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Urban Studies Courses

URB 605 - Great Urban Thinkers (4)

Examination of the thought of key urban thinkers who have defined the field of urban studies, drawing from architecture, planning, sociology, history, anthropology, political science, public policy, and geography.

URB 610 - Urban Design: Integrating Theory and Practice (4)

This course is an examination of urban design as a discipline that involves the environmental, aesthetic, social, economic, geographic, ecological, historical, political, and cultural aspects of the built environment. The importance of creative design, the interrelationship between the spatial organization of a city, its efficient delivery of services, the social, cultural and economic considerations of the public realm, as well as the process of change in our pluralistic society will all be considered.

URB 615 - Comparative Metropolitan Governance (4)

Provides a critical evaluation of the varied nature and development of metropolitan governance. It focuses on differing city-regional forms and responsibilities, theoretically, and in North America, the EU, Asia, New Zealand and Israel. Emphasis is placed on comparing the political processes involved in the governing of major urban regions, especially on intergovernmental institutions and multilevel governance. The course also provides opportunities for students to interact with political/bureaucratic actors and local/comparative experts. The intention is to apply lessons from this comparative analysis to the Vancouver-centered region.

URB 620 - Urban Communities and Cultures (4)

This course is an introduction to the anthropological and sociological study of complex urban societies in comparative perspective. It includes study of anthropological and sociological approaches to urbanization, the nature of the city as a social system, and urban communities and cultures.

URB 625 - Sustainability Assessment for Cities (4)

Sustainability assessment is a set of multifaceted tools and political processes used in cities to monitor progress, demonstrate results, and drive change. This course will provide an overview of methods, tools and techniques for monitoring performance in local government and measuring sustainability within cities. A key focus will be on understanding and differentiating the range of approaches, and designing systems for measurement that are integrated and aligned with local policy goals and processes.

URB 630 - Urban Development, Planning and Policy (4)

The focus of this course is the evolving relationship between state interventions into the city, and dynamics of urban development. The class emphasizes the historical context to urban planning and policy, with particular reference to the Canadian city.

URB 635 - Urban Inequality and the Just City (4)

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.

URB 645 - Urban Sustainable Development (4)

In this course, we begin to answer the question: what does the idea of sustainable development mean for cities? Using case studies from Vancouver and around the world, we will seek to understand how urban sustainable development innovations are developed, designed, and implemented. Special attention will be paid to the importance of sustainable development linkages between urban issues related to economic development, social justice, and environmental conservation and protection.

URB 647 - Urban Ethics (4)

Opens an active, informed dialogue on moral and ethical subjects, which demand the attention of urban professionals. Course material is organized around enduring and contemporary questions about the good city and ethical practice.

URB 650 - Urban Governance (4)

This course is intended to confront students with many of the current administrative, policy, inter-governmental and political challenges of local/urban/city-regional government in the 21st century. It will enable students to critically evaluate the varied nature and development of urban and metropolitan governance through an assessment of differing city-regional forms and responsibilities. The primary emphasis is on: social, economic and political sustainability; ethnic, gender and ecological re-definitions of the city; urban fiscal constraints and possibilities; urban governance and local democracy; intergovernmental challenges; urban responses to and re-definitions of re-globalization; case studies of agenda setting and other policy cycle stages. The primary seminar focus is on urban Canada but comparative cases will be drawn from the United States, the EU, Asia and other jurisdictions.

URB 655 - Global Cities (4)

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.

URB 660 - Transportation and Urban Development (4)

Explores the relationships between mobility, economic activity, and social interaction that influence urban development. Topics considered will include the spatial dynamics underlying travel behavior, the vehicle and infrastructure technology used in meeting mobility needs, the organizations that deliver transportation services and the public policies that govern an urban transportation system.

URB 665 - Urban Housing Policy (4)

Examination of the roles of housing in an urban society, the evolution of urban housing policy in Canada, the policies that shape the existing housing system, and proposals for modifying housing policies and programs. The role of affordable housing as an essential component of a sustainable community will be emphasized.

URB 670 - Urban Research Methods (4)

Offers a tip-to-all approach to researching urban public policy problems, from imagining projects, to gathering interpreting data and presenting findings to the public. The emphasis of this program is for students to be able to understand the work of others and design their own studies. In addition to this, students are trained in how to apply descriptive statistics such as means, measures of spread and cross-tabulation. Students wishing to deepen their quantitative skills, such as multivariate, qualitative or spatial analysis, will be encouraged to take advanced programs offered in affiliated departments.

URB 675 - Urban Economic Development (4)

Reviews several traditional and contemporary theories of urban economic development, exploring the historical context, content and policy implications of each.

URB 693 - Directed Readings I (2)

Supervised readings in an aspect of urban studies. Enrolment in URB 693 requires the prior approval of the Urban Studies Graduate Program Committee.

URB 694 - Directed Readings II (4)

Supervised readings in an aspect of urban studies. Enrolment in URB 694 requires the prior approval of the Urban Studies Graduate Program Committee.

URB 695 - Selected Topics in Urban Studies (4)

This course provides an opportunity for students to study one or more urban studies topics that lie beyond the scope of the other courses. This course will normally provide a more research-intensive experience than other graduate urban studies courses.

URB 696 - Seminar in Urban Studies (4)

In-depth study of two or three areas of urban studies with particular attention to (1) the contributions of various disciplines and (2) the development of a proposal for research to explore a suitable area of particular interest to the student. Where feasible, students will be involved with external organizations in developing their research proposal. Prerequisite: 15 or more units of coursework completed, including URB 670 with a grade of B+ or higher.

URB 697 - Research Project (4)

A research project on some aspect of urban studies supervised by a faculty member with the participation of a supervisory committee. Prerequisite: URB 696 with a grade of A- or higher. Students who receive a B+ in URB 696 may register for URB 697 with permission of their senior supervisor.

URB 699 - Research Project Completion (2)

Completion of a research project on some aspect of urban studies supervised by a faculty member with the participation of a supervisory committee. This course is intended for students who do not complete URB 697 within one month of the end of the term in which they are enrolled in it. Prerequisite: URB 697.

URB 701 - Co-operative Education Practicum I

The first term of work experience in the Urban Studies Program's Co-operative Education Program for M.URB students. Units of this course do not count towards the units required for a Simon Fraser University degree. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the M.URB program with a CGPA of at least of 3.0.

URB 702 - Co-operative Education Practicum II

A second term of work experience in the Urban Studies Program's Co-Operative Education Program for M.URB students. Units of this course do not count towards the units required for a Simon Fraser Univeristy degree. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: Cooperative Education Practicum I and a CGPA of at least 3.0.