Third World Urbanization
(City and Regional Planning: CRP 474/674)
Ithaca, New York, USA
During the second half of the semester students will chose readings which reflect their research interests, to complement the assigned texts.
Requirements and Evaluation
|25%||attendance and participation in discussions|
|25%||a research project
undergraduate students: 2-3000 words
graduate students: 3-4000 words
|15%||annotated bibliography or a literature review (due Oct. 23)|
|10%||presentations of readings and research results|
|10%||weekly reading responses (3-600 words)|
|10%||peer review of a research paper or case study (due Nov. 27)|
|5%||final evaluation of the class (due Nov. 27)|
ASSIGNMENTS AND CLASS SCHEDULEINTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
(Week 1, August 28)
What is urbanization and how can we study it? Why study cities in low- and middle- income countries? What is urbanization and how does it differ in richer and poorer countries? Is there a ‘natural’ form that cities should take? How do events in Los Angeles shape cities in Brazil?
CITIES AS A GLOBAL PHENOMENON
(Week 2, September 4)
Clark’s short book serves as a good introduction to study cities within a global context. We will discuss the major issues and use La Paz, Bolivia, a capital city in a peripheral country, as an example.
Reading response, 250 words. Do not restate the reading but use it to help frame a question that you will bring to the discussion. You may use this assignment as an opportunity to introduce yourself to the class and let us know what questions you would like to address during the semester. Post your response to the course website and bring three copies to class.
(Week 3, September 11)
A number of different theoretical approaches can be used to understand urbanization. This week’s readings reflect a range of these approaches. One challenge for the class will be to apply some of these approaches to the study of cities outside of North America and Europe. A second challenge will be to link theories based on the analysis of global systems to specific cities.
THE CITY IN HISTORY
(Week 4, September 18)
Cities are not twentieth century inventions. This week we retrace our steps and look at the growth of cities through the 19th century. We see that many of the earliest ‘global’ cities -- Beijing, Cairo, Istanbul, and Cuzco -- are in what is now considered the developing world. Many cities in developing countries were built as part of European colonial expansion.
PLANNED CITIES AND CITY PLANNING
(Week 5, September 25)
In some places, the design and construction of cities in developing countries has taken the form of monumental architecture. In Latin America, Ciudad Guayana and Brasilia were both constructed as civilizing, nation-building projects. These cities were conceived as model western cities to be built in the wilderness. In both cases, the visions of the planners and architects were not compatible with the economic and social needs of many of the cities’ residents who have actively reshaped both cities.
PART I. STREETS FOR LIVING AND MOVING
(Week 6. October 2)
We use Brasilia as our case. Holston’s book serves to raise certain questions about urbanization. We complement his work with readings from cities in other parts of the world. In following weeks I will ask you to bring in material from your research projects to compare with the Brazilian experience. As Holston does not address some topics of importance -- urban environments, for example -- we deal with those separately.
One feature of a ‘modern’ city is that streets are designed for cars not for people. The implications of this type of change affect every aspect of urban life. The three readings on Brazil present different perspectives on designing transportation systems in fast growing urban areas.
Problem statement for research project.
THE CITY IN HISTORY
Part II. Mid-semester Review
The mid-semester review will help us plot the course for the second half of the semester. I have included some readings and will add others, but, in general, I expect you to take an increasingly active role in shaping the remaining classes. In weeks 7-10 we will continue to parallel Holston’s book. I have, however, left room for you to contribute to the readings on these topics. In the final three weeks we will address topics to be determined by the class.
Students who have not presented readings in weeks 7-10 will work in groups to design the final classes. The group responsible for a particular class will need to meet with me and agree on readings and have a complete set of readings ready to be distributed one week in advance. (Ex. Readings for Nov. 6 must be handed out on Oct. 30. Students should define the agenda and then schedule an appointment with me the week of Oct. 23.)
Projects and case studies should be approved before break.
WORKING AND LIVING
(Week 7, October 16)
CITIES AND CITIZENS
(Week 8, October 23)
(Week 9, October 30)
PRODUCTION AND THE FORMAL AND INFORMAL SECTORS
(Week 10, November 6)
Outline of research project.
(Week 11, November 13)
Working draft of research project.
GOVERNANCE AND DECENTRALIZATION (subject to change)
(Week 12, November 20)
Peer review of drafts.
(Week 13, November 27)
Note: We may have to schedule an extra session to allow all students to present their work.
Papers due Dec. 4.
This course is offered as part of the graduate program in City and Regional Planning and is one of the recommended courses for the International Studies in Planning stream. The course was designed to help students understand the processes related to urbanization. The course attracts 12-18 (mostly non US) graduate students with international interests from Planning, Rural and Development Sociology, and Anthropology and is offered alternate years.
I structured the course as a seminar and required students both to write weekly reading reports and present the readings in class. We began this the first class during which, after a brief presentation, I distributed a number of short readings and divided the students into groups to discuss the material and then present their findings to the group. That exercise served to set the tone for the course. Given the diversity of the students -- two-thirds were non-native English speakers - I assumed that few students would do all the readings. To ensure the basis for discussion, students were responsible for reading the reviews posted by their peers.
I taught this course only once and would change the readings if I were to do it again for the same student body. I organized the middle section of the course around Holston's study of Brazilia, The Modernist City. The students, with little preparation in anthropology, found the book very difficult.
During the last four weeks of the semester students took responsibility for identifying and presenting readings related to their research topics.
Syllabus copyright ©2000 Ben Kohl. All rights reserved.
Permission to copy and use under "fair use" in education is granted, provided proper credit is given.