Netherlands, Utrecht (NL)

Contemporary Cities, Challenges and Opportunities

when 6 July 2015 - 17 July 2015
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 900

Cities are both economic engines, dynamic, creative, cultural hubs and concentrations of poverty, inequality, pollution and congestion. While the benefits of urban life are plentiful, these challenges continue to grow. The aim of this two week course is to better understand the major challenges and opportunities confronting European and North American cities in the 21st Century. Specific attention will be paid to Dutch cities, through a combination of lectures, seminars and fieldtrips to Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven.

On the one hand, cities are economic engines and centres of innovation and culture. They attract people to live, work and study. They are where new ideas emerge, where capital accumulates and where trends in culture, lifestyle and entertainment begin. On the other hand, major cities also have concentrations of poverty, social problems, unemployment as well as pollution, congestion and issues of affordability. While the benefits of urban life are plentiful, these challenges continue to grow. The aim of this two week course is to familiarise students with the major issues confronting European and North American cities of the 21st century and the various ways in which these challenges are being addressed.

We will examine a wide variety of urban issues, including:
• Housing and different forms of gentrification
• Poverty, segregation and urban inequality
• Urban regeneration projects
• Immigration and ethnic settlement in cities
• Transport and mobility
• Planning and planning regimes
• Inter-urban competition
• The marketing and branding of cities
• (socially) sustainable cities for the Twenty-first Century

The first half of the course will focus on theoretical and conceptual understandings of these issues; the second half will use specific examples of cities in Europe and North America to illustrate how different challenges are met in different contexts. These sessions will be led by professors and lecturers from the Department of Human Geography and Planning. We will also conduct excursions to Rotterdam and Amsterdam to examine urban policies and problems in a Dutch context. The main assessment for this course will be the writing (in pairs) of a paper based on some of the main themes of the course. Students will be graded on their work in the course.

Course leader

Brain Doucet

Target group

Students from a variety of disciplines (not just geography), who are interested in learning about key issues in contemporary cities.

Course aim

To familiarise students with the major issues confronting European and North American cities of the 21st century and the various ways in which these challenges are being addressed.

Credits info

3 ECTS
Certificate of attendance

Fee info

EUR 900: Course + course materials + housing
EUR 560: Course + course materials

Scholarships

Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.

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