Urbanisation, Development and Poverty
Volledige vakbeschrijvingSince 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 mainly 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 has been inexorably entwined with the globalization of economy and the agro-industrial industries. But who are the winners and the losers in these processes of global change? As the world is experiencing a series of interlocked crises – the financial crisis, the food crisis, the population crisis, the climate crisis, the energy crisis – this course aims to examine the way in which these crises impact urban centres. 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, are affected by these developments, and what novel initiatives and perspectives with regards to urban growth are emerging.
Doelstellingen van dit vakLess than a decade after the optimistic Millennium Declaration the mood in the world seems to have fundamentally altered. The terms ‘hope’ and ‘opportunity’, that were central in development discourse, have made way for one term in particular: ‘crisis’. Against the background of growing concerns about climate change, a food crisis, an energy crisis and a world financial crisis are defining the global challenges of the 21st century. Not only are these crises global in nature and strongly interlinked, thus challenging the structures, institutions and processes of global governance, also the dominance of ‘the West’ is increasingly under attack, as some commentators are now ringing in ‘the Asian Century’. Further impacting the challenges of development is the fact that, according to the United Nations Populations Fund, 2008 marked the first time in history when more than half of the world population live in urban areas. Of particular concern is the fact that more than a billion people now live in slums, where poverty and vulnerability are highly concentrated. Nevertheless, the poor continue to migrate to these areas that are particularly prone to natural disasters, disease, violence and cultural tensions, as the slums are also focal points of vitality, opportunity and new initiative.
VoorwaardenSSC2046 Globalization and Inequality or SCI1016 Sustainable Development
Aanbevolen literatuur•Relevant academic articles, reports, book chapters and websites.
Tutorial group meetings, group work and lectures..
Composition of a Megacity file, presentation, and a take-home exam.