GY470 Half Unit
This information is for the 2017/18 session.
Dr Claire Mercer STC.418
Dr Claire Mercer will deliver the majority of course content and will be Course Manager.
Professor Sue Parnell (Visiting Professor, LSE Cities) will deliver two lectures on the course.
This course is available on the MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
This course is available to students in other departments and on other programmes where their regulations allow, and if there is space on the course.
The course begins with three introductory weeks that provide the foundations for understanding contemporary urban Africa: the geographies and pre-histories of urban Africa; the colonial African city; and ideas that frame urban Africa.
The rest of the course will look at key issues currently facing African cities drawing on contemporary policy debates and research in human geography, urban studies, anthropology, sociology and planning studies. These include: urban economies, livelihoods and poverty; inequality; urban risk and resilience; urban governance; rural-urban connections; infrastructure and services; and urban form.
10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.
There will be a Reading Week in Week 6.
Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT and 1 essay in the Week 6.
Formative assessment  will prepare students for the summative assessment , the policy brief. Across two seminar sessions students will present a draft policy brief on an issue of urban development in an African city of their choice. Students and staff will be able to peruse the draft policy briefs and comment on them in the seminars.
Formative assessment  students will practice essay writing by submitting a 1500 word essay, to be completed during the Reading Week, critically evaluating the concepts and ideas that frame urban Africa which were introduced at the start of the course.
de Boeck F and S Baloji (2016) Suturing the city: living together in Congo’s urban worlds, Autograph ABP, London
Diouf M and R Fredericks (eds) (2014) The arts of citizenship in African cities: infrastructures and spaces of belonging, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Obeng-Odoom F (2016) Reconstructing urban economies: towards a political economy of the built environment, Zed, London
Myers G (2011) African cities: alternative visions of urban theory and practice, Zed, London
Parnell S and E Pieterse (eds) (2014) Africa’s urban revolution, Zed, London
Pieterse E and AM Simone (eds) (2013) Rogue urbanism: emergent African cities, Jacana Media with African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town
Quayson A (2014) Oxford Street, Accra: city life and the itineraries of transnationalism, Duke University Press, Durham and London
Robinson J (2006) Ordinary cities: between modernity and development, Routledge, Abingdon
Simone AM (2004) For the city yet to come: changing African life in four cities, Duke University Press, Durham and London
Coursework (40%, 1200 words) in the LT.
Essay (60%, 3000 words) in the ST.
Summative assessment  – 40% of overall mark – students will submit a 2 x A4 policy brief on an issue of urban development in an African city of their choice.
Summative assessment  - 60% of overall mark – a 3000 word essay – students will submit a 3000 word essay addressing an issue of urban development in an African city from a critical perspective.
Department: Geography & Environment
Total students 2016/17: Unavailable
Average class size 2016/17: Unavailable
Controlled access 2016/17: No
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Specialist skills