urban green space
photo via Unsplash

This concentration recognizes the dramatic growth in the size, number, and population of cities across the globe in the last ten years as the influence of cities across regions and nations deepens, and our faculty and students examine the ever-evolving form, function, problems, and possibilities in these places.

Empirical focus extends to cities and their relations as they operate in North America, the global north, and the global south. Scholarly work in this track rests on the belief that robust theory and incisive empiricism are equally important elements to deeply understanding the current nuances of cities, their processes, and their relations.

Research methods used in this track to advance understanding of cities and metropolitan regions embrace a diverse set of tools and techniques, centering around the synergistic strengths of qualitative, quantitative, and GIS applications. Qualitative techniques (including field observation, ethnographic analysis, open-ended interviewing, survey research, archival search, and discourse analysis), quantitative techniques (including descriptive and inferential statistics, spatial analysis, analytic modeling, social network analysis), and GIS analysis are equally important approaches.

Program Emphases

  1. Spatial access to health care
    • Socio-spatial segregation and wellness
    • Social justice and health care provision
    • Neighborhoods and Health
    • Environment and health
  2. Urban Governance and Politics                  
    • Regimes of power and city redevelopment
    • Discourses of city growth and city redevelopment
    • Urban economic development and politics
    • City policing strategies and social justice
    • New and emerging suburban socio-political trends
    • Urban political ecology             
  3. Urban Physical and Social Transformation          
    • City spatial structure
    • City gentrification
    • Creative city making
    • New patterns of segregation
    • Race theory
  4. Critical Studies of Urban Transportation and Mobilities           
    • New infrastructural provision
    • Critical perspectives on infrastructure and economic development
    • Mobilities of people and freight
    • Accessibility for different social groups (by race, class, gender, ethnicity)
  5. Globalization, Neoliberalism, and the City        
    • City-global economic relations
    • Changing neoliberal political dynamics
    • Politics of the local urban state
    • Neoliberalism, ghettoization, and incarceration
    • Cities and the global South

All five emphases are concerned with geographical change, conflict, and development in both historical and contemporary contexts.


Geography & GIS courses in Cities, Space & Society

GGIS 410: Green Development
GGIS 412: Geospatial Technology and Society
GGIS 438: Geography of Health Care
GGIS 439: Health Applications of GIS
GGIS 446: Sustainable Planning Seminar
GGIS 465: Transportation and Sustainability
GGIS 482: Challenges of Sustainability
GGIS 483: Urban Geography
GGIS 484: Cities, Crime, and Space
GGIS 520: Political Ecology
GGIS 556: Regional Science Methods
GGIS 570: Advanced Spatial Analysis
GGIS 587: Qualitative Research Methods
GGIS 594: Seminar in Social Geography: the Turbulent City
GGIS 594: Seminar in Social Geography: the Post-Structuralist City
GGIS 595: Mobilities Seminar