Urbanization and International Development

This course undertakes a detailed examination of global urbanization in the context of international development. The course is divided into four components. It begins by briefly introducing the historical context for urban growth in the developing world, examining in particular colonial policies towards urban settlements and urbanization. The course then turns towards the challenge of defining international development, a task undertaken in part through a critical examination of key debates in development theory. As an example of these debates, the course will address the tension between poverty and inequality as measures of development. The majority of the course concentrates on the latter two sections. In these, it presents and evaluates the key policy frameworks and theoretical paradigms through which the challenges facing contemporary urban settlements in the developing world are addressed and understood. It then focuses on an in-depth analysis of the principal substantive challenges facing developing world cities, ranging from rural-urban migration and the rapid growth of informal settlements to conflict and entrenched poverty. The course makes a concerted point throughout of examining areas of overlap between developing and developed world experience, looking in particular at parallels between developing world challenges and the issues facing marginalized communities in North America and Europe. The course will be evaluated through in-class participation, weekly responses to assigned readings, a mid-term policy paper, three debates, a final project and a final presentation.