An Urbanising World: Cities, Capitalism and the Environment

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Geography and Environment
  • Application code SS-IR203
  • Starting 2020
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

Urbanisation is one of the most crucial processes of change in the world today. It is also one of the most hotly debated topics across the social sciences.

The course begins with exploring the concept of the ‘urban’ in urban studies literature by examining what urbanisation means to the governments, businesses and people whose lives are affected by changes to the built environment of cities and to the ecosystems that support them. It moves on to consider urban contestations over policy, planning and development among a wide range of stakeholders, from real estate developers to social movements to international NGOs.

This interactive  course will draw on examples of urban policy and planning practices from both the global North and the South, with emphasis on Asia, Latin America and the North Atlantic. It will also include a field visit to central London.

Session: One
Dates: 22 June – 10 July 2020
Lecturers: Professor Hyun Bang Shin and Dr Mara Nogueira



Programme details

Key facts

Level: 200 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: One examination and one essay

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional

**You will need to check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


At least one introductory course in the social sciences (politics, sociology, economics, geography, anthropology, history).

Programme structure

  • An Urbanising World and Comparative Perspectives
  • The Political Economy of Urbanisation
  • The Politics of Land
  • Financial Capitalism and Urban Crises
  • The Politics of Displacement
  • Planetary Gentrification
  • Urban Infrastructure
  • Urban Ecologies and Climate Change
  • Security, Threat, and the City
  • Field Trip in East London (led by course professors)
  • Cities and Citizenship
  • Cities and Spectacles – Mega-Projects and Mega-Events
  • Urban Contestations and Struggle for Progressive Cities

Course outcomes

  • Critically understand key contemporary debates on urbanisation and urban development
  • Display comparative knowledge of urban transformations in different parts of the world
  • Evaluate the social implications of urbanisation processes
  • Respond to the future challenges of an urbanising world


LSE Geography and Environment excels in the UK's nationwide assessment of research quality, impact and environment and in subject-based worldwide university ranking systems. The Research Excellence Framework results published in December 2014 show that LSE Geography and Environment ranked first overall in the UK for quality of published research output. 

The 2018 QS World University faculty rankings for Geography and Area Studies ranked the department No.2 in the world on the overall score, and No.1 for academic reputation. The Guardian’s university league tables 2016 also ranked the LSE No.1 for Geography and Environmental Studies.

On this three week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s Geography and Environment faculty. 

Reading materials

Lees, L., Shin, H.B. and López-Morales, E. (2016) Planetary Gentrification. Cambridge: Polity Press

Park, B-G. et al. (eds.) (2012) Locating Neoliberalism in East Asia: Neoliberalizing Spaces in Developmental States. Wiley-Blackwell

Robinson, J. (2006) Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development. Abingdon: Routledge

Roy, A. and Ong, A. (eds.) (2011) Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global. Wiley-Blackwell

Zeiderman, A. (2016) Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá. Duke University Press

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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