URSP1001 Introduction to Urban Studies

This course examines the historical evolution of urban spaces from a cross-cultural perspective. The course discusses the importance of cities to the economic, cultural, and political well-being of modern societies and examines how forces such as industrialization, globalization and urbanization, among others, have affected the structure and functions of cities. Seminal theories and recent discourses in urban studies are discussed to examine how and why cities develop and change and the various roles stakeholders have played in the course of urban developments.


Learning Outcomes

After taking this course, students should be able to:
1. Compare and contrast different schools of thoughts in analyzing and explaining urban developments;
2. Identify the specificities of urban development in Hong Kong vis-à-vis urban studies theories generated from other urban contexts;
3. Evaluate the roles of the state, the market and civil society in shaping urban transformations;
4. Identify the key elements of urban form and the forces of its transformation; and
5. Develop independent and critical thinking in applying theories to analyse concrete urban phenomena.


Course Syllabus

1. Introduction: What is ‘urban’?
2. Reading urban forms
3. Evolution of urban forms
4. City as a growth machine?
5. Socio-spatial polarization
6. Privatization of public space
7. Government vs. governance
8. Asia’s World City
9. Social activism
10. Diversity & multiculturalism
11. Planning together
12. Designing together
13. Reflections…

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