Singapore University of Social Sciences

Cities & Crises

Cities & Crises (SCO115)


Aspirations to develop cities that withstand crises intensify as more than half of the world’spopulation is now urban. Cities potentially expose more people to risks when crises hit becausethey are areas with relatively dense populations. Yet, how do crises emerge and develop in thecontext of cities and urban life? What current urban issues potentially disrupt our societies? And,to what extent do cities produce their own crises? This course offers students social scienceperspectives on urban crises through an inquiry of spatial justice. Spatially, this course offers twodistinct vantage points: 1) the ways in which social, political, and cultural factors in urban spacescontribute to the making of crises; and 2) the extent to which crises in cities are shaped by thedynamics of surrounding “non-urban” spaces. Current issues of gentrification, migration, andtechnologisation will connect spatial justice to the realities of contemporary cities and crises. Byunderstanding crises through city spaces and beyond, students will access a critical understandingof city development and develop out-of-the-box ideas in addressing current urban issues.

Level: 1
Credit Units: 2.5
Presentation Pattern: -


  • Spatial Justice in a Global Context
  • Common Space and Urban Development
  • Migration
  • Feeding the City
  • Conservation and Innovation
  • Crisis, Empowerment, and Social Change

Learning Outcome

  • Describe the ways in which city life and urban development relate to the production of crises.
  • Identify social, cultural, and political actors and institutions involved in managing urban crises.
  • Explain the relationship between the urban and the non-urban in the making of cities and their crises.
  • Discuss how governmental and non-governmental actors affect urban crises.
  • Analyse the effectiveness of various urban policies in mitigating crises.
  • Develop strategies for addressing and averting urban crises.
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