City Futures

Subject ABPL20045 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

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:

170 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:


Miss Amy Boxi Wu, Miss Victoria Kolankiewicz


To be confirmed

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 understand the 21st century challenges for cities and urban societies. In this subject we will critically examine imagined city futures from historical and contemporary perspectives. We will critically 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, individuals, communities, and governing bodies in realising desirable city futures.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the subject, you will be confident and competent in your critical ability to:

  1. Overview historical and contemporary views of cities and civilizations as utopian or dystopian.
  2. Clearly articulate your thoughts about why the future of the city is contested and the implications for the roles of urban professionals, individuals, communities, and governing bodies.
  3. Understand the forces and factors that influence the way we imagine cities and how these imaginations are contested, negotiated, and/or feared.
  4. Communicate the extent to which real cities are reflective of imagined utopias and the implications for imaging city futures today.
  5. Be familiar with cultural, environmental, economic, social, technological, and political contexts of urbanism historically, today and in the future city.
  6. Imagine the future of the city and your place in it by stating your own defensible position on key issues confronting cities and city planning, such as: how we should plan for city futures today.

  • Class Paper (800 words) due week 4, worth 20%
  • Paired Narrative (1400 words (700 words per student) and presentation) due week 8, worth 20%
  • Essay (2500 words) due week 13, worth 60%

Prescribed Texts:

Readings - electronic materials.

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:


  • 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.

Subject available as breadth.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Environments Discipline subjects
Urban Design and Planning major

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