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Workshops

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The Urban Studies and Community Development program offers three-day workshops on contemporary issues in the field. Undergraduate and graduates students can take these for credit, and we also welcome community members who are interested in a number of our specialty experiences.

Fall 2017 workshops


URBAN 294/494. Affordable Housing. ThFr 04:00-08:00 pm. 11/09/2017-11/11-2017. One out of three families in the Boise Valley have fallen too far below the federal standard to rent an adequate home.  The one-credit workshop looks at the city’s limited options. Topics include historical trends, rental markets, low-income zoning, rent control, housing cooperatives, and public housing projects. Crosslisted with HIST 294/494, SPS 294/494.

URBAN 294/494. Boise’s Urban Renewal. Sa 09:00 am-05:00 pm. 10/07/2017-10/14/2017. Boise made national headlines in the 1970s for urban renewal that removed more than 80 buildings from the core of old downtown.  The one credit workshop considers the programs and policy that resulted from that era of devastation.  Topics include tax financing, public art, historic preservation, and urban street design. Crosslisted with ENVSTD 294/494, HIST 294/494, SOC 294/494, SPS 294/494.

URBAN 294/494. Gothic Boise Sequel. Sa 09:00 am-05:00 pm. Architecture and folklore tell urban stories, revealing cultural truths. The one-credit pass/fail workshop introduces the architectural styles of turn-of-the-century Boise.  Walking tours provide the historical context.  The focus is storied places, sacred to some, macabre to others.  Topics include architecture, historic preservation, history, and folklore. Crosslisted with ARTHIST 294/494, HIST 294/494, SPS 294/494.

URBAN 294/494. Local Food Economy. Sa 09:00 am-05:00 pm Nationwide, people are turning to local foods as a way of improving nutrition, seeking employment, and growing community pride. The one-credit, two-day workshop brings farmers and food experts into the classroom, looking at best practices. Topics include food miles, organic farming, genetic modification, composting, farmers’ markets, and a city’s fascination with beer. Food samples provided. Crosslisted with ECON 294/494, ENVSTD 294/494, POLS 294/494, SPS 294/494.

Spring 2017 workshops:


image of metropolis robotImagine the City through Film  – February 9-11, 2017  (SPS/POLS/ENVSTD/COMM/SOC 294/494)
How does film portray the city and its culture? This workshop examines how movies address urban culture, urban challenges, and urban innovation with a particular focus on environmental policy and social justice topics.


photo of kansas city cafeThe New Urbanism – Feb 23-25, 2017  (SPS/Hist/Envstd/Soc/Arthist/Pols 294/494)
Americans are yearning for the corner stores and public squares of vibrant urban streetscape. The New Urbanism—a planning concept, an architectural movement—strives to recreate those walkable places lost to suburbia’s sprawl. Topics include housing architecture, mass transit, historical preservation, and city planning.


Honors College Ground Breaking, Photo by Allison CoronaBuilding Boise – March 16-18, 2017 (SPS/Hist/Envstd/CE/Arthist 294/494) 
Engineering marvels of monumental construction embody the aesthetics of the era in which they were planned. Local examples include the Swan Fall power plant, the Hoff Building, the Boise Depot, and Capital Memorial Bridges—all architectural landmarks, preserving historical concepts and trends. Topics include public financing, historic preservation, transportation planning, railroads, and the legacy of the industrial Art Deco in Boise’s urban design.


Campus Scenes, Summer, Brian Angers PhotosThe Boise River – April 6-8, 2017  (SPS/Hist/Envstd/Econ/Pols 294/494)
The Boise freights a river of great expectation for cities and agriculture. As suburbs pave over the farmland, the economics of water spill into disputes over land use, taxation, and environmental protection. The workshop includes a walking tour and a Boise City Fettuccine Forum presentation concerning the Greenbelt.


workshop bike and red wall-brennan-ehrhardtBikeconomics – April 20-22, 2017  (SPS/Envstd/Econ/Pols/HLTHST 294/494)
Biking is transforming the way cities plan streets and finance transportation. The tour-based workshop identifies best-practices for urban renewal through the making of bikeable places. Topics include street design, transit economics, bike culture, and public safety. Bikes can be provided on request for the optional cycling tour.