CPT871 - Housing in a Globalising World

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCPT871
External Subject CodeK450
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Peter Mackie
SemesterSpring Semester
Academic Year2015/6

Outline Description of Module

Housing plays an extremely important part in our lives: it meets the basic human need for shelter whilst also often offering an opportunity for wealth generation as a commodity to be bought and sold. This module critically examines housing systems and policies across the globe. It considers the major similarities and differences between countries in Europe, the USA, SE Asia, Africa and Latin America. The module examines how the needs of different groups are met by the market (eg through private house building and renting), the state (eg through low cost housing provision) and by the actions of individuals (eg through informal house building, squatting and homelessness). The module challenges students to think critically about housing policies and to draw upon experiences across the globe to develop better and more socially just solutions. 

On completion of the module a student should be able to

How the module will be delivered


This module will be delivered through five mechanisms:


  1. Lectures. Early lectures will introduce students to cross-cutting housing issues and concepts, whilst later lectures will explore the housing challenges and systems in particular countries and regions. Attendance at lectures is essential, not only for the understanding of key housing policies and issues across the globe but also the approach to developing a critique of housing policies. Students will be expected to follow a similar approach when undertaking the assessment for the module.
  2. Seminars. Seminars will generally not require students to undertake prior reading – these are not reading seminars. Seminars are included in the programme to enable students to focus on specific, emerging issues and concepts. Lectures inevitably provide a broad overview, whilst seminars offer the opportunity to think more critically about very specific issues. Seminars play an important role as the issues explored can be used as examples of possible policy responses in student assignments. Additionally, students are encouraged to begin working in groups from the outset so they are familiar with their peers for the group assignment.
  3. Guest speaker presentations. Several sessions will be delivered by expert guest speakers. Guest speakers bring a depth of understanding either form practice or on a particular geographical region.   
  4. Group presentations. Students will be required to attend a session where they present their plans for their group report to the class. This provides an opportunity to provide students with feedback, whilst also learning from the plans of their peers.
  5. Field study visit. Students will visit Cardiff’s largest homelessness hostel in order to understand the ways in which housing poverty is experienced in Wales and the policy and practice responses to it.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Skills practised and developed through the module will include:

How the module will be assessed

Students will be assessed through two mechanisms. The first is a formative piece of assessment where groups of students will be required to prepare a presentation which describes, evaluates and makes recommendations for improvement for the housing policies of a country of their choice. The presentation will be given to the lecturer and the class, who will then provide feedback. This should inform the group report which constitutes the summative assessment for this module. Both the presentation and the group report will require students to demonstrate they have met all five learning outcomes of the module.

Group Report (100%)

The opportunity for reassessment in this module

Students are permitted to be reassessed should they fail the module. A student failing the module would be required to produce a 4,000 word individual report, rather than re-write their element of the group report. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer.




Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 100
Group Report
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

The module will begin with an introduction to the different roles played by housing; as a shelter, a place of belonging, and a commodity. After the introductory lecture, the module is split into two sections; the first explores a series of key topics and the second embeds these topics in a selection of country case studies.

 Section One

The first section of the module will begin by examining different forms of housing; from publicly funded social housing and illegal slum housing, to privately developed and owned properties. Having developed a good grasp of the significantly different uses and forms of housing across the globe, we will then consider the relationship between housing and globalisation; why is it that irresponsible lending in the US might result in the expansion of urban slums in Africa?  The module then focuses on those households who fall out of the housing market and face housing poverty and homelessness. 

Section Two

The second section of the module will explore housing policies and practices in a diverse range of countries and regions, including; Europe, the US, China, Africa and Latin America. In the final session we will draw comparisons between different housing policies in order to identify lessons for future improvement. All sessions are mandatory.

Essential Reading and Resource List

Clapham, D. (2002) ‘Housing pathways: a postmodern analytical framework’, Housing, Theory and Society, vol 19, no 2, pp 57-68.

Drakakis-Smith, D. (2010) Urbanisation, housing and the development process, London: Taylor and Francis

Jenkins, P., Smith, H. And Ping-Wang, Y. (2007) Planning and Housing in the rapidly urbanising world, London: Routledge.

Kenna, P. (2012) Contemporary housing issues in a globalized world, Farnham: Ashgate.

Background Reading and Resource List

Journals are a key part of the academic literature. It is in journals that current research is published and many contemporary debates are played out. You should include journal articles in your reading. As well as targeting them for specific topics or articles, it is worth regularly looking at the latest volumes in order to get a sense of what is going on in the discipline. Many of these can be accessed on-line via the Cardiff University Library service. Key Housing and Development journals that you have access to as a member of Cardiff University include: 

 Housing Studies

 Habitat International

 International Journal of Housing Policy

 Housing Policy Debate

 Housing Theory and Society

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