GLOBAL URBAN SYSTEMS
Urbanization is one of the most important phenomena in today’s world. The growth of cities and the urbanization of rural areas are irreversible due to the global shifts in technological, industrial, and service-based economies. World or global cities such as New York, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore that have become control centres for the flows of information, cultural products, and finance collectively sustain economic and cultural globalization, with implications for urban and regional transformations at all geographical scales. This core course focuses on the importance of global forces in shaping urban development and the changing role and functioning of cities and metropolitan regions in the global-city network, and their implications for individual welfare. It is also concerned with environmental challenges such as climate change, air pollution, solid waste crisis, and unfolding global pandemics which are closely linked with urbanization and the growth of cities as well as the recent emphasis on developing sustainable and smart cities. Wherever feasible, examples will be drawn from Asian global cities.
SOCIO-SPATIAL DYNAMICS OF CITIES
This course provides students with theoretical and empirical understanding on how urban spaces are constructed and reconstructed by social political processes such as industrialization and the development of capitalism, rural-to-urban migration, urban renewal, suburbanization and deindustrialization, segregation and gentrification, immigration, technological innovation, and the changing relation between the built environment and human behavior. It aims to teach students that spaces are not static geographical units, but are socially constructed and are overladen with unequal power relations and policy implications. In addition to basic theoretical concepts, case studies are also explored to help students better understand the relationship between theory and practice. Students are encouraged to design their own research projects on a specific topic related to urban dynamics in China