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Human Geography and Urban Theory, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Kulturgeografi och urban teori

This syllabus is valid: 2020-06-01 and until further notice

Course code: 2KG158

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Human Geography: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: A Excellent, B Very good, C Good, D Satisfactory, E Sufficient, FX Insufficient, F Insufficient

Responsible department: Department of Geography

Revised by: Head of Department of Geography and Economic History, 2020-06-08


The course provides an introduction to basic concepts and theories in cultural geography, urban theory and spatial planning, and the application of these concepts and theories in practical planning situations. The course focuses on general planning challenges, such as participatory planning, sustainable development, planning legitimacy and results. During the course, special focus will be paid to urban development and the specific challenges of cities.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student should be able to:
Knowledge and understanding:
1. Explain basic concepts and theories in spatial planning, urban theory and human geography
2. Describe the development and transformation of planning theory
3. Explain the basics of spatial theory
Competence and skills:
4. Identify current societal challenges and how they are relevant from a spatial planning perspective, such as inequalities, climate change and migration.
5. Apply planning theories to current societal problems
6. Analyze the development of cities based from the point of departure of different urban theoretical paradigms
Judgement and approach:
7. Problematise the planning process on the basis of theories in human geography about eg. gender, class and ethnicity
8. Critically review planning processes and analyze their spatial outcomes
9. Critically relate to the planner role and planning processes
10. Independently be able to work on evaluation of planning projects

Required Knowledge

Univ: 120 ECTS, 60 ECTS of which in a major field of subject.,

Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6.

Form of instruction

The course is based on lectures, seminars and group exercises. Some of the group exercises are more practical in nature, while others are more theoretical. Relevant gender perspectives are integrated into all themes. All teaching on the course is in English.

Examination modes

The course is examined through the following exams:
- an individual written assignment that is presented orally at a seminar
- a written term paper that is carried out in groups
- eight literature seminars
The individual written assignment is assessed with 0-20 points. The group written assignment (term paper) is assessed with 0-20 points. Literature seminars are assessed with Pass or Fail. The maximum score for the course is 40. To pass the entire course, all exams must be passed. Grades on the course are only set once all exams are passed. Throughout the course, one of the grades A, B, C, D, E, Fx or F. is given.
It is not possible to appeal a grade, but if special reasons exist, the examiner has the right to decide on another examiner. Students who fail at one test opportunity have the opportunity to take part in the renewed test on a total of at least five examinations. When a student has been unsuccessful on two examination occasions, the student has the right to request another examiner, unless special reasons contradict it (Chapter 6, Section 11b HF). The student may apply to the Director of Studies with a request for another examiner. The exam based on this syllabus is guaranteed for two years after the student's first registration on the course.


Valid from: 2020 week 23

Readings in planning theory
Fainstein Susan S., DeFilippis James
4. ed. : Oxford : Wiley-Blackwell : 2016 : vii, 615 s. :
ISBN: 9781119045069
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Key thinkers on space and place
Kitchin Rob, Hubbard Phil
2nd ed. : London : SAGE : 2010 : 510 s. :
ISBN: 1849201013
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Latham Alan.
Key concepts in urban geography
Los Angeles : SAGE : 2009. : vii, 232 p. :
ISBN: 1412930413
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

The city reader
LeGates Richard T., Stout Frederic
6. ed. : Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon : Routledge : 2015. : xxii, 735 s. :
ISBN: 978-1-138-81290-1
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Additional literature as indicated by instructors