Community Redevelopment in a Regional Context:
Problems and Strategies
Stadterneuerung im regionalen Kontext - Probleme und Strategien

Cases Studies in Housing
For OSU students:
International Studies 697 (6 credit hours) becomes
City and Regional Planning 815 (4 credit hours) and
Independent CRP 793 (2 credit hours)
at the completion of the course

Spring 2001
More Columbus-Dresden syllabi
Hazel A. Morrow-Jones
Ohio State University
City and Regional Planning
Knowlton School of Architecture

Columbus, Ohio, USA
Bernhard Müller
Technical University
Dresden, Germany

Introduction | Class Meetings | Group Projects | Books | Grading | Trip Notes

This year's Dresden exchange seminar will focus on the broad topic of community redevelopment in a regional context. The idea is to study redevelopment of existing communities within urban regions. Many strategies have been tried and we will examine both the literature on and the practice of these strategies and how well they have worked.

We have the unusual opportunity of working electronically with a seminar at the Technical University of Dresden (TUD) during the quarter, continuing our work in the field by visiting Dresden in June, and then completing our work by hosting our German colleagues in Columbus in August. The class will be conducted in English or, when German is necessary, with a translator.

The course is international in scope and experimental in nature. Consequently all participants need to be as flexible as possible to take advantage of opportunities or to work around problems as they arise. This syllabus describes my best estimate of our situation. Please feel free to suggest changes or other ways of doing things.


Class Meetings:
The class will meet at least once a week during Spring Quarter. We will meet in Brown Hall 274 at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. We may need to discuss additional class meetings.

At least once during the quarter, I would like to have a social gathering at my home and we may also decide to have some class meetings there. Last year, we discovered that one day a week wasn't really enough time for the discussions and material we wanted to cover. Class meetings will usually involve discussion and short presentations from class members. The discussions will focus on readings, questions, and concerns from class members in either country.

During the quarter we will examine various redevelopment problems and solutions in the literature about the U.S. We also need to prepare background papers for our German colleagues and make the arrangements for their visit to the U.S. That visit will include fieldwork, so we will set up the field sites and plan each assignment.

During the quarter we will also try to prepare everyone as much as possible for the trip to Dresden. Consequently, class time will also be spent hearing about and discussing Germany and the German planning system (there will also be readings on these topics), as well as familiarizing everyone with Dresden and its surroundings.


Each class member will be part of a cross-national team for a group project. Depending on the size of the two classes, there may be more than one member of each class in each group.

During the first ten weeks (before we travel to Germany) students will read extensively, work with their groups to write background papers, and undertake a variety of small assignments. Some of those assignments will require that the American students get information from their German colleagues and vice versa. The background papers must be ready by the end of spring quarter so that your colleagues can read them before coming to the U.S. (they will send you papers for the same purpose).

We expect to have each cross-national group focus on one of six topics. All of these topics will need to be more narrowly defined, but this list will give you some idea of what we will be considering. In addition to the background papers we will need to define field projects for each topic. Some case studies are already selected, others are more open.

Topical areas:
  1. Population
  2. Industrial and Office Sites
  3. Market rate housing
  4. Social housing
  5. Retail activity
  6. Environment


W. Dennis Keating and Norman Krumholz (eds).
Rebuilding Urban Neighborhoods; Achievements, Opportunities, and Limits.
Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, Calif. 1999.

Peter Medoff and Holly Sklar.
Streets of Hope; The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood.
South End Press, Boston. 1994.

William Peterman.
Neighborhood Planning and Community-Based Development; The Potential and Limits of Grassroots Action.
Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, Calif. 2000.

David Rusk.
Inside Game Outside Game; Winning Strategies for Saving Urban America.
The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC. 1999.

June Manning Thomas.
Redevelopment and Race: Planning a Finer City in Postwar Detroit.
Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 1997.
See also the Review (H-Urban: September 1998) "The Best Laid Plans: Urban Planning in Postwar Detroit" by Mike Smith, Wayne State University.

And others.

We will read a great deal of other material, but it will mainly be from the shelves of our conference/reference room (the back office - it is labeled as TUD/OSU Conference room - in Brown 289). You can copy whatever you want, but I would prefer that things not leave that room except to be photocopied and returned. That will help protect the resources for other students in this class and for future classes.


Grades for the course will be based on the following assignments:

30%   Background Paper
15%   Posters in Dresden
15%   Individual Journal
40%   Participation

Group Project Due Dates:
During the ten-week seminar you will write a group background paper on the U.S. and your German colleagues will write one on Germany. The due date for your first draft is: May 15, 2001. I will return them to you by May 22 and you will rewrite them by May 29. The draft paper must be presented in hard copy. You will e-mail the rewritten papers to Germany no later than June 5 and you will e-mail a copy to me at that time as well.

Please note that the summer quarter class, CRP 816 in the second term, is also required. In that class you will participate in the return visit of the German students to the U.S. and in the completion of a final group paper with your German colleagues.

Everyone will be assigned an incomplete in the spring quarter class until the summer quarter class has been completed.

Posters | Participation/Contributions | Journals | Important Notes

After spring quarter is over, we will travel to Dresden for two weeks of intensive fieldwork. The fieldwork may involve visiting developments; interviewing planning officials, developers, etc.; collecting data; doing survey work . . . and lots of other things.

I expect you to make the trip with us and for that two weeks to remain with the group and undertake all of the activities that our hosts plan for us.

In August, the TUD students will come to Columbus for fieldwork here. Part of your work for CRP 816 will include participating actively for those two weeks, so please plan your summer schedules accordingly.

For background information on Columbus and Dresden, see:
Americanization of German Cities: Case Studies in Housing (1998)

During the two weeks we are in Dresden and the two weeks the German students are in Columbus, you will work in your small groups to study a specific example of the issue you wrote background papers about. The outcome of this study will be two posters and oral presentations: one presented at the end of the two weeks in Dresden on the German study, and one presented at the end of the two weeks in Columbus on a Columbus case study.

This is a difficult area to define, but it is crucial to the whole class's experience. I expect this class to be a major focus of your effort for spring and summer. That means, among other things, being prepared, attending class (and other activities that we schedule), participating constructively in class discussions, volunteering for tasks that will need to be done during the quarter, being flexible, participating actively on the trip, being a positive influence on the group, helping out wherever help is needed, and so on. The jobs that need done during the quarter will cover a range of skills and will also range from large to very small, so there should be plenty for everyone to volunteer for.

Some examples of the kinds of tasks we'll need to get done over the course of the seminar include:

  • Continuing upgrades and maintenance of the web site
  • Scanning photos and maps and putting them up on the web site
  • Writing a brief biography of yourself and adding a picture so we can put those on the web site
  • Creating a new display for the case at the top of the steps
  • Sorting and cataloguing materials
  • Helping with logistics for the Dresden students' visit to Columbus in the fall
  • Keeping especially good notes on what does and doesn't work as far as course logistics, the technology, the approach - these will go in your journal (see below)
  • Volunteering for small errands, short reports, additional information gathering, or other tasks

Keep track of what contributions you have made (I may not realize all the things you've done or forget in the rush of other things going on) and include the list as a separate page with your journal when you turn it in.

Individual Journals
Everyone in class will keep a journal. The document may include text, photos, drawings, and materials you pick up on trips, and so on. I suggest that you keep the journal very honestly and completely for yourself, and then edit it if you feel the need for more privacy before you hand it in. At different times in the quarter, I will give you lists of questions I'd like you to think about and answer in your journal - this may be especially useful for the video conferencing events. I am trying to do several things with this assignment:
  1. Help you create a record of your experiences in class and on the trips so you can remember all the parts. Finding time to write may be difficult during the time in Dresden, but you should make every effort anyway - maybe a small tape recorder would help. These are the things you will most want to remember.

  2. Increase the amount of information I glean from the class - every one of you will learn things that I don't during the term and this will give me a chance to pick up on those things too.

  3. Improve the class the next time it is offered. Keep a record of things that worked or didn't work, ideas you have to improve things, readings or videos you come across, etc.

  4. Do some research on the value of video conferencing and electronic communications in distance-learning efforts. That's why I will give you questions to answer about those experiences.

The journals will be due August 24, 2001.

  1. To take this class, please sign up for six (6) hours of International Studies 697 (10362-7). When grades are assigned this will change to four (4) hours of CRP 815 and two (2) hours of CRP independent study. Julie Zimmerman is our international studies coordinator; her contact information is:
    tel: (614) 292-6101
    fax: (614) 292-4725

  2. Before we go to Germany I will ask everyone to meet with me individually. Please be sure to let me know about any special aspects of your situation I need to be aware of - for example, I need to know about chronic conditions like diabetes, fear of heights, claustrophobia, etc., in order to help arrange things so you can cope.

    If you have specific tools that you need, like contact lenses or hearing aids (even rubber bands for your braces), I need to know in case of emergencies. In general I need to be aware of any special circumstances in order to make sure things go as smoothly and safely as possible.

  3. Check your final exam schedule now. Then get your travel plans made as early as possible. You must be in Dresden and ready to start by 8 a.m. on Monday, June 11, 2001. I suggest you get there earlier if at all possible.

  4. We will need to know your travel plans early enough to get room reservations set up. Everyone will need a passport. If you are not an American you may need visas - be prepared to go to Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic at least.

  5. Pay close attention all through the quarter for announcements, changes and information on what to take along, and a myriad of other things. Try to stay pretty flexible and prepared to roll with the punches.

Syllabus prepared for the H-Urban Syllabus Archive 20 November 2002.
Updated 14 October 2004.