2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
GEOG3085 Contested Cities
20 creditsClass Size: 100
Module manager: Dr Sara Gonzalez
Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable
Year running 2019/20
Module replacesGEOG3021 European Cities and GEOG3800 World Cities
This module is not approved as a discovery module
Module summaryThis module is an exploration into the contested nature of cities across the world. Contemporary urban processes are not just the result of government policies but a much more complex and dynamic process of power, conflict and contestation implicating different actors in society. The module will teach students how to critically evaluate urban projects many of which are seen as beneficial for the community but which actually engender urban injustices. We will draw on examples from around the world to show how communities are struggling for better cities and connect these to issues in our own cities. Finally the module will also teach students skills about how to communicate research outside the university.
ObjectivesBy the end of this module students who have engaged well with the syllabus should be able to:
- understand the contested nature of urban development in the world today where a myriad of actors influence the shaping of our cities
- develop critical skills to analyse and evaluate urban development projects from housing regeneration to mega-events like the Olympic Games
- relate theoretical debates in critical urban theory to urban struggles on the ground
- develop research and communication skills to potentially impact on urban development processes
- produce accessible critical material for a wide audience.
- A critical understanding and analysis of the main trends shaping our cities today
- A familiarity with current global debates in urban studies
- A recognition of the contested nature of our cities today and the variety of actors and strategies influencing them
- An ability to understand and identify the roots and manifestations of urban injustice
- An appreciation of the global and interconnected nature of urban processes
- The development of skills towards being a responsible citizen in your own urban environment
- To learn the about the impact of academic research in communities and policy making circles.
Abstraction and synthesis of information from a variety of sources
Assessment and critical evaluation of the merits of contrasting theories, explanations, policies
Critical analysis and interpretation of data and text
Developing reasoned arguments
Plan, design, execute and report geographical research
Collect, interpret and synthesise different types of qualitative geographical data
Recognise the ethical, political and environmental issues involved in geographical debates and enquiries
Learn in familiar and unfamiliar situations
Communicate effectively (in writing, verbally and through graphical presentations) for diverse audiences
Use information technology effectively (including use of spreadsheet, database and word processing programmes; Internet and e-mail)
Identify, retrieve, sort and exchange geographical information using a wide range of sources
Work as part of a team and to recognise and respect the viewpoints of others
Manage time and organise work effectively.
Understanding the contested city
Main trends in urban development today
Introducing critical urban theory
What is neoliberalism and how does it manifest in cities?
Focus on neoliberal urban projects and policies: mega projects, regeneration, gentrification, privatisation of public space, the local state
Evaluating urban projects critically
Exploring the contested city: contemporary urban movements and struggles
Cities as sites for social conflict over the use and control of urban space
What are urban social movements how have they evolved in the recent decades?
Recent urban protest movements from around the world
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||166.00|
|Total Contact hours||34.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private study2X26= 52 hours reading to support individual lectures and to prepare for seminars and pass to progress reading summaries
30 hours reading, bibliographical research and preparation for critical report
50 hours reading, bibliographical research and preparation for essay
20 hours reading, research, fieldwork and preparation for group work
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackThrough seminar discussions staff will be able to gauge the general understanding of the main concepts discussed in this module and assess progress over the 2 semesters.
Through a critical report that will assess the students ability to incorporate academic work into a critical evaluation by mixing also different types of data and evidence.
Through a research-led essay that will assess the capacity to link knowledge and processes across different scales and realms.
There will be dedicated preparatory and feedback sessions for all two assignments and staff will be available in office hours for any consultation.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Essay||3,000 words essay||60.00|
|Report||2,500 word critical report||40.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 30/04/2019
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