GEOG 104G : Cities and Urbanism


2021 Semester Two (1215) (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

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, Commerce, Law, Global Studies, Planning 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 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: University

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 2)
  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 ideas (Capability 4)
  6. Engage with social and environmental sustainable policies and practices locally and globally (Capability 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Coursework 48% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Coursework
Quizzes 2% 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. Māori and Pacific students will be contacted through their university emails with more details. Please contact Sonia Fonua ( if you have any questions. 

Key Topics

Urban past, present and future
Urban resilience and sustainability
Urban mobility
Urban wellbeing
Urban social fabric

Special Requirements

No special requirements

Workload Expectations

The course is designed with a budget of 150 hours of a student’s time. This conforms to the University and the Ministry of Education guidelines for a 15 point course. There are 30 hours lectures, approximately 24 hours for reading accompanying the lectures, and 8 hours of tutorials. This leaves 88 hours to complete the coursework and study for your exam.  

At a University level students must manage their own workload. Please be aware that poor time management is a key cause of student anxiety. There are key crisis points, such as Week 5, 7 and 10, when assessment due dates often overlap in multiple courses. Please try and be proactive and plan to avoid this by completing your course work as early as possible.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including tutorials and lectures.

Lectures will be available as recordings. Tutorials will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.
Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Offshore students : This course is available online to students resident offshore. The assessment and learning delivery mechanisms may differ than presented in this Digital Course Outline. Please contact the Course Coordinator, Mel Wall, for further details ( 

Learning Resources

There is no course book or required textbook. Lectures involve accompanying readings accessed via the Reading Lists on Canvas.

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.

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 lectures will be recorded however, please do not rely on this as sometimes technology can fail or be of poor quality. For example, student questions/discussion can be difficult to capture in the recordings. Lecture recordings should not be used to replace lecture attendance. We have noticed a strong correlation between those who fail to attend the lectures regularly and those who fail the course!
The recordings will be made available on Canvas within 3 working days of the lecture. PPT PDFs for the lectures will be made available at a minimum the night before the lecture on Canvas if you wish to download them to take notes during the lecture.
Please note: in previous years technical difficulties meant many students were not able to access lecture recordings during the exam period. Please make sure you listen to any missed lectures as soon as possible.

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.

You must not have previously submitted your GEOG 104/104G coursework in this or any other subject.
Please note:
  • It is the student's responsibility to read and adhere to the University's policies, which can be viewed at:
  • Staff encourage students to work together but do not share electronic copies of your coursework. Enabling another to cheat is also a form of academic misconduct
  • Referen©ite – this web resource provides guidance on correctly acknowledging sources of information:
For the purposes of this course, no coursework should contain quoted material (quotes will not be marked). When critically engaging with academic sources, we want to see your understanding of these sources. All coursework must be paraphrased (put in your own words) with the appropriate in-text citation. Quotes without “quote marks”, even if there is an in-text citation, are plagiarised!


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.

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

GEOG 104/104G strives to be a safe, inclusive and equitable space that supports the University of Auckland's commitment to Zero Tolerance for Discrimination. See the inclusive learning link on the Canvas Syllabus Page for further information.

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.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Level 1: Delivered normally as specified in delivery mode
Level 2: You will not be required to attend in person. All teaching and assessment will have a remote option.
Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments are delivered remotely

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.

Please note:
  • This page is designed to provide information for non-enrolled students. Please see Canvas two weeks prior to the start of semester once enrolled. The key document is the Course Guide under modules.
  • For Bachelor of Arts students, please ignore the above link to the Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science. Unfortunately this link cannot be removed. The capabilities for this course were mapped to the University of Auckland Graduate Profile not the Bachelor of Science Graduate Profile:
  • The learning outcomes are mapped to the University of Auckland Graduate Profile themes (erroneously identified as capabilities rather than themes in this Outline due to technical glitch). The learning outcomes of this course seek to deliver either all or part of the identified University of Auckland Graduate Profile theme(s).
  • Information provided above was correct on the 24th November 2020.
Published on 08/06/2021 05:46 p.m.