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Since January 1, 2014
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My Notes on Massive Open Online Course:
Designing Cities
The course explores visionary and practical concepts of city design and planning, past and present, and how design can address such looming challenges as urban population growth, climate change and rising sea levels. Participants will be encouraged to make proposals for city design and development, starting with their own immediate environment.
Notes on 4 Lectures I Watched in This Course:
Cities before the Industrial Revolution
Cities in the Industrial Revolution
19th Century Park and Boulevard Plans: From Paris to Kansas City
Megacities and Megaregions
4 People I Have Learned About in this Course:
Pope Sixtus V (1521-1590)
Pope for only five years from 1585 to his death in 1590, he spent immense sums on public works transforming the city of Rome and its surroundings
  • brought water to the waterless hills in the Acqua Felice, feeding twenty-seven new fountains
  • laid out new arteries in Rome, which connected the great basilicas
  • set his engineer-architect Domenico Fontana to replan the Colosseum as a silk-spinning factory housing its workers
  • the completion of the dome of St. Peter's
  • the loggia of Sixtus in the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
  • the erection of four obelisks, including that in Saint Peter's Square
  • the opening of six streets
  • the restoration of the aqueduct of Septimius Severus
  • the integration of the Leonine City in Rome as XIV rione (Borgo)
  • he sweetened the city air by financing the reclamation of the Pontine Marshes, reclaiming 38 square kilometers and opened them to agriculture and manufacture
Augustus Pugin (1812-1852)
English architect remembered for his pioneering role in the Gothic Revival style, responsible for the interior design of the Palace of Westminster
  • after his death, his ideas were carried on by two young architects who admired him and had attended his funeral, W. E. Nesfield and Norman Shaw
  • the art critic John Ruskin "outlived and out-talked him by half a century, if Ruskin had never lived, Pugin would never have been forgotten"
Gustave Doré (1832-1883)
French artist, printmaker, illustrator and sculptor who depicted scenes from books by Rabelais, Balzac, Milton, Don Quixote, Dante, Lord Byron, for Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" and for an illustrated English Bible
  • at age five he had been a prodigy troublemaker, playing pranks that were mature beyond his years
  • at age twelve he began engraving in cement, but eventually worked primarily with wood engraving
Jean-Charles Alphand (1817-1891)
French engineer of the Corps des ponts under Napoléon III, participated in the renovation of Paris directed by Baron Haussmann between 1852 and 1870
  • notable accomplishments include: le square du Temple, Avenue de l'Observatoire, Parc Monceau, parc Montsouris, le bois de Vincennes, and bois de Boulogne
  • worked with engineer Eugène Belgrand
  • also worked with landscape architect Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps
2 Vocabulary Words I Learned in this Course:
bastide, n. a new town built in medieval Languedoc, Gascony and Aquitaine during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, designed in a grid plan  "Montpazier, France is one of the best preserved bastide towns."
wat, n. a Buddhist temple in Thailand or Cambodia  "Bangkok's many wats were the landmarks that defined the city and do to this day."