TRP111 Cities

Module Coordinator: Tom Goodfellow


Tel: 0114 222 6913

Room: F16

Module Overview

The main aim of this module is to introduce you to our urban condition in a global context. Within this broad aim we will connect you to a range of key issues in contemporary urban studies and help you to understand more about the roots of urban problems and questions of social inequality and social justice within that context. This a general course that aims to develop an understanding of urban social life, economies, political systems, urban order/disorder and a range of other themes in an international context. Throughout the module, we aim to encourage students to think comparatively, comparing and contrasting urban processes across and within specific cities around the world.

By the end of this lecture series and after reading the core readings students will have:

  1. An appreciation of the diversity of cities across the world in terms of their material standard of life and their economic, social, cultural and political relations;
  2. An understanding of some of the ways in which specific urban spaces inter-relate with urban economic, social and political practices;
  3. An appreciation of some of the economic, social, cultural and environmental problems of cities, and the conflicts between different groups that these give rise to;
  4. An understanding of some of the processes through which these problems are managed and tackled.

Study Hours

The university recommends that you spend 100 hours on a 10-credit module. This will include:

  • Lectures
  • Discussion sessions
  • Self study

Module Breakdown

Topics included in teh course usually include the following (please note that these may be subject to minor changes):

• Introduction to the module - cities and the global urban system
• Social spaces of the city: inclusion and exclusion
• Gentrification and community change
• Urban informality in the ‘Global South’
• Housing and urban marginality
• Latin American urbanism
• Crime, disorder and violence
• Migration and urban change
• Mega cities and cities of the East
• African cities: Fragmentation and insecurity
• Urban mega-events and social justice
• Urban problems, course review and essay workshop


Essay (1500 words) (100%)

Key Readings

  • LeGates, R. and F.Stout (eds) (6th ed.) (2016) The City Reader, London: Routledge. (various editions, all slightly vary but with excellent coverage, any is a good investment)
  • Gottdiener, M., Budd, L., & Lehtovuori, P. (2015). Key Concepts in Urban Studies (Second Edition). Sage Publications. (This is a very useful text that provides short, succinct explanations and discussions of key concepts in Urban Studies. It is relatively inexpensive (especially the first edition, which is also fine) and a worthwhile investment).
  • Bridge, G. and Watson, S. (2010) The Blackwell City Reader, Oxford: Blackwell.

Skills Badging

Communication skills: With essay writing required as part of the assessment for this module, written communication is greatly enhanced.

Analytical & Problem Solving Skills - Through lecture content focus on real-world issues and problems.

Research Skills - From searching and locating relevant academic sources to help write the essay.

Before you Start

If you have the opportunity you could begin by looking at one of the textbooks (the City Reader is particularly good) to start to familarise yourself with key ideas and concepts.