CPT781 - Development and Urbanisation Processes

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCPT781
External Subject CodeK400
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Georgina Santos
SemesterAutumn Semester
Academic Year2015/6

Outline Description of Module

The module focuses development and urbanisation. It pays particular attention to development problems faced by developing countries as well as to the key urban debates in cities of the Global South.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

Students will gain knowledge and understanding of: (1) the differences between the concepts of poverty, inequality, economic development and human development and the measures and indicators that have been proposed; (2) the challenges of education, health and gender inequality in developing countries; (3) the obstacles poor groups in developing countries face in order to access credit and insurance and the solutions that have been proposed; (4) the impacts of rural-urban migration in developing countries; (5) the concept of urbanisation, the ‘urban age’ thesis and the way in which urban cities are often represented in research; (6) the links between urban form, governance and neoliberalism and the problems of gentrification; (7) the interdependency between humans and non-humans, including infrastructure, in urban life; (8) mobility challenges within cities; (9) cities as places of knowledge and innovation.

Students will also improve a number of skills they hopefully already have, and: (a) be able to orally present group work on a specific topic; (b) be able to critically engage with key urban debates in the form of an essay;  (c) be able to debate issues related to development and poverty on the basis of knowledge acquired through readings and at lectures; (d) be able to answer specific questions related to the different module topics in writing in a clear and concise manner.


How the module will be delivered

The module consists of lectures, group and class discussions, group presentations, and the occasional use of a relevant video. The group and class discussions promote skills in communication, as does the group presentation, thus helping achieve the skills described under learning outcomes. Most topics throughout the module are illustrated with at least one case-study, which helps put the concepts together.

Skills that will be practised and developed

During the course of the module there will be plenty of opportunities to practise and master a number of skills. Students will be expected to:

  1. write clear and concise answers in the form of short essays, critically analysing a topic in a logical manner and backing arguments up with academic references.
  2. be able to work individually as well as in a group to prepare a presentation
  3. debate a topic in class, justifying arguments in a reasoned way.
  4. read the latest research on a topic new to the student and be able to grasp the main points, regardless of the student’s background.

How the module will be assessed

There will be 2 summative assessments supported by formative assessments. The formative assessments will consist of one group presentation, to take place in a session half-way through the term and linked to learning outcome (5) and learning outcomes/skills (a) and class and group debates and discussions, to take place virtually every week, and linked to learning outcomes/skills (c).

Students are permitted to be reassessed (usually once) in a module which they have failed, in line with course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer.

A student failing the module will typically re-sit Assignment 1 (set of questions in writing to be submitted via Learning Central over the summer re-sit period). The student will be required to answer a similar set of questions, which will relate to the same topics but will not necessarily be the same questions set in the original assignment. In some instances, the student may be also asked to complete Assignment 2 again, also during the summer re-sit period.

Most of these assignments can be undertaken by students with almost any disability. However, individual cases will be catered for if a student were unable to complete any of the assignments described above due to a disability.

The potential for reassessment in this module

Students are permitted to be reassessed (usually once) in a module which they have failed, in line with course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer.

A student failing the module will typically re-sit Assignment 1 or Assignment 2, or both, depending on which assignment he/she failed.


Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 50
Assignment 1 - 2000 Words
N/A 1 N/A
Written Assessment 50
Assignment 2 - 2000 Words
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

Poverty, Economic Growth, Economic Development and Human Development. Measures (Gross National Income and Human Development Index). Millennium Development Goals. Inequality. Education. Financial markets, microfinance and insurance. Rural-Urban Migration (allowing different groups of students to concentrate on different aspects or case studies). Gender. Health. Colonial and post-colonial cities. Southern cities. African cities. Planentary urbanisation. Suburbanisation. Gentrification. Uncertainty. Informality. Mobilities. Policy mobilities.

Essential Reading and Resource List

Essential Reading and Resource List

Amin, A. 2007. Rethinking the Urban Social. City, 11, pp. 100-114.

Bissell, D. 2014. Transforming commuting mobilities: the memory of practice. Environment and Planning A, 46(8), pp. 1946-1965.

Brenner, N. and Schmid, C. 2014. The “Urban Age” in Question. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(3), pp. 731-755.

Brenner, N., Peck, J. and Theodore, N. 2010. Variegated Neoliberalization: Geographies, Modalities, Pathways. Global Networks, 10(2), pp. 182-222.

Cresswell, T. 2010. Towards a Politics of Mobility. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 28, pp. 17-31.

Lees, L. 2012. The Geography of Gentrification: Thinking Through Comparative Urbanism. Progress in Human Geography, 36(2), pp. 155-171.

McCann, E. 2011. Urban Policy Mobilities and Global Circuits of Knowledge: Toward a Research Agenda, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 101(1), pp. 107-130.

Ray, D. 1998. Development Economics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Chapter 14: Credit

Chapter 15: Insurance

Robinson, J. 2015. Thinking cities through elsewhere: Comparative tactics for a more global urban studies. Progress in Human Geography. http://phg.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/08/21/0309132515598025.full.pdf+html

Roy, A., 2011. Slumdog Cities: Rethinking Subaltern Urbanism. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35(2), pp 223-238.

Sen, A. 1992. Missing women. British Medical Journal, 304 (7 March), pp. 587-588.

Sen, A. 2003. Missing women - revisited. British Medical Journal, 327 (6 December), pp. 1297-1298.

Simone, A. 2004. People as Infrastructure: Intersecting Fragments in Johannesburg. Public Culture, 16(3), 407-429.

Todaro, M. and Smith, S. 2009. Economic Development. 10th ed. (or any subsequent edition). Harlow: Addison-Wesley.

Chapter 1: Economics, Institutions, and Development

Chapter 2: Comparative Economic Development

Chapter 5: Poverty, Inequality, and Development

Chapter 7: Urbanization and Rural-Urban Migration: Theory and Policy

Chapter 8: Human Capital: Education and Health in Economic Development

United Nations. 2015. The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015, New York.


United Nations Development Programme. 2010. Human Development Report 2010 - 20th Anniversary Edition: The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development, New York. http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2010/

Overview, pp. 1-9.

Chapter 1: Reaffirming Human Development, pp. 11-24.

United Nations Development Programme. 2015. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). http://www.undp.org/globalgoals

follow link to the actual charter).

Todaro, M. and Smith, S. 2009. Economic Development. 10th ed. Harlow: Addison-Wesley [chapters 1, 2, 5, 7 and 8].

United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Reports 1990-2011. New York.

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