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 SSC 241 Urban Geography



More than half of the globe’s population now lives in cities. But the experience of urbanism differs radically between cities, spaces within cities, and individuals. Urban geographers, have been at the forefront of understanding the global and local processes shaping cities, of making sense of the urban experiences of a wide variety of social groups, and in analysing the economic and social challenges and problems confronting cities.

This course aims to provide students with a solid grounding in the history, key concepts and major theories in urban geography, and with an understanding of the changing nature of cities across the globe.  Starting from the premise that cities are characterised by both a spatial form and a complex web of relations between people, the course is divided into three parts: An introductory part which provides students with the theoretical and historical context for our further urban enquiries; a second part dealing with aspects relating to urban form and planning; and a final part which examines qualitative aspects of cities, namely how people live in and experience urban spaces.

One theme to re-emerge throughout the course is that of social and spatial variability in the city.  More specifically, we will consider four forms of variability.  First, urban geographers approach and interpret urban dynamics in diverging manners.  Second, the city never holds still but rather changes over time.  Third, the city is also variable across space as similar urban dynamics manifest themselves differently in different cities.    Finally, cities are experienced differently by the diverging groups of people inhabiting urban space.  Thus, there exists no one real or true way of describing cities but rather a variety of approaches to and representations of cities which illustrate co-existing realities.​


Dr. Fatima Mueller-Friedman​


Human Geography


One of the following is required in order to take this course:

·        SSC 141 Introduction to Human Geography

·        SSC 111 Introduction to Sociology

·        SSC 131 Introduction to Socio-Cultural Anthropology

·        SSC 151 Introduction to Political Theory

·        SSC 243 Environment and Society

·        SSC 341 Power and Space

·        SSC 343 Sustainable Development

·        Or by permission from the instructor​