GY459      Half Unit
Urban Theory and Policy in the Global South

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Gareth Jones S506, Dr Ryan Centner S601 and Prof Sylvia Chant S515


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is available on the MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Development Studies (Research), MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), 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 aims to provide a grounding in key debates in urban studies and policy with reference to the Global South. It highlights the interconnections between evolving urban ideas and research and policy. Topics include The City and Urban Bias; the State and 'Public' Policy; Social Life of Cities; Gender and Poverty, Inequality, Slums and Elite spaces;  Governance and Participation; Rights to the City; violence and conflict cities. Dedicated lectures will draw from staff research, with particular emphasis on Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, India, The Gambia, South Africa.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT.

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: Beall, J. and S. Fox, Cities and Development, (2009); 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); 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); Parnell, S. and E. Pieterse, Africa's Urban Revolution, (2014); A. Roy and A. Ong (eds.) Worlding Cities: Asian experiments and the art of being global (2011); A. Simone, City Life from Jakarta to Dakar, (2010); H de Soto, The Mystery of Capital, Bantam Books (2001); F Wu (Ed), China's Emerging Cities: The Making of New Urbanism (2007); Y-t Hsing, The Great Urban Transformation (2010).


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2500 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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