The New Global Planning Practitioner - 4.S25J | 11.444J

Special Subject: Urban Housing — The New Global Planning Practitioner — THE "TAJIK TRUCK": A Mobile Planning Service for Rural Villages — 'No Village Left Behind'

instructor: Reinhard Goethert
semester: Spring 2017
credits: 3-0-6 G
schedule: W 5-7
location: 3-329
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor
Enrollment: Limited


  • 2/21/17 - Subject number change from 4.232/4.233 to 4.s25 (now a graduate level only subject); no need to adjust your registration as it will be done for you.) 

The course couples the emerging drone technology with development practice for the Third World. A mobile planning service for rural villages will be explored as a way to provide planning and related services. It adapts planning practices to remote villages using drones as the means of inexpensive data collection coupled with advanced software to generate planning indicators for effective planning, development and monitoring.

The course explores self-contained designs based on locally available vehicles, with the inclusion of necessary plotting hardware for generating 2D and 3D images, and computers, all powered by solar energy for self-contained service.

Additional rudimentary medical and educational service and internet access is to be considered for ‘Full-service” village support.

Village support precedents will be explored, and potentially actual drone images from Mongolia will be used to test software analysis.

Political implications will be examined as potential ‘bottlenecks’ to widespread use.

Tajikistan is typical of the development situations with difficult to reach rural villages. Interest has been expressed by various development groups, hence the slogan ‘Tajik Truck’. However, it would be applicable to many other development situations, for example in large parts of Africa and remote regions of Latin America and other parts of Asia.

The course requires active research involvement and is not listener-oriented. The goal is a sufficiently detailed framework for a mobile planning service, for submittal to the MIT 100K Competition for further development.

Additional work required of students taking the graduate version.