Events, news, and opportunities

Urban Studies Film Series, Spring 2015

6:30–8:30 PM
Diana LL 103
H2Omx (2014)
A film by José Cohen



Built on a basin surrounded by mountains and with little drainage, Mexico City is facing a water crisis driven by geography, population, and history. With a growing population, a depleted aquifer, and 40 percent of the water being brought in by aqueduct from another drainage area being lost to leaky pipes, the challenges are huge. From stunning shots of millions of gallons of water on the move to Mexico City and aerial views of a drainage canal choked with miles of garbage, to interviews with those trying to solve the water problem and those who must live with it every day, H2Omx captures the complexities of trying to provide one of the most basic of human rights—access to clean water—to one of the world's megalopolises.
Free screening. All Barnard and Columbia students are invited.
No RSVP necessary. Refreshments will be served.




Program Planning Meeting

April 13
6 PM
Diana 203
Barnard Campus

Please join us for our Spring 2015 informational meeting, where we will give a general overview of the courses being offered next term, answer questions about our curricular requirements, and discuss the unique opportunities that the Barnard–Columbia Urban Studies program has to offer.

All Urban Studies majors, faculty members, and prospective students are invited to attend.

Pizza and drinks will be served.





Wednesday, February 4 at 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

115 Avery Hall, Columbia University



A reflection on urban planning –synergy between theories, methods and instruments - is posed with high priority when it comes to cities located in developing countries;  in particular with respect to small and medium-sized cities, with the highest rates of population growth; and where their authorities who suffer most from the lack of financial and human resources to be able to anticipate and address these issues.  Hence the question whether there is indeed urban planning really appropriate to these contexts and able to resolve the issues confronted by the stakeholders, and not a simple replication of Western models.


Jean-Claude Bolay

Jean-Claude Bolay is Director of the Cooperation & Development Center ( and Professor of urban development at EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne). By training he is sociologist (bachelor) and political scientist (PhD, on rural – urban migrations in Mexico) He has been heading several urban research projects in developing countries, focused on urban upgrading actions, social participation, urban environmental issues and capacity building in much diversified contexts as Bolivia, Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Vietnam, China, Cameroun and Burkina Faso, to cite some of them. He teaches at the master level in the Architecture section of EPFL since 1995, and supervise presently 4 PhD collaborators.