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This subject examines how the spaces inside cities, the qualities and resources of their built environments, and the features of their neighbourhoods and communities, enhance or limit the opportunities of different groups of city dwellers. Starting from conceptual positions that foreground inequality, difference and encounter, we ask who benefits and who loses from particular socio-spatial arrangements. Issues investigated will include: the growth of gated communities for the wealthy; homelessness; the privatisation of urban public services; cities as the spaces of identified social groups (women, youth, those of particular ethnicities) and the urban activisms associated with such 'differences'; interactions in public space and in the micro-public places of the multicultural city. Cases and examples will be drawn from cities around the world, primarily from developed countries. Students will explore the socio-spaces of Melbourne in research for their major essay.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who complete this subject will:
- Recognise key debates in academia, media and policy circles about the challenges of social diversity in contemporary cities
- Distinguish between feminist, postcolonial, and Marxist approaches to thinking about questions of social class, gender, ability, age, race and ethnicity in urban contexts
- Investigate how the spaces inside cities, their built environments, and the features of their neighbourhoods and communities, enhance or limit the opportunities of different social groups
- Apply critical theory to analyse cases from cities around the world, primarily from developed countries, with a focus on the city of Melbourne
Upon successful completion of this subject, students will have:
• developed their ability to evaluate critically different theories and analytical approaches;
• improved their capacity to translate this knowledge into applied analysis;
• gathered and created new information about urban conditions; and
• improved their communication skills in public presentation about their own research project and findings.
Last updated: 3 December 2022