PUBPOL 780-001

PUBPOL 780-001: Topics in Policymaking: Urban Public Policy, Focus Detroit

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Fall 2009
Credit Hours

Instructor: Steve Tobocman This course is about urban public policy (budget, fiscal, land use, economic development, environmental issues, ethics, public safety, government reform, etc.) focused on Detroit as a laboratory. It will use Detroit as the framework to cover these issues, one at a time, so that each week will focus on a different policy area as it applies to Detroit (and using other cities as models when there are great policy developments to be emulated). Students will do regular writing based upon their weekly readings and the course will incorporate a variety of guest lecturers with real world experience Finally, students will develop a "blueprint" for the next Mayor of the City of Detroit as their final papers. Each student (or, possibly, student team) will focus on a specific policy area and draft a chapter of the "blueprint". Given that the class will begin while there are two finalist Mayoral candidates before the November election and will end before the eventual Mayor takes office (but after the final November election), there will be a great opportunity to present the real Mayor with the “blueprint.” The course should be a welcome opportunity for students to put theory into practice; to learn a variety of both domestic and international policy issues; to deepen their understanding of Detroit and various public policy issues that affect large American cities; and create important connections and relationships between the Ford School, its students, and the City of Detroit.