M-GGR/02 - 9 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

1. Knowledge and understanding. The course will enable students to acquire advanced knowledge of: the historical, geographical, economic and social phenomena reflected on urban development; economic analysis of urban functions and hierarchies to the different interpretations of the urban landscape processes; training and development of urban and metropolitan systems; the urban functions as a node of complex networks; the sustainable city and the quality of urban life. This body of knowledge will provide the student the opportunity to understand the many aspects that characterize the evolution of urban organization and policy.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding. The student will be provided with technical and conceptual tools to apply the knowledge and skills obtained during the course of Urban Geography. For this purpose, will be given to the student surveys and empirical analyzes concerning the relationships and interactions between: cities and other political and administrative territorial entities (metropolitan areas, regions, states, etc.); urban economy; urban economic and social processes and Cycle urban life; urbanization, disurbanization and globalization; processes of urban development and urban sustainability, etc. .. The ability to apply knowledge and skills acquired during the course will be encouraged and verified with specific analysis on the urban context of Sicily, with particular regard to the cities of Palermo, Catania, Caltanissetta; urban strategies and policies implemented in these cities after World War II; the choices used for getting of EU structural funds; the strategic planning offered by their administrations; the results achieved in terms of organization, functional and economic and social development.

3. Making judgements. An overview of the new urban geography will be offered to the student to test the main conceptual and analytical tools aimed at understanding the meaning of changes involving the cities and urban systems. With this approach, the student will acquire the ability to make an informed opinion, not only on the many aspects that characterize the urban development but also on the decision process concerning the urban governance. In order to promote the development of independent judgment on the topics discussed during the lectures it will be made explicit reference to specific cases for the evaluation of urban policies both at the stage of processing in the subsequent implementation and monitoring of the achieved results.

4. Communication skills. The course aims to encourage the formation of specific sensitivity around the urban themes, from the constituent elements to those related to the dynamics of our time, encouraging the student to develop communication skills, making use of elaborate diagrams, mapping tools and computer for the presentation, the acquisition and sharing of knowledge. The communication skills will be pursued and implemented during the course of lectures, also through interactive actions, while exam will be formally entrusted to the oral test

5. Learning skills. The course will provide students with knowledge of the tools necessary to manage their own update on the changes affecting the contemporary city in terms of form, the role of governance models, with constant attention to the framework represented by the evolution of regional, national and European urban policies. Therefore, students will be provided with specific notions related to thematic maps and models for the interpretation of the city and the territory at different geographical scales, techniques, literature search, collection of recent literature available, how to collect statistical data made available by organizations public and private agencies nationally and internationally.

Course Structure

Teaching consists in frontal lessons. Besides seminars and the case study will be provided.

Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme planned and outlined in the syllabus

Detailed Course Content

Paths and interpretive tools of the Economic-Political Geography; Cities, urban systems and their development processes; the fundamentals of urban theory; between suburb and ghetto; the urban economy; the future of cities and urban theory; the urban system of Sicily and its lines of development; the city of Caltanissetta, Catania and Palermo.

Learning assessment may also be carried out on line, should the conditions require it.

Textbook Information

  1. Luigi Scrofani, Luca Ruggiero (a cura), “Temi di geografia economica”, Giappichelli, Torino, 2012.
  2. Simon Parker, “Teoria ed esperienza urbana”, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2006.
  3. Vittorio Ruggiero, Luigi Scrofani (a cura), “Sistemi urbani, distretti turistici e reti logistiche in Sicilia”, Bologna, Pàtron, 2008.

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