Understanding Neighbourhood Poverty

Second year module

Semester 1 would deal with analytical and policy issues related to planning and poverty: definitions of poverty and social exclusion, evidence on nature and extent of spatial inequalities, theoretical relationship between space and exclusion; mixed communities and segregation; housing consumption and spatial differentiation; housing and the economy and changing demand for housing; alongside lectures there would be workshops exploring data and spatial analysis of inequalities. Semester 2 would be a combination of workshops and seminars; the workshops would introduce GIS and build on the knowledge of students in Year 1 geography; students from a non-geography background would be assisted by streaming them in the first 3 weeks to allow them to develop their skills; seminars would be used to explore topics related to project work. Each week a seminar would focus on a particular theme (housing and the economy; spatial inequalities; neighbourhood trajectories) and students would be grouped to present a discussion on the issues and what methods and data could be used to explore the theme. The workshops (computer GIS based) would build on semester 1 workshops exploring data sources. At the end of semester 2 students would present an individual based project report to provide an assessment of a broader region or sub-region; the group element would comprise a synthesis of the individual elements and an identification of issues related to methodological improvement in the spatial analysis or questions for further research.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should have a clearer understanding of how to:

compare and contrast theories and models of poverty and how these are used by planners;

explore the causes and consequences of urban poverty;

identify the main data sources for the measurement of different concepts related to urban poverty, recognising their methodological strengths and weaknesses;

situate models of poverty within a wider analytical context

formulate and justify area measurements of deprivation using computer-based techniques;

evaluate different poverty perspectives and the consequences for the spatial analysis of urban policy

understand the advantages and limitations of GIS in poverty studies

Develop analytical skills in GIS for planning and development for policies on social cohesion and sustainability.


1 x 3000 word essay in semester 1, 1 x 2000 word project report in semester 2.