City Futures

Subject ABPL20045 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

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:

Completion of 100 points of first and/ or second year subjects including at least 50 points at first year level from approved subjects in your home faculty.

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


Subject Coordinator emails:

The Eastern Precinct (building 138)
(between Doug McDonell building and Eastern Resource Centre)

Current Student:

Subject Overview:

What is the future of the polis? Exploration of past and present conditions of urban ordering and development inform understanding of 21st century challenges for cities and urban societies. This subject critically examines imagined city futures from historical and contemporary perspectives, incorporating concepts and approaches from utopian literature, critical urban theory, and philosophy to explore how the ‘city’ is understood as a physical realm, a social realm, and an imagined realm. In addition, the subject also critically investigates how imagined and real cities are influenced by popular media and technology, as well as cultural, environmental, economic, social, and political contexts. Students will be able to speculate upon the future of the polis, and their place in shaping or being shaped by the urban condition.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Critically analyse historical and contemporary views of cities and civilization as utopian or dystopian;
  2. Explore cultural, environmental, economic, social, and political contexts of urbanism historically, today, and in the future city;
  3. Identify the forces that influence the way cities are imagined historically and today, and how these imaginations are articulated and/or negotiated;
  4. Critically analyse the role of utopia today in terms of how it is imagined and applied, and what factors obstruct the realisation of utopian ideals if such ideals are relevant.

  • Turorial prersenation (10 mintutes) equivalent to 1000 words rolling due date (20%);
  • Class paper equivalent to 500 words due week 5 (15%);
  • Annotated bibliography equivalent to 1000 words due week 9 (25%);
  • Major essay equivalent to 1500 words, due first week of examination period (40%).

Prescribed Texts:

There is no prescribed texts. Prescribed and recommended weekly readings and other digital resources will be available on the LMS.

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:

Upon completion of this subject, students should have enhanced their skills in:
1. Critical reading and analysis of literature and theory;
2. Critical analysis of social, cultural and political contexts;
3. Development of logical arguments;
4. Written and verbal communication of an academic standard;


Subject available as breadth.

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

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