Spring 2021 - URB 635 G100

Urban Inequality and the Just City (4)

Class Number: 4644

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM

    5:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    HCC 1700, Vancouver

    5:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    HCC 1700, Vancouver

    5:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    HCC 1700, Vancouver



Examines the forces that have created and perpetuated urban social inequality, along with its political, economic, and cultural impact on cities. Explores the social movements, planning efforts, and policy initiatives that have tackled urban poverty and social exclusion in the struggle to create just cities.


This is a web-oriented (online) course. While most lectures will be delivered synchronously via Zoom, there might be some asynchronous lectures during the semester as well. You should treat this course similar to an in-person course and make sure you read all assigned texts, watch all assigned videos, and attend all lectures. 

Course Overview
A growing share of the global population now lives in urban areas. At the same time, there exist deepening patterns of inequality in many cities across the world. This course explores some of these significant emerging and growing patterns of urban inequality in Canada and around the world. It relies on theoretical and empirical studies to examine the role of different factors, especially economic factors, in shaping urban inequalities experienced by different groups and demographics in society. The course will also consider how different policies could help address urban inequalities in these different contexts.

Group Work
The evaluation for this course includes several components that require group work: assignments, presentation, and a term paper. Each group will have exactly two students. 

All your group projects (i.e. presentation, assignments, term paper) will be evaluated both my me as well as three of your peers. My evaluation of your performance as a team will comprise 70-80% of the final grade you receive for a given group project, and the remaining 20-30% will be based on (average) evaluation of the peers who are assigned to evaluate your work.

Planned Face-to-Face Activities
Three face-to-face activities for this course are planned for Feb 10, March 3 and March 31.
Students should consider these plans and dates as tentative and subject to confirmation by the instructor in the course syllabus (which students will receive on the first day of classes) as well as subject to any provincial public health restrictions in effect at the time.


  • Class participation 20%
  • Group presentation 20%
  • Group assignments 20%
  • Group term paper 40%



There is no textbook that covers all the material that we will discuss in the course, therefore to succeed in this course it is essential to follow the posted lecture notes carefully. I will post all lecture notes (in PDF format) online on Canvas.

Keep in mind that the lecture notes are not supposed to be comprehensive, therefore it is important for you to attend the lectures and take notes to complete the lecture notes. The other important requirement is to read the texts assigned throughout the semester.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).