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Signature Courses



01:450:250 (4 Credits) 
Core: CCO, SCL
Professor Nathaniel Gabriel, Geography

The 21st century is an urban century.

More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities. The United Nations estimates that net global population growth henceforth will take place entirely in cities, meaning the rural population has reached its historical maximum. Cities also now dominate the economic output of most nations and have become the most dynamic sources of ideas, opportunities, and dreams. Yet, cities are also where inequality is most visible making them contested territories where different classes and interest groups jostle for space and influence.

This course examines what makes cities contradictory spaces of work, residence, and play that at once enable the release of creative energies, aspirations, and economies yet simultaneously restrict, control, and confine. It does so by using cities to explore the most pressing social concerns of our times: from the urbanization of terrorism and security; to the enduring effects of housing segregation in the US and abroad; to the impacts of global climate change on human settlement patterns; to the causes and consequences of suburbanization and gentrification.

Students from all schools and disciplines are welcome to sign up for Cities. The course carries credit towards the major and minor in Geography, and the minor in International and Global Studies. Cities can be used to meet SAS Core Curriculum goals in Contemporary Challenges [CCO] and Social Analysis [SCL].


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