Usp2

SP2, Fall 2017

Essay Assignment Due Date % Grade
 

6-7 page paper (double spaced, 1 inch margins, 11pt font, between 2000 – 2500 words). Upload on Google Classroom.

 

Draft due in section on Nov. 15. Final copy due Nov. 21 25%

 

Instructions

Use this assignment as an opportunity to do some deep reading, and critical reflection, on a topic you find most interesting. Below I provide a structured way in which we want you to write this essay (the ABT Template).

Criteria for excellence:

(1) Sharply focused topic conveyed with well documented details drawn from three or more USP2 readings;

(2) Introduction is inviting, essay compellingly states the main topic, and lays out a coherent, logical story that includes all elements of the ABT Template (i.e., essay opens with a strong affirmative—AND/AND statement, followed by a BUT, and ending with a strong concluding THEREFORE statement;

(3) Purpose of your writing is very clear, there is strong evidence of attention to audience and your knowledge and/or experience with the topic is/are evident;

(4) Effective use of vivid words and phrases. Your choice and placement of words seems accurate, natural, and not forced; and

(5) Sentences are well constructed and have varied structure and length. You do not make and errors in grammar, mechanics, and/or spelling.

Format, delivery

6-7 pages (double spaced, 1 inch margins all around, 11pt font, between 2000 – 2500 words). Upload final copy (not the draft) into the Google Classroom site on or before Nov 21.

The ABT template.

· AND, AND. Opening Hook: Start with a strong affirmative statement about your topic (what it is and why it’s important/relevant/ worthy of our attention—e.g., Urban Forests are a form of green infrastructure. Green infrastructure in an important new concept; it is defined as_______. Researchers and scientists have begun documenting the many ways in which urban forests benefit humans and other life forms in cities. I will mention three especially important benefits, including 1, and 2, and 3….

· BUT. Now introduce the fly in the ointment, the problem, the tension, unresolved riddle, contested set of values, unknown territory–something that led researchers and scientists to pay attention to the issue: e.g., our urban forests are being cut down, destroyed by invasive bark eating beetles, suffering from climate change. Make reference here to the relevant scientific literature

· THEREFORE. Close here with the resolution –that is, what people decided to do about it, and what they suggest: E.g., Researchers who study urban forests recommend that each city adopts an urban forest element in their city’s development plan. Evidence suggests that adopting an urban forest element in climate action plans gives city residents many benefits that include, but also go beyond, climate mitigation. THUS: DELIVER YOUR PUNCH LINE, CLOSING, TAKE HOME MESSAGE

Source: Olson, Randy. 2015. Houston, We Have a Narrative: Why Science Needs Story. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. https://aobblog.com/2014/03/randy-olson-abt-model/

LIST OF TOPICS TO CHOOSE FROM (AND WRITE ABOUT)

Tell a brief story that illustrates some aspect of ONE, and only ONE, topic you find most interesting from the BULLETED LIST OF 23 TOPICS below. Weave into your topic-based essay at least three readings from USP 2, using the ABT template (include a bibliography at the end of your essay):

 

Week 1Global urbanization involves interlocking human-nature, urban-rural, economy-ecology relationships and interdependencies that have become increasingly complex and problematic.

1. Interlocking ecological and social stresses in the world’s cities are raising concerns about sustainability, resilience and justice.

2. The way in which scientists communicate research to the public has come under scrutiny.

3. Humanities planetary scale impact on earth systems, including climate, has given rise to new terms like the Anthropocene and Climigration.

4. On average, cities in the less developed regions were at higher risk of exposure to natural disasters and were more vulnerable to disaster-related economic losses and mortality than those in the more developed regions.

5. Persistent urban issues over the last 20 years include growing number of urban residents living in slums and informal settlements, the challenge of providing urban services, exclusion and rising inequality, rising insecurity and upsurge in international migration.

 

Week 2-3Theories and concepts that underpin our ideas, ethics and values concerning progress, innovation and development change over time; currently neoliberalism and the capital-mobility model (“free market capitalism”) has a major influence on urban, rural and regional development and planning.

6. Global place-making happens in the face of fierce inter-city competition for footloose capital.

7. Today the world is more unequal than it was twenty years ago: 75 per cent of the world’s cities have higher levels of income inequalities than two decades ago.

8. The trend toward “localization” is giving rise to a “bioregional transition” in theories and practices of urban and rural planning.

9. As a framework for action “bioregion is emerging as the most logical locus and scale for a sustainable, regenerative community to take root and to take place.” (Robert Thayer)

10. There is a Metrocentric bias in urban planning and regional development. This, in part, can be blamed for an impoverishment of rural wealth.

11. Faced with extreme events, cities increasingly understand that novel ways are called for to build resilience, in the process contributing to a more equitable environment

12. The UN-Habitat’s call for a “New Urban Agenda” is a response to pressure to redefine urban, rural and regional planning.

13. The socio-ecological and economic problems we face as a society are both technical and political. Having the technical solution is not enough if the political forces are not also addressed – that means understanding power – who has it and how do they use it.

 

Week 4. Most urban growth over the coming three decades will take place under “irregular” conditions referred to as “urban informality,” –the case of Mexico City is a good illustration of the dynamics involved.

14. Cities across the world are sprawling, and as such, densities are dramatically declining. In developing countries, a one per cent decline in densities per year between 2000 and 2050 would quadruple the urban land area.

15. Leaders of the “Colonia Ecologica Productiva (CEP)” movement in Mexico City argued that urbanization under conditions of resource and income scarcity demands the integration of concerns about the environment and development.

16. Too many cities today fail to make sustainable space for all, not just physically, but also in the civic, socioeconomic and cultural realms.

17. Planning capacity is grossly inadequate in much of the developing world. In the UK, there are 38 planners per 100,000 population, while in Nigeria and India the figure is 1.44 and 0.23 respectively.

Week 5. Green Infrastructure can strengthen local resilience to climate disruptions (e.g., fire, flood, and drought), “Bend the Curve” (reduce greenhouse gas emissions), and provide many other benefits.

18. Green infrastructure practices can be integrated into existing features of the built environment, including streets, parking lots, and landscaped areas.

19. Green infrastructure practices can be a viable option for managing stormwater in highly urbanized and infill situations where development density is desired and offsite mitigation is not a preferred alternative.

20. Urban landscapes have many small-scale pockets of space that are underutilized and sometimes unsightly. These spaces often are located in triangles at junctions of diagonal streets, in spaces between buildings, in vacant lots, or in corners of parking lots. These underused areas can be converted to a bioretention area or community garden with trees and attractive vegetation.

Week 6: It is far from certain that Sustainable Capitalism is possible. People perceive costs, benefits, and risks associated with free markets and government interventions very differently. Harvey argues that Capitalist Crisis has urban roots.

21. There is a Right to the City movement that challenges neoliberalism.

22. Capitalism and urbanization are intertwined in ways that impact the urban commons and claims on “the right to the city.”

23. Sustainability science is a new transdisciplinary field with an interest in regions as a useful unit of analysis for linking research to action. Bioregionalism draws on sustainability science.

 

 

Essay Rubric

Directions: Your essay will be graded based on this rubric. Consequently, use this rubric as a guide when writing your essay and check it again before you submit your essay.

 

Traits 4 3 2 1
Focus& Detail There is one clear, well- focused topic. Main idea is clear and well supported by detailed and accurate information (including 3 or more USP2 readings woven into the essay). There is one clear, well- focused topic. Main ideas are clear but are not well supported by detailed information (includes only two or less USP 2 readings).

There is one topic. Main ideas are somewhat clear. Only one reading woven into the essay. The topic and main ideas are not clear. No readings cited.
Organization The introduction is inviting, it compellingly states the main topic, and lays out a coherent, logical story that includes all elements of the ABT Template (i.e., essay opens with a strong affirmative—AND/AND statement, followed by a BUT, and ending with a strong concluding THEREFORE statement. The introduction states the main topic and includes all elements of the ABT template. The flow of the storyline is good but week in one or more parts. The introduction states the main topic but does not include all elements of the ABT template. The flow of the storyline is lacks coherence. There is no clear introduction, structure, or therefore statement at the end.
Voice The author’s purpose of writing is very clear, and there is strong evidence of attention to audience. The author’s knowledge and/or experience with the topic is/are evident. The author’s purpose of writing is somewhat clear, and there is some evidence of attention to audience. The author’s knowledge and/or experience with the topic is/are evident. The author’s purpose of writing is somewhat clear, and there is evidence of attention to audience. The author’s knowledge and/or experience with the topic is/are limited. The author’s purpose of writing is unclear.
Word Choice The author uses vivid words and phrases. The choice and placement of words seems accurate, natural, and not forced. The author uses vivid words and phrases. The choice and placement of words is inaccurate at times and/or seems overdone. The author uses words that communicate clearly, but the writing lacks variety. The writer uses a limited vocabulary. Jargon or clichés may be present and detract from the meaning.
Sentence Structure, Grammar, Mechanics, & Spelling All sentences are well constructed and have varied structure and length. The author makes no errors in grammar, mechanics, and/or spelling. Most sentences are well constructed and have varied structure and length. The author makes a few errors in grammar, mechanics, and/or spelling, but they do not interfere with understanding. Most sentences are well constructed, but they have a similar structure and/or length. The author makes several errors in grammar, mechanics, and/or spelling that interfere with understanding. Sentences sound awkward, are distractingly repetitive, or are difficult to understand. The author makes numerous errors in grammar, mechanics, and/or spelling.

 

This rubric is adapted from: wid.ndia.org/about/Documents/WID_EssayRubric.pdf

 

Essay Grading Criteria:

94-100 =  A 90-93   =  A- 87-89   =  B+ 84-86   =  B 80-83   =  B- 77-79   =  C+ 74-76   =  C 70-73   =  C- 67-69   =  D+ 64-66   =  D 60-63  =  D- <60      =  F

 

5

Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)