Urban Governance

Subject ABPL90315 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 hours per week
Total Time Commitment:

140 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: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)
Website: http://www.msd.unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

The study of governance helps to explain how cities work. Urban governance looks at the Constitution, roles and responsibilities of different levels of government, intergovernmental relations, fiscal transfers, municipal finance, models for financing and delivering municipal infrastructure and services, city negotiations with private sector and civil society – ultimately a city’s ability to get things done. The context for governance has a significant influence on the substance and processes of planning and decision‐making within cities. The teaching of the subject will focus on Victoria and Melbourne and will generally include case studies of private sector involvement in service delivery, participation of and negotiation with civil society in planning processes, and international comparative case studies.


On completion of the subject, students should:

  • know the constitutional roles and responsibilities of different levels of government, focusing on cities;
  • understand the role of cities (and in Australia the State), the private sector and civil society in delivering and financing infrastructure and services;
  • understand how municipalities are financed;
  • understand the nexus between the public and private sectors and civil society in planning for and managing cities, and related contestation and decision‐making processes;
  • have insight into comparative governance contexts through case studies from other countries.
  • Group research and presentations – 40% (due last two weeks of semester).
  • Individual 3,500 word paper – 60% (due end of semester).
Prescribed Texts:

None specified

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Ability to analyse decision‐making processes within cities
  • Ability to link planning practices and processes to different governance contexts
  • Ability to engage with the private sector and civil society during the planning process
Related Course(s): Master of Design (Urban Design)
Master of Urban Design
Master of Urban Planning
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Melbourne School of Design multidisciplinary elective subjects (without prerequisites)

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