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Introduction to Week 2

Watch Niamh Moore-Cherry introduce week 2 of the course which explains the complex nature of urbanisation and its global impacts.
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Hello and welcome back. Last week, Dr Joe Brady, introduced the idea of urbanisation and explored questions including whether, historically, the best cities for living also needed a particular spatial form. This week the discussion turns to contemporary urbanisation and in particular the concept of planetary urbanisation. This is a relatively new concept to sum up the idea that urbanisation processes affect not just those places we traditionally think of as cities or urban. No matter where you live or come from, this is an issue that will be of significance to you. In order to explore the significance of planetary urbanisation, my colleague, Dr Gerald Mills, will encourage you to think about urbanisation as both a demographic and a landscape change.
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He will then illustrate how cities are what we might call social ecological systems - they have a metabolism, and connect materials and people globally. Because of this big change, some people argue that we are now entering a new scientific era called the Anthropocene or the Age of Humans. We will conclude the week by examining the role of the urban in this big new scientific debate.
“Planetary urbanisation” is a relatively new concept which sums up the idea that urbanisation processes affect the entire planet, not just particular places we define as “urban” or cities. In order to explore the significance of planetary urbanisation, you will be introduced to the historic and geographic spread of urbanisation, how we think about cities and how humans and the natural environment intersect in cities.
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Planetary Urbanisation: Global Challenges in a Changing World

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