City Futures

Subject ABPL20045 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours: 1x2 hour lecture per week, 1x1 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 100 hours
Prerequisites: None.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: None.
Non Allowed Subjects: None.
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Clare Mouat


Environments and Design Student Centre
T: +61 3 8344 6417/9862
F: +61 3 8344 5532
Subject Overview:

What is the future of the city? Our exploration of the past and present conditions of urban ordering and development will help us address the 21st century challenges for cities and urban societies. In this subject we examine imagined city futures from historical and contemporary perspectives. We will investigate how imagined and real cities are influenced by popular media and technology as well as cultural, environmental, economic, social, and political contexts. Students will have the chance to speculate upon possible city futures and their place in shaping or being shaped by the urban condition. This will inform discussion about the role of urban professionals, governing bodies, and citizens in realising desirable city futures.


At the end of the course, you will be confident and competent in your critical ability to: Overview historical and contemporary views of cities and civilisation as utopia or dystopia; Answer the question, ‘what is the future of the city?’; Clearly articulate your thoughts about why the future of the city is contested and the implications for the roles of urban professionals, citizens, governments; Compare and contrast cities in global and local terms; Be familiar with cultural, environmental, economic, social, and political contexts of urbanism today and in the future city; Imagine the future of the city and their place in it by stating your own defensible position on key issues confronting future city planning, such as: how we should plan for city futures today; and what are the priorities and consequences of different policy positions and technologies influencing cities now and ahead.

  • Paired Narrative Report (1,250 words) due week 4, worth 25%
  • Annotated Bibliography (1,250 words) due week 7, worth 25%
  • Essay (2,500 words) draft due week 9 (10%), final due week 13 (40%), worth 50%

Prescribed Texts: Course Reader - in print and electronic materials.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:


  • Ably demonstrate fundamental planning skills including identifying critical issues.
  • Demonstrate improved analytical skills and critical thinking, especially relating to planning.
  • Ability to discuss, present and write coherently about the debates and themes of planning in current, historical, and comparative practice.

Research, Description, and Analysis:

  • Ably demonstrate appropriate verbal, written, theoretical, policy, and aural communication skills and knowledge through essay writing, personal and assigned research, seminars, and class contributions.

Communication, Resources & ICT:

  • Compose & represent logical arguments in clear and concise manner using appropriate multi-media, technology, resources, and skills.


  • Demonstrate good practice of referencing and academic conventions pertaining to research conduct and academic integrity, especially as it relates to plagiarism.
  • Acknowledge and adhere to the expectations and regulations of both University of Melbourne and the Bachelor of Environments especially regarding ethical practices and professional behaviour.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Urban Design and Planning

Download PDF version.