Urbanization and Development

This course examines the relationship between urbanization and development through an historical and contemporary lens, paying close attention to the ways that the growth and structure of cities in the late-industrializing world has influenced the economic, social, and political prospects of residents and their host nations, as well as vice-versa. Students will learn how to interrogate and deconstruct the assumed relationships between urbanization and economic development. Although the latter is frequently understood as employment and prosperity conditions driven by market and investment dynamics at territorial scales that both include and transcend the city, students will also be encouraged to think about "de-growth" strategies and the politics underlaying the emergence of this discourse. Students will become versed with the inter-relationships between urban growth and national or global economic priorities, on one hand, and the connections between cities and their surrounding regions on the other. They will then be asked to consider the implications of these relationships for equity, inclusion, ecological sustainability, and social as well as environmental justice, with the aim of identifying potential actions to advance these aims. In addition, we highlight the social and economic exigencies of citizens in the face of these relationships, examining their capacities to accommodate, modify, or reject the priorities, projects, and policies imposed by planners, designers, governing authorities, investors or other capitalists, and multilateral development agencies with specific urban development agendas. Readings draw primarily from Latin America, South Asia, East Asia, and the Middle East, although on occasion evidence from Europe and the United States is used for contrast.

Due to the Labor Day holiday, this course will meet for the first time at its standard time on Wednesday, August 31st. This course will meet in Piper Auditorium for the first class on Wednesday, August 31st.