The Outlaw Urbanist
Professional Development and Training Courses
The Outlaw Urbanist will soon be launching an online series of professional development, training and continuing education courses about urbanism and the built environment for professionals, students, and other interested parties.
The courses are specifically tailored for architects, urban designers and planners requiring continuing education credits with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), American Planning Association (APA), American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU-A). However, many courses will be accessible to anyone who is interested in the architecture, design, planning, real estate development, ecology, geography, sociology, and history of cities. The courses will be available for a small, competitive fee ($9.99 for one hour courses, $12.99 for courses for one-and-half-hour or longer) payable by debit/credit card through PayPal.
In keeping with the manifesto of The Outlaw Urbanist, our courses are firmly anchored in the ‘first principles’ of physical form and design. From this foundation, the courses will make the link to a variety of functional, social, and economic factors that are relevant for anyone interested in the built environment and urbanism. As such, students and those with specialist degrees and backgrounds in architecture, planning, and other fields may encounter unfamiliar – yet essential – principles and concepts about the art and science of buildings and settlements.
A sample of our initial course offerings include:
The Generic City and its Origins
This course covers the inherent, often unspoken constraints placed on the physical form and design of built environments by human nature and our basic needs for shelter, water, movement, food and specialized urban functions such as barter and defense in the founding and locating of cities (1.0 hour course).
The City’s Essential DNA and its Pattern
This course covers the most essential aspects of physical form at work in the design of all cities around the world from older, highly-localized urban grids in the Middle East/Africa to deformed grids in Europe to regular grids in the United States/Americas. The purpose is to provide an understanding of the basic typologies and geometries that can be found underlying all settlements, to one degree or another (1.0 hour course).
Unmasking Pruitt-Igoe: A Failure of Modernism
This course examines how (seemingly minor) design flaws in the architecture and planning of the Pruitt-Igoe Housing Project in St. Louis, Missouri established the preconditions – in combination with Federal, State, and local policy failures and institutional racism – for its rapid decline as a community. This eventually led to the demolition of Pruitt-Igoe only twenty years after it was heralded as a masterpiece of Modernist architecture and a planning model for urban housing in the 20th century (1.0 hour course).
The Hidden Corruptions of American Regular Grids: why space syntax doesn’t work in the United States when it looks like it should
This is a specialist course of those interested in space syntax (e.g. configurational modeling of urban networks based on lines of sights) and its lack of application in the United States. Undue emphasis on the economics of profit in American real estate development and planning in combination with the failure of space syntax to monetize its methodology creates a barrier for widespread implementation in the United States despite its track record of widespread success in many other parts of the world (1.5 hour course).
Watch a 30 second video preview below:
Each course includes a prerecorded slide presentation with narration by The Outlaw Urbanist himself, Dr. Mark David Major, AICP, CNU-A. A brief course synopsis and biography is also provided for self-reporting purposes to your professional organization, employer, and/or academic institution. Slide handouts PDFs can be downloaded for each course. For now, we are asking participants to take advantage of opportunities to self-report continuing education credits. As we develop courses and the functionality of our online learning management system, we hope to eventually provide pre-approved credit opportunities for users, especially AICP planners. In the future, we also intend to supplement courses with written narratives of the presentation with additional opportunities for learning about the topic, e.g. bibliography, videos, exhibits, etc.
We hope you decide to take advantage of The Outlaw Urbanist professional development, training, and continuing courses! If you have any questions or would like to suggest a topic to be covered in a future course, email courses@outlaw-urbanist-com.