Urban Citizenship and Sustainability (GEOS3520)


Cities are now the predominant home for humanity. More than half of the world's population reside in cities. The contemporary growth of cities, however, is attached to profound political questions about what it means to be urban, and what 'being urban' means for the planet. This Unit of Study provides grounding to these crucial questions. In the first half of the semester, lectures address the question: are cities sustainable? Why or why not? And for whom? This focus addresses utopian visions for cities, urban history, ecological footprint analysis, bioregionalism, transport options, urban form and urban policy, with reference to sustainable futures and the role of custodianship. During the second half of the semester, lectures address the question: what does it mean to be a 'citizen', and what has this got to do with cities and different approaches to urban sustainability? This includes consideration of historical and contemporary configurations of citizenship. Case studies illustrate ways in which new forms of citizenship are produced through struggles over rights to the city and the urban environment. Through the semester a practicals program enables students to develop urban-based research projects.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial per week, six 2 hours practical sessions.


One 2hr exam, one 2000w essay, one 2000w group-based prac report (100%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


24 credit points of Intermediate units of study, including 6 credit points from the following (GEOS2112 or GEOS2912 or GEOS2123 or GEOS2923 or GEOS2115 or GEOS2915 or GEOS2121 or GEOS2921 or SOILS2002 or LWSC2002)



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.