Geography 428: Global Cities


The global world is an urban world. Why do globalization and urbanization seem to go hand in hand? What factors are driving the rapid pace of urbanization and is this inevitable?

This class will give you a solid grounding in the academic literature on global cities, and lots of in-depth case studies of how cities around the world are responding to global pressures. We will think about the economy and labor markets of global cities, housing conditions and the growth of slums, migration to global cities, the international organizations charged with shaping urbanization, and the governance of global cities. Also, how are cities in the U.S. South being shaped by global pressures?

We will use lots of active learning techniques (in addition to some lectures) that will have you researching particular cities and their issues, designing policy briefs, and debating academic concepts and measurements.

l  Understand the debates on the origin and meaning of a “global” and “globalizing” city

l  Critique the concept of a global city network

l  Analyze the economic and labor market transformations in global cities

l  Understand the idea of “globalization from below”, and the ways in which people and their everyday lives are impacted by globalization and migration patterns

l  Describe and critique how urban settlement patterns are being reshaped by global trends

l  Evaluate the ways in which people and organizations are contesting globalization and its impacts on cities