TRP631 Urban Development in the Global South

Module Coordinators: Dr Gabriel Silvestre and Glyn Williams

Email: /

Tel: 0114 222 6904 / 0114 222 6179

Room: D26 / D11e

Module Overview

This module looks at the challenges to urban development in the context of the global South: how are conflicting imperatives of ecological sustainability, social inclusion and economic competitiveness being balanced by practitioners, and what implications does this have for those living there? The unit will focus around work to understand how spatial planning systems are constructed and mediated by different actors. The unit will use a series of scenarios – representing some of the diversity of cities and conditions that exist in the global South – to develop understandings of how spatial planning systems might mediate development within these contexts.

Study Hours

The university recommends that you spend 150 hours on a 15-credit module. This will include:

  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Self study

Module Breakdown

Week 2: Intro to the module and to scenario 1- Masdar City
Week 3: Masdar City
Week 4: Masdar City
Week 5: Intro to scenario 2 - Johannesburg
Week 6: Johannesburg
Week 7: Johannesburg
Week 8: Group Presentations and feedback
Week 9: Intro to scenario 3 - Rio de Janeiro
Week 10: Rio de Janeiro
Week 11: Rio de Janeiro
Week 12: Group Presentations and feedback


  • Group assessments: 3 short, structured scenario reports (1x formative, 2x10% each)
  • Individual assessment: 2,500-word report (80% of total)

Key Readings

  • Fox, S and Goodfellow, T 2016. Cities and Development. London: Routledge (2nd Edition).
  • Pieterse, E. (2008). City Futures: confronting the crisis of urban development. London: Zed Books.
  • Segbers, K 2007. The Making of Global City Regions: Johannesburg, Mumbai /Bombay, São Paulo, and Shanghai. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press

Skills Badging

USP Specialist Skills - Urban environment and planning skills are built through critical engagement with city-level planning visions in three contrasting scenarios.

Communication Skills - interpersonal and communication skills are built through collaborative report-writing to summarise group work.

Analytical & Problem Solving Skills - Evaluation of policy documents builds critical thinking skills, and creativity through developing your own analysis.

Before you start...