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City Futures (ABPL20045)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5Not available in 2019

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Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeABPL20045
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

What is the future of the polis? Exploration of past and present conditions of urban ordering and development inform understanding of 21st century challenges for cities and urban societies. This subject critically examines imagined city futures from historical and contemporary perspectives, incorporating concepts and approaches from utopian literature, critical urban theory, popular media and technology and philosophy to explore how the ‘city’ is understood as a physical realm, a social realm, and an imagined realm. Students will be able to speculate upon the future of the polis, and their place in shaping or being shaped by the urban condition. The subject also encourages students to consider radical approaches to city shaping and tangible strategies for creating more utopian cities.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Critically analyse historical and contemporary views of cities and civilization as utopian or dystopian;
  • Explore cultural, environmental, economic, social, and political contexts of urbanism historically, today, and in the future city;
  • Identify the forces that influence the way cities are imagined historically and today, and how these imaginations are articulated and/or negotiated;
  • Critically analyse the role of utopia today in terms of how it is imagined and applied, and what factors obstruct the realisation of utopian ideals if such ideals are relevant;
  • Suggest ways that the city could be changed, influenced or recreated to embed value-laden ideas about the ‘good city.’ 




Generic skills

Upon completion of this subject, students should have enhanced their skills in:

  • Critical reading and analysis of literature and theory;
  • Critical analysis of social, cultural and political contexts;
  • Development of logical arguments;
  • Written and verbal communication of an academic standard;
  • Report-writing skills and experience in proposing design or policy interventions that reflect values and contexts.


Last updated: 26 July 2019