2019 Special Lecture: Urban Space for the Future

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Kiuchi Kumiko 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
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Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

There has been an unprecedented urbanisation around the globe. This course aims to provide students knowledge and a set of tools to think about urban space. By studying some of the issues in world cities as well as theoretical approaches to them, the course trains students' ability in observing and analysing urban space and in envisioning the city in the future that they would be part of both as a citizen and as a science expert.

Student learning outcomes

(0) To experience the pleasure of noticing elements surrounding your everyday life in urban space
(1) To understand the functions and meaning of the elements
(2) To familiarize yourself with the theoretical discourse related to (1)


Urban space, City, Modernisation, Literature, Cinema, Photography, Architecture, Everyday life, Media, Group work

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Each week students are assigned to read a short text of their choice from a reading list. They are asked to prepare notes to discuss them in a small group and eventually to report the content back to the class. Based on the key ideas and issues extracted from a small group discussion, we will open up a discussion to the class.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction to the course: "human scale" Understand a current debate about the future city in urban studies
Class 2 Urban Constellations Understand key issues, approaches, and problems involving urban space in different parts of the world
Class 3 Technology in modern life (sound in urban space) Understand key issues, approaches, and problems involving in sound studies and connect them to the everyday in urban space
Class 4 Changing sense of "Home" Understand key ideas and concepts involving "home" and domesetic space in city life in the context of modernity.
Class 5 Drawing out our future: an approach to sustainable urban development Understand key figures, ideas and concepts in social theories on urban space and sustainability .
Class 6 Preparing your group presentation
Class 7 Group presentations session 1 Give a group presentation and have an overall review of the course
Class 8 Group presentation session 2


Handouts will be provided in class and on OCW-i.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

S.M. Wheeler et al. (2014) Sustainable Urban Development Reader (NY: Routledge).
Matthew Gandy, ed. (2011) Urban Constellations (Berlin: Jovis).

The list of assigned reading will be distributed in the first week of the course.

*All reading materials are provided in class.

Assessment criteria and methods

Details of the assessment and assignment will be provided in the first session of the course.

Related courses

  • LAH.H312 : Special Lecture: Urban Space in Literature and Cinema

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Intermediate speaking and discussion skills in English


Content of the course and the class dynamics used in the course are subject to change depending on the number of students as well as their interest.

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