What does it mean to live in a city? Can you reshape people’s lives by redesigning city spaces? How do city dwellers, architects, politicians, and others interact with and appropriate their own urban past? This interdisciplinary course will introduce students to different ways of looking at cities, framing them as the contested products of a range of human actions. Through an in-depth examination of four complex urban environments – Chicago, Istanbul, Delhi, and Rome – we will learn about the interplay between space, aesthetics, time, memory, and power. Weekly lectures by an anthropologist, an architect, and a historian will complement discussions of film, historical documents, fiction, and relevant case studies. In addition to writing four short papers, students will hone their analytical skills by observing urban life and form with a series of field studies in the city of Rochester.