Course Title: The Urban Age

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: The Urban Age

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Wendy Steele

Course Coordinator Phone: 52302

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.11

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The city as shapeshifter poses a genuine conundrum for those who seek to shape urban change to achieve sustainable development goals and outcomes. Amidst the speed, magnitude and complexity of a climate of change, the urban age will defy conventional political and planning boundaries. Culturally, geographically and spatially specific, cities have a context. A global context of investment, technology and a footprint that extends beyond national or administrative borders, but also unique landscapes and settlement trajectories. Whereas cities were once seen as the problem in terms of crime, sprawl, congestion, poverty, social alienation, slums, pollution etc they are now viewed as opportunities for furthering economic, democratic, and sustainability goals. Where will this urban journey take us?

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course delivers the following capabilities:

  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on urban theories and recent developments in understanding cities in theory and practice
  • Critically analyse and reflect on the interplay of economic, political, social, cultural and ecological factors in cities that have led to the transition to the urban age.
  • Effectively argue and advocate for a preferred set of policy outcomes to help address urban and environmental planning, policy and management challenges

Upon successful completion of the course you will be able to demonstrate the following  learning outcomes:

  • analyse a range of contemporary urban processes and challenges by integrating experiential and observational methods with readings of scholarly literature, to identify a specific contemporary urban issue
  • assess the ways in which individual lived experiences of particular urban places is influenced by key social and environmental processes
  • identify, associate and synthesise key concepts of urban process and systems to effectively employ a vocabulary of concepts in planning policy development

Overview of Learning Activities

This course involves attendance at a lecture and  tutorial each week.

The lectures will contain presentations on key issues/topic related to the urban age and urban challenges.  The tutorials will be divided amongst a variety of activities, including student presentations, discussion of weekly readings and lecture material, and class activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The University Library has extensive resources for planning students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies [].

The Library provides guides on academic referencing: and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes. You will demonstrate your learning in this course by completing several pieces of work, one of which will be a research essay, and other pieces may include presentation of site observations in various media, oral presentations, group project, or short written exercises.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: