GEOG 104 : Cities and Urbanism


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

What makes a great city? This course explores 'urbanism' in both historical and contemporary cities to determine the essence of urbanity and the way that citizens (and visitors) experience city life. The dynamics and character of cities are considered in terms of their built environment, environmental systems, population, social diversity, and planning policies and practices.

Course Overview

What makes a great city? This course explores 'urbanism' in both historical and contemporary cities to determine the essence of urbanity and the way that citizens (and visitors) experience city life. The dynamics and character of cities are considered in terms of their built environment, economic systems, population, human and cultural diversity and planning policies and practices.

This social science course introduces geographic approaches to urban environments and issues. In 2008, humankind reached a turning point when half of the world’s population was living in cities. Therefore, understanding cities and urbanism is crucial to comprehending modern human societies.

Urbanism refers to human structures, processes and experiences in the city. Whilst city life remains distinguishable from other forms of human settlement, there is no generic urban environment. This course examines urban themes in different contexts from multiple perspectives.

This course is designed for students from a broad range of academic backgrounds, including Arts, Science and Engineering and others. It is well suited to those with a personal or professional interest in cities and urban issues. 

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an introductory understanding of the breadth and depth of urban geography (Capability 1)
  2. Evaluate critically, theoretical urban ideas using place-based case studies (Capability 2)
  3. Critique and resolve complex urban problems (Capability 3)
  4. Investigate proactively and synthesise independently-led observations in Auckland (Capability 5)
  5. Work to organise, negotiate and present urban knowledges (Capability 4)
  6. Engage with social and environmental sustainable policies and practices in Auckland (Capability 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Coursework 50% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Final Exam


The School of Environment (ENV) Tuākana Programme focuses on encouraging first year Māori and Pacific students to achieve their full academic potential. Each Stage 1 course is assigned a tuākana (tutor/mentor), who has who has the knowledge and skills to assist you with GEOG 104/104G. See here for more information:

Learning Resources

There is no course book or required text book. Lectures involve accompanying readings accessed via Talis/UoA Library

Special Requirements

The tutorial assessment items involves preparation and participation marks. Remote involvement will be possible.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect three hours of lectures and a one hour tutorial most weeks. Across the semester, you can expect 80 hours of reading and thinking about the content and  work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 17/07/2020 04:11 p.m.