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Support The Outlaw Urbanist Today!

Now Accepting Contributions from Fellow Resistance Fighters
by Dr. Mark David Major, AICP, CNU-A, The Outlaw Urbanist Founder

We founded The Outlaw Urbanist almost five years ago. During that time, we have produced more than 220 posts of freely-available content on the blog about architecture and urbanism across a vast range of issues as well as nearly 4,000 tweets on the @OutlawUrbanist Twitter feed.

We have also produced two volumes of the Poor Richard almanac series for architects and planners (available for purchase by clicking on the links to your right) with three more books (American cities, Poor Richard Volume 3, and Collected Essays) on the way. We have also produced more than 20 hours of professional development, continuing education and training classes, either exclusively on The Outlaw Urbanist Courses website or in partnership with Planetizen Courses.

In that time, we have found many valuable allies such as Andy Boenau of Urbanism Speakeasy, the people at Planetizen, and many members of the CNU and Space Syntax communities even as powerful entities with a vested interest (often purposefully obscured) in perpetuating the status quo continue to work against our message. Most definitely, we sometimes feel grind down by this fight; much like Patrick McGoohan’s Number Six in The Prisoner above. However, we often receive encouraging messages from users such as this Canadian academic researcher only last week:

“I am writing you a brief note to say how inspired I am by your blog and manifesto I agree wholeheartedly… I had this great feeling again today when I found your work.”

Such messages are ‘manna from heaven’ for us. However, believe it or not, The Outlaw Urbanist content has been produced on a shoestring budget over the last five years. A reasonable estimate is we spend about $500 per annual in out-of-pocket costs to offer the (mostly) free content on The Outlaw Urbanist. The rest is brain power, elbow grease, and lots, lots, lots and LOTS of time.

We have reached the point where we need to ask for your help. There are a lot of upgrades we would like to implement on The Outlaw Urbanist but for a lack of funds: upgrade our hosting service package to speed up loading of the website, offer a monthly newsletter through the facilities of Paper.il to share more content, jointly produce continuing education courses and podcasts with Urbanism Speakeasy, securing pre-approved credits for courses with various professional organizations (for which we will be charged) and, eventually, switching over to an annual subscription-based platform for The Outlaw Urbanist Courses instead of the current ‘per class’ cost structure.

We have introduced a “Donate with PayPal” button to our content sidebar (at the upper right-hand corner) to enable our users to financially support The Outlaw Urbanist. PayPal allows you to make donations using your debit or credit card.

We are asking for donations to support our continuing efforts. We appreciate receiving any donations, no matter how small or large, for that purpose. We are creating a special category called The Founders Circle for anyone who makes a donation of $1,000 or more on an annual basis, which includes prominent display of your business, personal, or organizational logo with a link to your website.

Please support The Outlaw Urbanist today with your donation!

NOTE: We would be remiss if we did not mention everyone involved with the open resource platforms of WordPress, LearnPress, and many other associated plugins, which indirectly support the efforts of The Outlaw Urbanist. Thank you!

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COMING SOON | Continuing Education Courses


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).

The demolition of Pruitt-Igoe in 1972 (Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch).

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.

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