GEOG 277 Geography of Cities • 5 Cr.


A study of the location and function of cities as well as their internal layout and the cultural and economic components of these urban areas. Case studies cover all regions of the world from North America to Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the impact of the physical environment and the local economic resource base within urban spheres of influence on city growth and development over time.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the role played by cultural attributes upon urban development. The student should be able to evaluate the impact of cultural factors on urban growth. Discussion will explore the changes in attitudes over time that can be observed as the diffusion and adoption of new ideas and attitudes can alter the course of city growth and development.
  • Demonstrate a recognition of the role of socio-economic and political factors in fostering or encumbering urban growth. Emphasis will be placed upon studying a variety of case studies at different scales of enquiry. Regional differentiation will be explored both within and between countries
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the causes and consequences of the processes of industrialization and de-industrialization on city growth. Students should be able to evaluate the role played by primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors of an economy as it evolves over time. Study will compare and contrast industrial and post-industrial urban landscapes as well as newly industrializing societies and those that have displayed very limited growth in recent years.
  • Demonstratean awareness of the impact of globalization and the diffusion of ideas and technology in the way it has influenced the morphology of cities over time.
  • Demonstrate a recognition of the importance of intra and international movements of goods and commodities. Discussion will consider the characteristics of globalization and its role in urban activity.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of theories of urban growth and regional inequalities, including concepts and ideas of core and peripheral economic development and of rural to urban migration, counter-urbanization and growth in post-industrial cities.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of urban areas will be secured by the use of a wide variety of urban case studies from both industrial and developing world regions.