Urban Poverty and Development

School: School of Government and Society
International Development Department

Modular value: 20 credits

Lecturers: Philip Amis and Emma Foster

This module aims to introduce the central issues and policies in relation to processes of urbanisation and urban development in the South. In particular, it will address the nature of urban growth and development in the South; outline the dimensions of urban poverty; analyse the range of policy options available to confront urban poverty; and critically assess this range of options and the role of international agencies and national governments.

The module is delivered via Canvas (our virtual learning environment), with hard copy materials. Students engage in structured group discussion board activities with the tutors.

Topics explored include:

  • Urbanisation and labour markets: or why do cities grow?
  • Overview of policy approaches to urban growth
  • Poverty: what can we learn from the literature?
  • Urban economic growth and poverty reduction: does trickle down work?
  • Infrastructure as a poverty reduction strategy
  • The informal sector

By the end of this module you should be able to:

  • Identify and critically analyse the main socio-economic changes that cause urban growth in the developing world;
  • Develop a good understanding of the impact of urban growth and change upon the societies of the developing world, and awareness of the condition of urban poverty and the range of possible policy options; and
  • Develop a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different policy options to address urban poverty, a critical understanding of the role of policy in urban poverty reduction and an ability to judge between different policies in different contexts.


Two 3,000 word assignments (50% each).

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.