The theses produced by students in the GSD’s Department of Urban Planning and Design are a testament to the capacity for creative and engaged scholarship to advance our understanding of the built environment and meaningfully contribute to public knowledge. The commitment to critical inquiry, methodological rigor and passionate reasoning embedded in each project is a welcome counterpoint to the easy answers and unsubstantiated claims that increasingly dominate public discourse. In keeping with the enlightenment tradition, students’ projects acknowledge and build upon the strengths and weaknesses of prior research efforts. Looking forward, however, students’ arguments simultaneously situate them at the forefront of what is known and put them in conversation with the future trajectory of our professions and of society more broadly.

Michael Hooper
Associate Professor of Urban Planning