Urban Development & Poverty in the 21st Century
Full course description
Since 2008 more than half of the world population lives in urban areas, according to the United Nations Populations Fund. Of particular concern is the fact that over a billion people now live in informal settlements or slums, where poverty and precarity are highly concentrated. Nevertheless, people continue to migrate to cities, and informal settlements continue to accommodate them. Despite their proneness to disaster, disease, violence and cultural tensions, they also appear to be focal points of vitality, opportunity and new initiatives. Modern urban growth and development have been inexorably entwined with the globalization of the economy and the agro-industrial industries. But who are the winners and the losers in these processes of global change? In some ways the city, as an urban space, can be conceptualized as a contested site, where various social actors pursue their agendas and enact their identities. This course investigates how cities and its citizens, and in particular the urban poor, and are affected by these developments, and what novel initiatives and perspectives with regards to urban growth are emerging.
Students understand challenges of urban development and poverty in the 21st century.
Davis, M. (2006), Planet of Slums. London: Verso. (+ several academic articles, book chapters, policy papers and websites)
Simone, A. (2010), City Life from Jakarta to Dakar. New York: Routledge