Case Studies

The MIT Case Study initiative is creating multimedia educational content for built environment educators.

Launched in 2016, the team is developing a new software platform and a library of multimedia case studies in partnership with MIT Faculty. 

The Case Study method is a proven pedagogical approach to teaching in many practice-based disciplines such as business, public policy, and law. Undergraduate and graduate programs in urban planning, real estate, urban policy, and related fields rely heavily on site-specific examples, even though case-based learning has not yet been integrated into these fields’ curriculum. 

Existing case studies used in built environment education do not cover topics relevant for these disciplines, and are being produced in the same manner that they have been for decades. Many professors use the same documents created years ago.

MIT Case Studies are tailored to educators and students in built environment professions. They are built to help students develop an emotional connection to the site and better understand the complexities facing urban decision-makers around the world. Professors around the world will be able to customize MIT cases to better fit the needs of their classrooms, and even create their own content to suit their students’ needs. 

The MIT Case Study Initiative is a program of the Samuel Tak Lab Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab, in the School of Architecture + Planning.

By the end of 2017, the Case Study Initiative will release five cases for user testing:

Re-thinking Urban Revitalization in Panama City, Panama
Faculty Investigator: Albert Saiz, Associate Professor

Real Estate Entrepreneurship in Beijing, China
Faculty Investigators: Dr. Andrea Chegut, Research Scientist and Director of the MIT Real Estate Innovation Lab and Dr. Yu-Hung Hong, Lecturer and Director, MIT Sam Tak Lee MIT Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab

Climate Change Resiliency in Southeast Florida, USA
Faculty Investigators: Miho Mazareeuw, Assistant Professor, and Fadi Masoud, Former DUSP lecturer and Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism in the Daniels Faculty at the University of Toronto

Local Impacts of a Real Estate Megaproject in Johor, Malaysia
Faculty Investigator: Lawrence Susskind, Professor

Public-Private Partnerships to Achieve Transit-Oriented Development in Mexico City, Mexico
Faculty Investigator: Chris Zegras, Associate Professor

The Team


The MIT Case Study Initiative was founded and originally envisioned by Albert Saiz, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Real Estate. It is now overseen by Siqi Zheng, Samuel Tak Lee Associate Professor of Real Estate Development and Entrepreneurship and Faculty Director, Samuel Tak Lee Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab.

Related News & Events

Danya Sherman, case study initiative manager for the STL Lab, and her team traveled to south Florida to film an MIT Case Study that explores planning in the face of severe weather impacts resulting from climate change.

Last May, the STL Lab’s Case Study Initiative released its inaugural Request for Proposals to solicit our first round of MIT Case Studies. We received 11 applications, and are proud to announce that the following six applications were approved. The research teams will work with the STL Lab’s creative production team over the course of the next year to collaboratively develop unique multimedia, immersive, and thought-provoking learning experiences. Stay tuned for updates regarding the further development of the Case Study Initiative.