M.S. Metropolitan Design
Cities are by their very nature under continuous cycles of urban transformations. Yet, there are a few instances in the history of a city that the drive producing these transformations is accelerated by a cultural momentum that can become tremendously innovative. Such occurrences often signal a new period of civic consciousness contributing toward the creation of a better quality of urban living.
The Metropolitan Design Program at the College of Design focuses on the challenges confronting 21st century cities. As demographic shifts continue to reshape the urban and suburban territory, there is evidence to indicate that today more people are choosing to live in cities, attracted perhaps by the rise of a knowledge-based economy and hoping to achieve professional goals while partaking in the excitement of a renewed cultural and civic lifestyle. Today, cities and, perhaps more precisely, cities and their specific regions, are being rediscovered as potential magnets of creative energy and innovation. These city-regions have been able to create new and distinctive growth economies and lifestyles based on their ability to weave their transformative efforts, blending together the physical with the cultural—an essential integration, shaped by the physiographic characteristics of each specific region. Successful cities manage change over time while providing a quality-of-life that values the regional ecology and the role of the arts as agents to reinforce local place and identity, while developing a system of well informed decision-making that is built from a vibrant public vision for the future.
To achieve this multifaceted view of the city, the College of Design at the University of Minnesota developed the M.S. Metropolitan Design Program with an expanded view of Urban and Metropolitan Design that weaves together knowledge from professional practice and current theoretical debates regarding the future of the city. The program is open for students having professional design/planning degrees and graduate students currently pursuing master’s degrees in architecture or landscape architecture.