First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage
Course unit
SUP4065195, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
IA2447, Degree course structure A.Y. 2018/19, A.Y. 2019/20
bring this page
with you
Number of ECTS credits allocated 3.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination URBAN POLITICAL ECOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Branch Univ. of Leuven
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in SUSTAINABLE TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT


ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses SPS/10 Sociology of the Environment and Territory 3.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 3.0 24 51.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2018 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined

Examination methods: There is a wide range of evaluation approaches. These approaches concern formative and summative objectives. This is in line with targeted learning outcomes that focus on knowledge and insights, application skills and communication in a balanced way.
The variety of evaluation approaches is also due to the fact that the courses are offered in combinations with different study programs belonging to different universities.
The first group of exams is written and usually, essays are written. This type of evaluation allows a more creative and research-oriented approach. When the essay reflects student research, it must show the ability to clearly formulate research questions, organize and conduct research, apply appropriate methods, be able to collect data in the field and analyze that data.
Next, students must be able to discuss the results and include them in the broader scientific debate. Furthermore, the structure and writing of the essay must comply with the correct and academic writing rules. In many cases, the evaluation of the process, peer evaluation and/or presentation are related to the quality of the essay writing.
The second group of exams is implemented orally. This way they can be customized and are more interactive. Many courses have a policy of oral exams as a standardized procedure (questions, presentation, peer/self-assessment). This allows students to express themselves actively and dialogically.
Oral exams are particularly suited to test understanding/insights and the application of knowledge as they encourage students to produce clear communication and express their personal attitudes. As for the essays, an integrative oral evaluation allows a more creative and research-oriented approach.
Intermediate evaluations are generally used in an educational way to provide students with timely feedback, while final evaluations are used in a summative manner. Peer evaluation results can influence an individual's final grade.
Course unit contents: 10 lectures and seminars:

1)2 introductory lectures (2x2hrs) which include:
- a definition of urban political ecology;
- a historical overview of the various theoretical perspectives;
- Piers Blaikie and the origins of political ecology;
- Neill Smith, David Harvey, Erik Swyngedouw: urban metabolism; and uneven development:

- a Marxist perspective on nature and the urban environment;
- urban environmental justice studies: from waste dumps to food deserts;
- Sarah Whatmore, Jonathan Murdoch: ANT and the nature-society binary;
- Mike Davis, Henrik Ernston, Mary Lawhon: Taking UPE to the South;
- Frank Moulaert, Constanza Parra: socio-ecological system governance and social innovation;
- introduction to the assignments.

2) 8 assignment-based discussion seminars applying a body of theory to specific problems/themes (2,5 hrs each):

a) urban metabolism (suggested themes: water, energy, food, waste, air,…) (2 sessions);

b) cyborg cities (suggested themes: infectious diseases, alcohol, urbanized nature, air quality, infrastructure networks,…) (2 sessions);

c) socio-ecological system governance (suggested themes: socio-natural city-regions/ socio-natural disasters/urban environmental politics,…) (2 sessions);

d) urban environmental justice (suggested themes: water, energy, food, waste, air, socio-natural disaster, etc.) (2 sessions).
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)