GY459      Half Unit
Urban Theory and Policy in the Global South

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Mara Nogueira


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

The number of students that can be accommodated is limited. If the course is over-subscribed, places will be allocated at the Department’s discretion and a waiting list may be created. For further details, please contact your relevant Programme Coordinator.



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. Anticipated topics include The City and the Urban Paradigm; Social Life of Cities; Gender, Poverty and the city, Inequality and Slums; Class and Elite spaces;  Governance and Rights to the City; Resilience and Environmental Justice, Violence, conflict and security. Dedicated lectures will draw from staff research, with particular emphasis on Brazil, Colombia, India, Mexico, South Africa and The Gambia.


20 hours of lectures and 16 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:

  • A. Amin & N. Thrift Seeing like a City (2016);
  • S. Chant & C. McIlwaine, Cities, Slums and Gender in the Global South (2016);
  • M. Davis, Planet of Slums (2006); 
  • S. Fox & T. Goodfellow, Cities and Development (2016);
  • E. Glaeser, Triumph of the City (2012);
  • S. Graham, Cities under Siege: the new military urbanism (2010);
  • Y-t Hsing, The Great Urban Transformation (2010);
  • K. Koonings and D. Kruijt (Eds), Mega-Cities: the politics of urban exclusion and violence in the Global South, (2009); 
  • C. Lemanski & C. Marx (eds) The City and Urban Poverty, (2015);
  • M. Murray, The Urbanism of Exception: the dynamics of global-city building in the twenty-first century (2017);
  • S. Parnell & E. Pieterse, Africa's Urban Revolution, (2014); R. Rolnik, Urban Warfare: Housing under the Empire of Finance (2019);
  • A. Roy & A. Ong (eds.) Worlding Cities: Asian experiments and the art of being global (2011);
  • A. Simone, City Life from Jakarta to Dakar, (2010); 
  • Ward, P.M., Jimenez Huerta, E.R and M. Di Virgilio, Housing Policy in Latin American Cities: a new generation of strategies and approaches for 2016 UN-Habitat III, (2015).


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (50%, 2500 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 23.6
Merit 48.3
Pass 28.1
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2018/19: 25

Average class size 2018/19: 14

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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