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Unit information: Cities, Housing and Public Policy in 2020/21

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Unit name Cities, Housing and Public Policy
Unit code SPOLM1072
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Izuhara
Open unit status Not open

s None



School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

At a time when the world’s urban population is greater than the world’s rural population, and when cities themselves are becoming increasingly globalised, this unit examines key issues facing citizens and policy makers in urban society. Drawing on eclectic literature including (but not limited to) urban studies, urban geography, sociology and political science, the unit addresses ways in which cities develop and change; the challenges they face; and how they are governed. The unit explores a wide range of interdisciplinary topics including globalising cities, gentrifying cities, cities and technology, healthy cities, and social conflict in financialised cities. The sessions will focus on specific policy issues such as housing and shelter, inequalities, sustainability, and new forms of urban governance. Policy issues will be explored in a variety of urban settings internationally.

The overall aims of the unit are:

  1. To develop students’ knowledge of contemporary urbanism in interdisciplinary context
  2. To develop students’ understanding of processes of urban governance
  3. To explore key issues in contemporary urban policy
  4. To elucidate the links between patterns of contemporary urbanisation and broader processes of global socio-economic and institutional change

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the wider social, cultural and economic context in which urban policy is framed and developed.
  2. Evaluate and debate the opportunities and challenges facing residents and policy makers in selected key policy areas.
  3. Propose and apply appropriate theoretical knowledge and critical understanding around patterns of contemporary urbanisation for the purposes of improving policy and practice.
  4. Demonstrate a wider understanding of the different policy priorities in different contexts.

Teaching Information

The unit will be delivered through blended learning involving a combination of lectures, group discussion and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

1 x written assessment of 4,000 words (100% and linked to ILO 1-4)

Reading and References

Bridge, G. and Watson, S. (Eds) (2010) The Blackwell City Reader 2nd Edition, Wiley-Blackwell.

Marcuse, P. and Madden, D. (2016) In Defence of Housing: The Politics of Crisis, Verso.

Ren, X and Keil, R. (Eds) (2017) The Globalizing Cities Reader 2nd Edition, London: Routledge.

Rossi, U. (2017) Cities in Global Capitalism, Cambridge: Polity Press.

UN-HABITAT (2016) Urbanization and development: Emerging Futures, World Cities Report

Relevant journals include: Urban Studies, Cities, Environment and Planning, International Journal

of Urban and Regional Research, Housing Studies