Urbanization and Development

Urbanisation and Development

Lecturer:Dr. SHEN Jie (Ph.D)

Credits:3 Fudan University credits, 5 ECTS equivalent

We now live in a rapidly urbanizing world: half of the world’s population now lives in cities and all trends point to the rise of scores of multi-million “megacities” and a dramatic increase in urban populations across Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Cities highlight the best and worst of everything and also reveal the most remarkable contradictions of our time. This course 1) provides an introduction of how to understand and analyze urban process and urban change; 2) introduces issues confronted by citizens, planers, policy makers and citizens in both urbanized and rapidly urbanizing areas. Throughout the course, we will take a comparative approach to the topics, not only drawing case studies are drawn from different regions in the world, but also paying a particular attention to the ongoing urban transformation in China. 

The course is organized in four main segments. The first segment, entitled ‘foundations of urbanization’ introduces the course’s key themes and builds up theoretical foundations about urbanization in relation to economic development. Segment two, entitled ‘process of urban development’, focuses on the physical dimension of the cities, exploring the power of urban landscapes and how the cities are built. The third segment, entitled ‘people and place’ highlights social dimension of urbanization and urban socio-spatial inequality. Finally, the fourth segment, entitled ‘governing global urbanization’, explores changing urban governance and policy making in responses to urban problems. Besides, 2 field trips to Lujiazui, Pudong (A case of globalization and mega-projects), Thames Town, Songjiang (a case of suburbanization and transplanted landscapes) would be arranged. 


Part I Foundations of urbanisation

Week 1 Introduction: urbanization, the urban future, the way to look at your cities

Week 2 The origins and growth of Cities in the world: urbanisation and the urban system

Week 3 Economic reform and urbanisation in China

Part II Process of urban development

Week 4 Globalization and World Cities

Week 5 Field trip to Lujiazui, Pudong

Week 6 The City as text: Architecture and Urban Design

Week 7 Urban development process

Week 8 How neighborhoods change

Week 9 Suburbanization and suburban development

Week 10 Field trip to Songjiang New Town

Part III People and Places

Week 11 Rural-urban migration and urban villages in China

Part IV Governing urbanisation

Week 12 Sustainability and the development of eco-cities

Week 13 In-class Presentation

Week 14 Final take-home exam submission