After this course, students will be able to:
- mention key elements of world cities and to distinguish these cities from other city types;
- describe the development of world cities and urban systems from a social, political and economic perspective, especially with respect to inequality issues;
- describe and explain the effects of world cities and urban systems on everyday life, living, working and mobility in the city;
- gain experience in writing and presenting in English.
Three main themes will be dealt with during this course:
What are world cities and how are they related to each other? This question will focus on the economic, social, demographic and political aspects of major world cities. It will also examine the links and networks between cities, and the role which infrastructure and communication networks play in developing these urban systems
How have macro trends such as deindustrialisation, globalisation and the rise of the service sector influenced the development of world cities? These forces have had different impacts on different types of cities. Major industrial cities such as Manchester or Detroit have lost much of their importance, while cities such as London or New York have benefitted from being at the centre of global trade and finance.
Are polarisation and inequality an inherent part of world cities? World cities attract migrants, both highly skilled and unskilled. This creates large clusters of both affluent and poor inhabitants. In world cities, this polarisation is evident in urban slums, poor immigrant neighbourhoods and squatter settlements, as well as in gentrified areas, rich enclaves and gated communities. What are the experiences of living in these communities?
Latest information about the course can be found in the course manual.