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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Postgraduate Course: Global Cities: Seoul and comparative perspectives (ASST11110)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides an introduction to international urban studies, focusing on Seoul as a start and other global cities in comparative perspectives. We begin with basic questions about the nature of cities and different approaches to studying cities and urbanisation. We explore factors driving urban growth and how this growth affects urban environments. We then examine questions of social organisation and governance. In the final section of the course we address topics related to planning and the future of the city.
Course description The course explores urban politics and policies focusing on Seoul and, comparatively, on other global cities in East Asia. Over half of the world's population lives in cities, bringing new challenges to governance, environment and social stability. The need for cutting-edge research on changing urban lives is growing rapidly. Old metropolises have morphed into global cities. These, in turn, have become dynamic sites of artistic and scientific creativity, melting pots of ethnic and cultural diversity. Larger cities are competing with regions and states to be attractive economic and creative hubs. New forms of multilevel governance are taking shape, with profound implications for economic globalisation, hybridity and transborder mobility.

This course examines how globalisation shapes processes of social, cultural, economic and political transformations in contemporary cities. It uses the city of Seoul as its main vantage point on those changes, before proceeding with a select number of comparisons with other key Asian cities. Issues discussed in the course include the origins of global cities, transportation and access, housing and land, city poverty and gentrification, labour migration and multicultural society and environment and health and sustainability.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Class participation and attendance 10%

Mid-term assignment 40% (800 words) - Students can choose one type of assignment from various options of assignments, including video essays (2-3 group work possible), policy briefs, blogs, Wikipedia entries (2-3 group work possible), podcasts (2-3 group work possible), contrast two journal articles or editorials

Essay: 50% (3000 words)
Feedback *formative assessment with associated feedback for the final paper by week 7
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify and discuss different processes of urban change in terms such as urbanisation, history, politics, economy, city planning, culture, geography, sustainable development, and social change.
  2. Be familiar with the roles of urban planners and designers in improving urban areas.
  3. Identify the factors that help to shape city growth, as well as decline, in a historical context.
  4. Conceptualize the various functions of cities, both in themselves, and in the global economy, as well as to know the different groups that inhabit cities.
  5. Be aware of forms of urban inequality both within cities and between them.
Reading List
Brenner, N. and Keil, R. Eds. (2006) The Global Cities Reader, London: Routledge.
Sassen, S. (1992) The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Sassen, S. Ed. (2002) Global Networks, Linked Cities, London: Routledge.
Latham, R. and Sassen S. Eds. (2005) Digital Formations: IT and New Architectures in the Global Realm, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
UN-HABITAT. (2009) Global Report on Human Settlements 2009: Planning Sustainable Cities,
Abridged Edition, London: Earthscan.
Kim, Youngmi (2018) Mandalay, Myanmar: The remaking of a South-East Asian hub in a
country at the crossroads, Cities - International Journal of Urban Studies, 72: 274-286.
Rao, V. (2012) Slum as Theory: Mega-Cities and Urban Models, In Cairns, S., Crysler, G., and Heymen, H. Eds., The Sage Handbook of Architectural Theory, New York: Sage Publication, 671-686.

UN-HABITAT. (2008) State of the World's Cities 2008/2009, Harmonious Cities, London: Earthscan.
Neuwirth, R. (2006) Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A New Urban World, New York:
Brysona, J. and Wyckoff, W. (2010) Rural gentrification and nature in the Old and New Wests, Journal of Cultural Geography 27(1): 53-75.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills *Think critically and produce Masters-level work under pressure.
*Work independently, seeking relevant advice and support when necessary.
*Understand, interpret, and use scholarly resources.
*Gain global perspectives on the subject.
*Work on digital product development with confidence.
Keywordsglobal city,identity,development,urban policy,transportation,sustainability,gentrification
Course organiserDr Robert Winstanley-Chesters
Course secretaryMr Iain Harrison
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