[skip to content]

Cities: Exploration in Urban Geography

Course Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 2

This module examines the patterns and processes of urbanization in the twenty-first century, with reference to cities located, primarily, in Europe and North America. It describes and evaluates the character and importance of the cities we live in, as well as some of the problems that urban inhabitants face. This shows that people in cities are confronted by problems of different kinds including poor shelter, environmental pollution and degradation, and inequalities in access to urban goods and services. This raises key questions about social justice and equity in cities, and the social and environmental sustainability and management of urban areas. The module is organised around five themes: (a). A world of cities; (b). Understanding the city; (c). The patterning of urban space; (d). The production and management of city spaces; (e). Ecological futures.

For more information and to check that this course is running, please contact Dr Debby Potts, the Head of the SOAS Geography programme (debby.potts@kcl.ac.uk)

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the completion of the module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the main conceptual and theoretical debates relating to urban geography; the changing social and economic patterns and processes in cities; systematic understanding and knowledge of social, economic, and political processes shaping cities; understanding of the policy implications of urban change and process and be able to undertake analysis of complex, incomplete or contradictory areas of knowledge in relation to urban geography.


The module comprises 16 lectures, 2 seminars, and 1 field visit. You will be divided into six groups and preparatory reading must be done in advance of the meetings. The groups will be notified to you by week three of the module. The field visit will occur in week 9.