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  UGEC 2231 城巿解碼
Decoding Cities

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Course Description  
Number of Units: 2
Lecture Hours: 2 hours/week (No tutorial)
Course Teacher: Dr. LEE Wai Ying (
Language of Instruction: Cantonese  
Course Outline
Cities have always been magnets attracting a growing number of citizens. The unprecedented pace of urbanization has recently witnessed a historic shift of human population with the majority now living in cities. The growth of cities in this age of globalization raises many opportunities and challenges, concerning the quality of life, poverty, sustainability, environmental degradation and urban competitiveness. All of these issues and problems deserve our attention. This course examines cities from different perspectives: historical, social, economic, cultural and environmental. At the global level, an overview of different types of cities, city networks as well as the impact of globalization on urban development will be addressed. At the regional level, it attempts to explore the emergence of cross-border economic regions and urban corridors in Mainland China. At the local level, the internal dynamics of cities will be addressed. By adopting a holistic approach, a variety of cities will be chosen as case studies for understanding urban development. While the coverage will be broad and global, case studies of Mainland China and Hong Kong will be emphasized. Lectures will be supplemented with videos.
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Course Highlights

Global perspective


Urbanization and the evolution of cities


Globalization: the emergence of world cities
3. Networks of cities: a borderless world?


Tour around major cities in the world: nature, functions and levels of development

Regional perspective


The rise of economic regions in China: regional development in perspectives


The less developed countries: are cities growing too fast and too much?


The more developed countries: are cities sustainable?

Local perspective


Urban competitiveness of cities


Livability of cities: the urban quality of life

9. The urban landscape: from landmarks to city functions
10. Informal settlements and poverty
11. Urban challenges: socio-economic and environmental


Planning for sustainable cities

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Please also refer to the information in the Office of University General Education and CUHK Undergraduate Handbook
(Select Curriculum and then Course Details)