Urban Governance

Subject ABPL90315 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
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: 3 hours 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: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Steven Henderson


Subject Coordinator email:

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

Current Student: http://ask.unimelb.edu.au/
Web: http://msd.unimelb.edu.au/

Subject Overview:

The study of urban governance helps to explain how cities work. Urban governance looks at the Constitution, roles, responsibilities and resources of different levels of government, intergovernmental relations, municipal finance, models for financing and delivering large infrastructure projects, 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, and should be informed by social outcomes and the who wins/who loses equation inherent in planning decisions. The teaching of the subject will focus on Victoria and Melbourne as well as international comparative case studies, and will also include case studies of private sector involvement in service delivery and the participation of, and negotiation with, community and non-government organisations in planning and other decision-making processes.

Learning Outcomes:

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 decisionā€making processes;
  • have insight into comparative governance contexts through case studies from other countries.
  1. Group research + presentation, 1000 word equivalent per student (total), 20%, due last week of semester
  2. Essay 1 abstract, 250 words, hurdle, due week 4
  3. Essay 1, 2000 words 40%, due in week 7 of semester
  4. Essay 2 abstract, 250 words, hurdle, due in week 10
  5. Essay 2, 2000 words, 40% due two weeks after the last class
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 decisionā€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
Links to further information: http://msd.unimelb.edu.au/master-urban-planning
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
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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