Urban and Regional Planning 01
Global and local urban development are not only shaped through conscious planning and design strategies, but driven by broader processes of political-economic restructuring associated with the logics of capitalism, modern state power and diverse forms of socio-political mobilisation. This course provides students with a broad introduction to key topics in contemporary geographical political economy. It surveys a wide variety of methodological strategies through which scholars have attempted to decipher the forces that are fostering planetary urbanisation and that are shaping contemporary cities and city-regions under conditions of heightened geo-economic volatility, deterritorialisation, widespread adoption of entrepreneurial politics and ensuing resistance from popular movements. After covering a variety of foundational readings on theory and method of global urbanism, and surveying some of the key positions in recent debates on neoliberal urbanism, the course explores topics such as austerity governance, housing / social reproduction, sociospatial polarization, large-scale infrastructures and social struggles over the “right to the city”. This course critically examines the relationship between sustainability, resilience, vulnerability, land development, urban governance, urban form, and social conflicts. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, it considers the intertwined effects of human behavior, technology, and political economy on the search for sustainable urban form and liveable, just cities. Intent of the course is to introduce the role of the built environment in relation to issues including energy use, social equity, economics, global division of labour, migration, and demographic change. The course consists of two classroom sessions every week, combined in one single 3 hours block. In general, there will be a lecture during the first session, while the second period takes the form of a seminar, or better, that of an interactive workshop, in which the students’projects will be presented, discussed and further developed.