Urban Theory, Policy and Practice in the Global South

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Gareth Jones S506 and Dr Hyun Shin S416

Dr Ryan Centner


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is available on the MSc Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Development Studies (Research), MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Local Economic Development and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course concentrates on key urban policy debates in the developing world particularly over the past two decades. It highlights the interconnections between evolving urban ideas and research, policy and practice. Topics include Urban Bias; the State and 'Public' Policy; World-Class Cities and Policy Mobility; Social Life of Cities; Slums and Squatter Upgrading; Right to the City and Evictions; Access to Land and Security of Tenure; Environmental Justice; Urban Governance and Participation; East Asia and Urban Accumulation; Post-socialist Transition; Privatisation and Urban Policy; Security and Gated Estates; Social Capital; Livelihoods, Youth; Violence and Conflict cities. Dedicated lectures will draw from staff research with particular emphasis on Argentina, Mexico, India, South Africa and post-socialist countries including China.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

One essay of 1,500 words (formative).

Indicative reading

A comprehensive reading list mostly focussing on articles will be provided. Useful books include: S Chant, Gender, Cities and the Millennium Development Goals in the Global South, 2007; D Chavez & B Goldfrank, The Left in the City: Participatory Local Governments in Latin America (2004); K Datta & G A Jones (Eds), Housing and Finance in Developing Countries, Routledge (1999); M Davis, Planet of Slums (2006); A Durand-Lasserve & L Royston, Holding their Ground: secure land tenure for the urban poor in developing countries, Earthscan (2001); M Hamza & R Zetter (Eds), From Welfare to Market: The State, Aid and Policy Shifts in Urban Development Programmes, Earthscan (2002); S Graham, Cities under Siege: the new military urbanism (2010); G A Jones & D. Rodgers, Youth Violence in Latin America (2009); K Koonings and D Kruijt (Eds), Mega-Cities: the politics of urban exclusion and violence in the Global South, Zed (2009); C. Moser, Ordinary Families, Extraordinary Lives: assets and poverty reduction in Guayaquil, 1978-2009, Brookings (2009); C Rakodi (Ed), Urban Livelihoods: a people centred approach to reducing urban poverty, Earthscan (2002); A. Roy and A. Ong (eds.) Worlding Cities: Asian experiments and the art of being global (2011); H de Soto, The Mystery of Capital, Bantam Books (2001); F Wu (Ed), China's Emerging Cities: The Making of New Urbanism (2007); R Forrest & J Lee (Eds) Housing and Social Change: East-West Perspectives (2003); G Andrusz et al, (Eds), Cities after socialism (1996); D Pinder, Visions of the City (2005); Y-t Hsing, The Great Urban Transformation (2010).


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 12.2
Merit 64.4
Pass 23.3
Fail 0

Teachers' comment

Please note that this course has had different staff combinations in each of the last three years and will be different again in the next academic year. The curriculum has remained broadly consistent over time.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2012/13: 17

Average class size 2012/13: 8

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 100%



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