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Urban Health in Contemporary America


East Baltimore
4th term
Population, Family and Reproductive Health
4 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • Thursday,  3:30 - 5:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Robert Blum

Introduces students to the historical forces associated with the rise of the modern city and the fundamental characteristics of urban living in the U.S. Discusses the impact of the increase in urban settings on population health. Examines contexts of the urban environment that shape health including: the physical environment, housing, education, discrimination and racism, policing, and safety. Explores the complexity and diversity of the determinants of health among domestic urban populations.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the historical forces that led to the rise of cities in the U.S. and the social and economic factors shaping contemporary urban crises
  2. Develop and apply a framework for conceptualizing urban health, its components, and their interrelationships
  3. Assess the relative importance of the characteristics of contemporary U.S. cities in shaping the health of their populations
  4. Articulate the structural factors that lead to advantaged and disadvantaged populations in major urban centers in the U.S.
  5. Explain and discuss controversies in urban health from multiple perspectives
Methods of Assessment:

Participation: 24%, Photo Essay and Presentation: 19% Written Assignments: 57%

Enrollment Restriction:

No auditors

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

There will be 6 lab sessions and while most will take place between 5:15 and 7 PM on Thursdays there will be a couple exceptions. The April 5 lab will take place from 3:30 to 5:15 (and class that day will be at noon to 1:30 in E9519). On April 26, the tour of housing segregation in Baltimore will take place from 3:30 to 5:15 (to take advantage of daylight) and class will follow. The same is true for the tour of Turner Station tour on May 3 (for the same reasons). These is no class May 3; however, on April 30 there is a special symposium all day and students will be expected to come to half of the sessions as their schedules allow.