Urbanity, Smart Cities, and Civic Intelligence

Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters

Taught by

social informatics, computer supported cooperative work, computer science, software engineering

For the first time in history, the population of the world’s city dwellers exceeds that of their rural counterparts. While the trend to crowd ever more people into cities continues, the impact of cities on the rest of the world is still profoundly felt. Cities are the economic engines that help determine the state of the rest of the social and natural worlds. And cities use resources and have ecological impacts that extend beyond their boundaries. They are also the seat of much of the cultural production and technological innovation which has broad implications for everybody.

Throughout the program we will employ a civic intelligence perspective into our exploration of cities. Civic intelligence is the capacity of groups, organizations, or societies to address their shared issues effectively and equitably. Complementary themes which may be integrated into the program include sustainability, climate change, varieties of social change, art, math, science, philosophy. Several city related technological efforts may be intergrated in the program, including the Seattle Community Network and the MyNeighborhood project involving Lisbon, Milan, and other European cities.

We will explore the physical forms of the cities as well as the forces they exert beyond their physical boundaries. We’ll look into things like history of social innovation in cities, urbanization in 20th and 21st centuries, current roles of the cities, responsibilities of the city, knowledge production in the city, mental and other maps, cities and power, manufacturing in the city. We will also explore a number of creative perspectives including annotating the city, appropriating the city, imagining the city, animating the city, and sensing the city.

Students who register for the 12 credit option will meet from 4:30 - 6:00 every Wednesday along with students in the undergraduate research offering that focuses on civic intelligence. In this setting student teams design and implement projects as part of the Civic Intelligence Research and Action Laboratory (CIRAL). Successful CIRAL work requires student initative and the ability to working independently and also as part of a collaborative team.


Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

Public adminstration, design and architecture, non-profit organizations

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening and Weekend

Advertised schedule: Every Wednesday, 6:15 pm - 10:00 pm, Four Saturdays each quarter (Winter Quarter Saturdays: January 10, January 31, February 14, March 7; Spring Quarter Saturdays: April 4, April 25, May 16, May 25). Additionally, 12 credit students meet every Wednesday from 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm.


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Research Possibilities

Students working with 12 credit option will have additional research possibilities. 

Registration Information

Credits: 8, 12 (Winter); 8, 12 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Course Reference Numbers

(8 credits): 20212
(12 credits): 20213

Go to my.evergreen.edu to register for this program.


Accepting New Students

Course Reference Numbers

(8 credits): 30230
(12 credits): 30231

Go to my.evergreen.edu to register for this program.

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