The Disaster Resilient City

Subject GEOG30021 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

102 hours (36 contact hours, 30 hours class preparation and reading, 36 hours of assessment related tasks)


Completion of 25 points of 200 level subjects with a social or natural science focus from the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Environments; or permission of the course coordinator.

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 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:


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Melbourne School of Land & Environment (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject examines the impacts of disasters in cities. It will explore why some groups are more vulnerable to particular hazards than others, while considering the role of social capital and adaptation for increasing the resilience of urban communities to disasters.This is important because the trend towards increasing urbanisation and larger cities is a major contributor to the rising toll of disaster losses globally. In addition, climate change predictions indicate that natural hazards such as bushfires, floods, storms and cyclones are likely to increase in intensity and possibly also frequency in many places, including cities. Contemporary cases will be used to highlight key issues and policy debates. Implications for urban planning and disaster planning and management in cities and at the rural-urban interface will be considered.

Cases and examples will be drawn from around the world, primarily from developed countries. Students will have the opportunity to examine case/s of their own choosing (with approval from the subject coordinator), and will undertake locally based research in preparation of the field report. There will be a local field trip associated with this subject.


Students who complete this subject will:

  • Comprehend a range of social theories and concepts used to study disasters in an urban environment
  • Understand the complexities and dynamic relationships between cities and hazards
  • Understand the way these complex city/hazard relationships make some groups more vulnerable than others
  • Be able to critically evaluate disaster management policies and practices in an urban context

Tutorial presentation, peer review and 1000 word tutorial paper (20% of final mark); Blog (10%) 2500 word report due in two parts (60% of final mark) Group presentation in Week 9 (10% of final mark).

Prescribed Texts:

Information Not Available

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

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

Students who complete this subject will have:

  • Developed their ability to critically evaluate different theories and concepts
  • Demonstrated their capacity to transfer this knowledge to applied analysis
  • Improved their written and oral communication skills, particularly in relation to the development of their own critical arguments and communication of research findiings

Students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 degree and new degrees), or a combined BSc course (except for the BA/BSc) may receive science credit on the completion of this subject.

Related Course(s): Master of Science (Geography)
U21 Diploma in Global Issues
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Environmental Geographies, Politics and Cultures major
Environments Discipline subjects
Human Geography
Human Geography
Integrated Geography
Integrated Geography
Science credit subjects* for pre-2008 BSc, BASc and combined degree science courses
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG. Core selective subjects for B-BMED.
Urban Design and Planning major
Related Breadth Track(s): Understanding Disasters, Their Management and Planning
Living in Australia's Hazardous Ecosystems

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