The Spring 2014 semester of Urban Studies 373 at Queens College was organized around the theme of “resilient New York City.” In the course, students critically examined urban resilience not merely as a technical fix or the latest environmental saavy, but as a new, post-Sandy regime for governing New York. In the first half of the semester, students were first introduced to resilience as a management approach whose usage has exploded since 2012. They then studied a series of environmental design proposals, architectures, municipal policies, and discursive statements –each of which are currently being ‘assembled’ together to form the resilience regime– critically analyzing each in terms of its political, social and economic implications. Students spent the second half of the semester developing and implementing their own research projects into a single ‘element’ of the resilience regime. They were free to choose their own methods and final project form, within two parameters: 1) the theme and final outcome of the project should be designed with their future career or life goals in mind, being beneficial to those goals in some way; 2) the project could not be a simple reiteration of resilience, but must analyze it critically according to a set of options discussed in class.

On the final day of the semester, students presented their individual projects, which, when put together, form a preliminary ‘map’ of the NYC resilience regime developing today in real-time. In keeping with the ‘oystertecture’ theme discussed throughout the semester, the class began by trying oysters for the first time.

To view the projects, click through the portfolio below.