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11.439 Revitalizing Urban Main Streets, Spring 2003

A main street in boston.
Bay State Road, near Kenmore Square in Boston. (Image courtesy of Keith McCluskey, ©

Highlights of this Course

This course features lecture notes and a comprehensive student report in the assignments section.

Course Description

Revitalizing Urban Main Streets focuses on the physical and economic renewal of urban neighborhood Main Streets by combining classroom work with an applied class project. The course content covers three broad areas:
  1. an overview of the causes for urban business district decline, the challenges faced in revitalization and the type of revitalization strategies employed;
  2. the physical and economic development planning tools used to understand and assess urban Main Streets from physical design and economic development perspectives; and
  3. the policies, interventions, and investments used to foster urban commercial revitalization.

The course has dual goals: to explore the integration of economic and physical development interventions in ways that reinforce commercial district revitalization efforts, and to apply this knowledge through the development of a formal neighborhood commercial revitalization plan for a client business district.

Technical Requirements

Microsoft® Excel software is recommended for viewing the .xls files found on this course site. Free Microsoft® Excel viewer software can also be used to view the .xls files.



Prof. Karl Seidman
Prof. Susan Silberberg

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session




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