Spring 2022 - URB 655 G100

Global Cities (4)

Class Number: 6267

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    HCC 2290, Vancouver



Students will critically evaluate and apply various approaches and concepts in assessing the phenomenon of the global city. Assessment of current Canadian and comparative cases and settings provides a basis for this examination, as does the various stages of the policy cycle.


This course will explore the ideas and practices that shape contemporary understanding of Global Cities. We will explore the evolution of theoretical concepts as articulated by Hall, Sassen, Friedmann, Castells, Brenner, Robinson and others and assess the trajectory of on-going research into Global Cities. Questions that we will consider include:  What is a Global City? Why do Global Cities matter?  How are these cities classified and situated? How does globalization and Global City theory help understand what is happening in cities today, and how to make them better and more resilient in future? 

After gaining familiarity with the Global Cities conceptual framework, we will apply it to gain insight into several specific cities and their urban dynamics.  Students will be expected to connect Global Cities theory with recent practices in a specific case of urban initiative through their research paper. 


  • Weekly reading analysis 25%
  • Seminar participation 20%
  • Draft research question 5%
  • Draft paper 20%
  • Final paper 30%



There is one required text, available online through SFU’s library:

Xuefei Ren and Roger Keil (eds.)  2018. The Globalizing Cities Reader, Second Edition.  (Abingdon, Oxon.: Routledge).

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 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.