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Reading New York Urbanisms - Summer 2016

Reading New York Urbanisms is a required class in the first semester of the Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design (MSAUD) program at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. The goal of the class is to introduce students to New York City as a laboratory of historical experiments in both designing and interpreting the urban environment, to provide future urban designers with the observational and representational tools to “read” the city and the multiple forces that influence its physical form and social experience. Working in groups, students created short videos documenting the sense of place in sites that ranged from infrastructural systems like Grand Central Terminal and the Gowanus Canal to ethnic enclaves like Chinatown and Little Italy. From Roosevelt Island to Red Hook, these video portraits reveal underlying urban conditions and illuminate cultural, demographic, architectural, and environmental readings of the city.

Generations, Chinatown

Chinatown, a neighborhood in Manhattan, was built by old generation of Chinese immigrants, and is now raising a new generation. This generation didn’t have the struggle between keeping the old tradition and fitting in the new society like their parents did. Chinatown is changing. Old generation shows their concerns about the change, while the young are catering the change optimistically. The two generations, under the influence of different culture, education and environment, hold different attitudes toward the future of Chinatown.

Shuman Wu, Tianyang Xie

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