Fall 2022 - GEOG 442 D100

A World of Cities (4)

Class Number: 2902

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 1:20 PM
    HCC 1500, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    60 credit hours, including Geog 362.



An exploration of how cities shape the contemporary globalized world, focusing on key contemporary academic approaches. Highlights geographical and multi-disciplinary work on global-urban relations, networks, structures, and mobilities. Students who have taken GEOG 442 STT, Global Cities, may not take this course for further credit.


Course Details 
This course will explore cities and urban regions that epitomize many of the key social structures, identities, and inequalities that characterize neoliberal globalization.

Starting from the premise that all places are global and that the point is to figure out how and with what consequences, the course will highlight research that emphasizes contemporary geographers’ work on global-urban relations, flows, networks, and mobilities.

Some of the cases discussed will include: the ‘viral’ spread of ‘creativity’ policies; the role of rankings and other metrics in shaping our view of the best and most important cities in the world; the work of global ‘informational infrastructures’ and ‘epistemic communities’ in shaping the globalization of knowledge, expertise, and best practice about urban governance and planning; the example of harm reduction drug policy as a globally mobile strategy that has impacts on specific cities.  Cities discussed will likely include Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Beijing, Bogota, Caracas, Curitiba, Detroit, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Lagos, London, Los Angeles, New York, Porto Alegre, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, and Zurich.

Note: There will be no tutorials in the first week of class


Students will gain an understanding of the key social-spatial processes that characterize contemporary urban life and development in the context of neoliberal globalization.  They will develop an understanding of the key concepts, literatures, and debates that characterize the multidisciplinary field of urban studies, with a particular emphasis on those related to globalization and cities. 


  • • “Being Global” written assignment: 10%
  • • Participation in class discussion/activities: 20%
  • • Presentation(s): 25%
  • • Written assignments 45%


Course evaluation (Tentative)



All readings available via the library or online (mostly academic articles).

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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

Required Reading Notes:

Course Materials, including digital textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore by simply searching by your Campus/Term/Class at https://shop.sfu.ca/Course/campus.