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City leadership is at the heart of some of today’s major global challenges. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #11 aims to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” Cities are at the heart of global challenges, from climate change to health, inequality and economic development, and have become active participants in proposing solutions to address these.
This subject focuses city leadership, the institutions and trends that underpin it, and a set of strategic skills needed to deliver effective urban governance in the wake of these international challenges. The business of managing ‘who gets what, when and how’ in cities is becoming an increasingly complex and international job that goes beyond the purview of locally-oriented urban managers. Instead, it is intertwined with the agendas and influence of private sector, academia and community groups. The politics and governance of cities is changing the world over: from a leadership and brokering role played by private actors, the emergence of entrepreneurial and global cities, to different dynamics in emerging regions in the South, and the importance of international agendas and geopolitics in influencing the future of cities. The course offers students a space where to engage with these changes, learn practical leadership skills, and do so in collaboration with a ‘resident’ international organisation (e.g. a UN agency) collaborating with University lecturers in the delivery of the course content.
City Leadership stimulates students to engage with these themes by offering practical, hands-on, tool for ‘new’ urban management for students pursuing both public and private sector careers. It puts an emphasis on responsibility and collective leadership as key skills for today’s urban practitioners, whilst encouraging sound academic research in urban governance. The course is designed to build capacity with students to take up leadership as a ‘strategic’ activity in urban governance with an explicit international focus to support the development of a globally oriented practice of city leadership.
Intended learning outcomes
At the successful completion of this subject, students will be able to:
- Identify different theories of leadership and their application to cities.
- Distinguish key issues of governance, entrepreneurship and promotion (branding/public diplomacy) as they pertain to cities.
- Critically compare the main drivers and trends in city leadership, internationally and across cities.
- Define, understand and apply principles of strategic engagement and negotiation.
- Evaluate the core factors shaping the critical, cognitive, creative and practical skills of leadership and negotiation in a city setting.
- Apply developed knowledge of leadership theories within city leadership roles.
- Develop high level writing and oral communication skills.
- Demonstrate capacity for critical, reflective and independent thought;
- Respond creatively and ethically to issues they confront;
- Demonstrate the ability to work independently or as part of a multi-disciplinary team; and
- Develop leadership and negotiation skills.
Last updated: 3 November 2022