for Urban Futures.
  • Selling Suburbia: An Actor-Network Analysis of the Construction of Levittown, N.Y.
  • Transit in Suburbia:  An Analysis of Perth, Australia’s Mass Transit System and How American Suburbs Can Overcome Automobile Dependency.

Program Director

David Brain

Program Steering Committee

 Uzi Baram (Anthropology)

 Carrie Beneš (History)

 Ilaria Giglioli (Geography)

 Brad Oberle (Biology)

 Jack Reilly (Political Science)

 Maria Vesperi (Anthropology)