The Disaster Resilient City

Subject GEOG30021 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (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: One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours in total


Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

It is HIGHLY recommended that students have completed 25 points of 200 level subjects with a social or natural science focus from the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Biomedicine or Bachelor of Environments; Students without this background knowledge should obtain permission from the subject coordinator.

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:


Prof Lesley Head


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.

Learning Outcomes:

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
  • 5 minute tutorial presentation (5%) and weekly tutorial participation for 10 weeks (10%). Tutorial presentations will be held in weeks 3-12. Each student undertakes one presentation, with one other student in this time. The week for the presentation is arranged in Week 2 tutorials;
  • 500 word tutorial paper due Week 5 (15%);
  • 1500 word report due in week 8 (35%);
  • 1000 words take home exam, due week in the eamination period (35%)

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
Environmental Geography
Environments Discipline subjects
Human Geography
Human Geography
Human Geography
Human Geography
Integrated Geography
Integrated Geography
Integrated Geography
Integrated Geography
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED
Urban Design and Planning major
Related Breadth Track(s): Living in Australia's Hazardous Ecosystems
Understanding Disasters, Their Management and Planning

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