GY206      Half Unit
Urban Geography and Globalisation

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ryan Centner STC601c


This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Economic History and Geography, BSc in Environment and Development and BSc in Geography with Economics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

This course introduces students to the intersection of urban geography and the geography of globalisation, with the aim of understanding key references in academic debates, and their relevance for real-world social, economic, and political issues in our cities today. The course offers a critical, human-geographical perspective on ‘global cities’, how these manifest in different parts of the world, how they matter for distinct realms of urban life, and how we can study features of global urban geography. Themes include empires, development, and cities; ‘global cities’; ‘Third World cities’ or ‘cities of the global South’; urban spaces of neoliberalism; new geographies of urban theory; and planetary urbanisation. We examine cases related to migration, sexual minorities, the circulation of ideas, and gentrification. Examples come from both the ‘global North’ and the ‘global South’, with the aim of helping students understand when and how these categories may be useful.


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures, in-person lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures across Michaelmas Term.


This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.

Formative coursework

The formative work will be an essay plan that directly prepares students for the summative work.

Indicative reading

Sassen, Saskia. 2001. The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. Second edition.

Brenner, Neil and Nik Theodore (eds). 2002. Spaces of Neoliberalism.

Davis, Mike. 2006. Planet of Slums.

Robinson, Jennifer. 2006. Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development.

Brenner, Neil and Christian Schmid (eds). 2014. Implosions/Explosions: Towards a Study of Planetary Urbanization.

Ghaziani, Amin. 2014. There Goes the Gayborhood?


Essay (65%, 2500 words), class participation (20%) and presentation (15%) in the MT.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2019/20: 51

Average class size 2019/20: 13

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication