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Online course

Planetary Urbanisation: Global Challenges in a Changing World

Whether you live in a city or not, urbanisation affects you. Learn more about the impact and challenge of urbanisation worldwide.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Planetary Urbanisation: Global Challenges in a Changing World

70% of the world's population will soon be urban - learn more

The nature and form of urbanisation is rapidly changing. New cities form while others decline, urban development enhances economic chances for some but challenges quality of life for others. This course focuses on planetary urbanisation, the idea that whether living in cities or not, most of the world’s 7 billion people are impacted by the processes of urbanisation. The core question addressed during this module is:

What challenges does planetary urbanisation present in different geographical settings and how can cities be made more liveable for future generations?

The key questions we address are:

  • What is urbanisation?
  • What is planetary urbanisation?
  • What kinds of challenges face cities globally today?
  • What might future cities look like?
  • In addressing this students will be asked to consider how is planetary urbanisation different? How are we responding to global urban challenges? Will future cities be more liveable?

    Download video: standard or HD

    Skip to 0 minutes and 13 secondsCities, humanity’s greatest invention, are also one of humanity’s greatest challenges. By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be urban. But even for those people who do not live in cities, their lives will be affected by planetary urbanisation. This is the century of planetary urbanisation! Over the next five weeks, we will focus on this large-scale global change.

    Skip to 0 minutes and 40 secondsTogether, we will think about: How urbanisation happened? What is different about planetary urbanisation? What common challenges face cities today? And what will our future cities look like? Myself and a team of colleagues will lead you on this journey through time and space - whatever your background, we hope you join us.

    What topics will you cover?

    • Urbanisation - differential geographies
    • Historic forms of urbanisation and their key influences
    • Planetary urbanisation and its links to debates on sustainability
    • Contemporary urban challenges
    • Differential meanings and impacts of the global urban housing crisis
    • Issues of health and well-being in large and dense cities
    • Issues of crime, security and social control in cities
    • Future cities as smart, resilient and sustainable
    • Role of technology in shaping cities of the future

    When would you like to start?

    • Date to be announced

    What will you achieve?

    By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

    • Discuss important urban challenges facing societies globally in the 21st century
    • Explain ‘planetary urbanisation’ and articulate how it differs from historic forms of urbanisation
    • Identify planetary urbanisation in action in their “home city”
    • Compare how urban experiences are differentiated across space and time
    • Demonstrate the value, and appreciate the importance, of intercultural learning

    Who is the course for?

    This course is aimed at the equivalent of first or second year undergraduate students. It is an introductory module and no prior knowledge of urban studies, geography, sociology or planning is required. All we ask is that you are interested in why cities are so important in the contemporary world and that you are prepared to engage with other students to share your ideas and learning.

    Who will you learn with?

    Niamh Moore-Cherry

    Associate Prof. Niamh Moore-Cherry is based in the School of Geography, University College Dublin (Ireland). She is an urban geographer and her research is focused on understanding cities.

    Francesco Ventura

    I'm a PhD student with the School of Geography, UCD, Ireland. I'm interested in geopolitics and I'm researching what is the spatial dimension in Turkish hegemony building over water resources.

    Who developed the course?

    UCD is one of Europe’s leading research-intensive universities, currently ranked within the top 1% of institutions world-wide.

    What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

    Free:

    • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
    • No certificate

    Upgraded:

    • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
    • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

    Find out more

    Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $69 you'll get:

    Unlimited access

    Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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    • Take the course at your own pace
    • Refer to the material at any point in future

    If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

    Certificate of Achievement

    Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

    Image certificate mobile

    • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
    • Celebrate your hard work
    • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

    To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.

    Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

    • Workers' housing at Port Sunlight, outside Liverpool
      Building a garden city
      article

      Can cities be owned by their inhabitants and maintain a relationship with the countryside? Dr Joe Brady explores in this article, the Garden City.

    • Introduction to Week 2
      Introduction to Week 2
      video

      Watch Niamh Moore-Cherry introduce week 2 of the course which explains the complex nature of urbanisation and its global impacts.

    • The global housing crisis
      The global housing crisis
      video

      Housing is one of the greatest challenges facing humans today. Watch Niamh Moore-Cherry explain the nature of the global housing crisis.