Course Title: The Urban Age

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: The Urban Age

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021

Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof Wendy Steele

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2302

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. 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. This course will provide the skills, knowledge and examples to critically engage with contemporary processes of urbanisation and urban life reflecting on the challenges and opportunities facing us in the urban age.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


Program Learning Outcomes 

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:  

  • Demonstrate creativity, critical thinking and innovation when identifying and solving urban and regional problems in diverse contexts and assessing implications of decisions and actions.  
  • Communicate ideas using diverse formats and strategies to academic and professional audiences within and external to the discipline of urban and regional planning. 
  • Critically reflect on the interconnectedness of environmental, social, economic systems both locally and internationally and apply in your professional practice or further study. 


Course Learning Outcomes 

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on urban theories and recent developments in understanding cities in theory and practice
  2. 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.
  3. Effectively argue and advocate for a preferred set of policy outcomes to help address urban and environmental planning, policy and management challenges.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities include lectures and structured discussions. Structured discussions are based on your readings of key texts, in which you will explore some specific aspects of theories, and concepts to examples.  

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.  

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

Assessment Tasks

  1. Reflective reading and facilitated discussion 30% (Individual task linked to CLO 1,2,3)
  2. Presentation of key concepts /debates 30% (Group task linked to CLO 1,2,3)
  3. Major analysis of urban theory and practice 40% (Individual task linked to CLO 1.2.3)  

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 manager or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.