City Futures

Subject ABPL20045 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

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 request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:



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 first week of the exam period (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 and ICT:

  • Compose and 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 the University of Melbourne and the Bachelor of Environments especially regarding ethical practices and professional behaviour.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Environments Discipline subjects
Urban Design and Planning major

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