The Works: Infrastructure Challenges + Opportunities

Real Estate Development

Spring 2013

Kate Ascher, instructor

As seamlessly as they have expanded to accommodate demands far beyond those envisioned in the nineteenth century, infrastructure networks around the world are struggling to adapt to the challenges of the twenty-first century. Once the driving force behind the rise of towns and cities across America and elsewhere, the development of adequate energy, water and transportation networks today lags behind real estate development in many parts of the world.  This course looked at the connections between infrastructure and real estate in economic development – both over time and today – to understand the challenges and opportunities that these largely invisible systems present to developers today. It takes the New York region as its laboratory, but also incorporates case studies from other American and foreign cities – focusing particularly on those who have best used infrastructure to their advantage in promoting successful development. It also grappled with the questions of infrastructure financing, and examines the role that the development community can play in mitigating the impact of shortfalls in public sector infrastructure spending in cities around the world.