Wicked Urban Problems in the News

Assignment 1—Wicked Urban Problems in the News Assignment Overview Wicked urban problems are all around us. They also appear in the news…often surrounded by controversy. This assignment will require you to conduct an analysis of the news to identify examples of “wicked” urban problems that are making headlines. Completing the Essay Search the news for articles addressing urban issues that fit the four criteria for “wicked” problems discussed in class. Identify three different wicked urban issues, with at least one news source per issue. Write an essay that clearly addresses the following for each of the three wicked problems you identified: –How easily can the problem be defined? –How easily can the cause(s) of the problem be identified? –How easily can a solution to the problem be identified? –What other issues are also linked to the problem? Your written essay should be roughly two single-spaced pages in length, and should be written in essay format (i.e. include an introductory and concluding paragraph, and content paragraphs consisting of well-structured complete sentences). Assignments are due Monday 1/25 by 4:30PM. Assignments should be submitted electronically as a Word or PDF document under the “Assignments” tab on Blackboard before the due date and time. After that point, the link will no longer be visible. NO late essays will be accepted. All essays should reflect your own individual work. Direct quotes must be cited properly using a consistent citation style throughout. Be sure to include a list of the 3 (minimum) news sources used to complete the assignment. Your essay should be thoroughly proofread for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. Essays containing excessive proofreading errors will not be accepted for credit.


For this assignment, I’d like you to look for news articles that address three different wicked urban problems.  For example, you might find an article about the growing homeless problem in a downtown park in one city, another article about a climate action plan initiated in another city, and a third article that discusses high rates of unemployment and lack of job opportunities in a different city facing economic decline.  In this case, in your report you would discuss these three wicked problems (homelessness, climate change, and unemployment) by answering the four questions posed in the assignment.  So in one paragraph about the homeless issue,  you would discuss how easily the problem of homelessness can be defined, how easily the causes of homelessness can be determined, how easily a solution to homelessness can be identified, and finally those problems that are linked to the issue of homelessness.  In a second paragraph you would apply these four questions to the issue of climate change, and in a third paragraph to the issue of unemployment.  Be sure to include links to the three (minimum) news articles used as sources in a works cited section at the end of your report.

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