With great power comes great responsibility. As the Bay Area housing market continues to strain under wealth disparity, lack of affordable housing and the resulting homeless crisis, a UC Berkeley graduate program hopes to train a team of city planning superheroes. Their mission if they choose to accept it? Study sustainable practices in real estate development and design.
The Masters in Real Estate Development + Design (MRED+D) is an 11-month interdisciplinary degree program focused on innovative design and finance for future real estate developers who care about building booming, fair and sustainable urban areas. Subjects to be covered include urban economics, property and land-use law, project feasibility analysis, finance and the iterative thinking process of design.
It’s being touted as a “degree for the future,” a buzzworthy phrase that still holds considerable heft in the Bay Area. It seems what makes this program so forward-thinking is the inclusion of design which hopes to “prepare students to grapple with the major forces [that] will increasingly shape real estate development in the future: climate change and sea level rise, cities devastated by economic change or residential displacement, automated vehicles and next gen energy technologies.” No pressure, kids.
While graduates career paths as a real estate developers will be more white collar than hard hat, it’s a chance for a sometimes villainized profession to approach city planning with socially progressive ideals — aka how to look out for those who are unable to cut the largest check.
The curriculum will include five real estate development seminars, three design seminars, one elective, an “Omnibus Studio, in which collaborative teams investigate a complex domestic or international development project” and a Capstone Project. You can learn more about the graduate program here.