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GEOG 2016

Introduction to Urban Geography

  • Credits: 3
  • Level: Undergraduate, Year 2
  • Semester: 2
  • Status: Core course for BSc/BA major (Geography) and BSc Geography.
  • Pre-requisites: GEOG 1901; or GEOG 1131 and GEOG 1132 or HOD permission (from 2013/14).
  • Course coordinator:Dr. Priya Kissoon
  • Note: replaces GEOG 2007. Students who have already completed that course may not additionally take this one.

Course coverage

Geographical patterns and processes within cities and between cities; approaches to urban geography and city-studies; urban transformation, form, and structure; the economy and the city; cities and culture; images of the city; experiences of the city; housing and residential segregation; transportation and mobility; sustainability and planning.


Urban Geography is the study of cities as systems which are spatially distributed and linked to one another. As systems, cities have internal structures that reflect their unique social, cultural, political, and economic histories. Cities also exist in relation to other places, with linkages to other cities in a global system. The patterns, distributions, and relationships between places influence urban dynamics, just as what goes on in cities influences their relationships within the global system. Urban Geography will cover a range of topics, such as the historical evolution of cities, contemporary globalization, land use and urban governance, housing, immigration, and sustainability issues. The course will emphasize cities as complex and dynamic forms, and urban places as living environments where structures, patterns, and processes have consequences for people's health and well-being.

Course description

Introduction to Urban Geography provides students with: the foundation of concepts, terms, and themes essential to the study of advanced Urban Geography; opportunities to recognize and investigate the complexity of city forms and city life; and the space to reflect critically on the seeming neutrality of the built urban form and processes.You will develop both a theoretical understanding of how urban processes shape your everyday social worlds as well as practical knowledge of what you can do to shape your urban environment. Although this course mainly uses North American and British-derived frameworks and case-studies, students are encouraged to apply a Caribbean lens to frameworks and theories, to consider the limitations of contemporary urban theory from a predominantly "global north" perspective, and to re-imagine and re-theorize from local and regional perspectives and contexts. There will be opportunities throughout the course for you to interrogate "the urban", explore issues and examine solutions, and to consider critically the applicability of theories and concepts to the "global south" generally, and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago particularly.

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