Each member of the collaborative thesis group is writing a thesis related to civic engagement, shared-wealth generation, or urban sustainability in an American city. All six group members are second-year masters student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT,
The group has been meeting since the fall, and currently meets once a week at CoLab under the direction of Professor Lorlene Hoyt, who designed the vision for the group and advises most of its participants.
The cities they cover between them are: Oakland, California; Kansas City, Missouri; Lawrence and Lowell, Massachusetts; The Bronx Bronx, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; Camden, New Jersey and Boston, Massachusetts.
The group aims to take the concept of a masters thesis, a document that requires a great deal of time to prepare but is often relegated to a university library shelf, and elevate it to a dynamic product that can be useful to the cities it examines. Each thesis writer will make a technical assistance document and media piece to supplement her research. These additional products are designed to reach practitioners and community members.
In yesterday’s meeting, the group devoted one hour to each of three group members, examining their research and writing. The students were engaged and active for the duration of the meeting because they are invested in each others work. Their blackboard brainstorm was vigorous:
Photos by Anne Emig.