Urban Studies

Urban Studies allows students to explore how social, economic, and cultural processes shape cities – and how urbanization itself reshapes these sociocultural processes.

Courses in Urban Studies emphasize the links between local and global processes – both historically and today, when for the first time in human history a majority of the world’s population lives in cities – and the importance of context and contingency.

To understand Vancouver, for instance, is to understand how the history and present condition of the place relates to Montreal and Toronto, as well as New York, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong, and many other places in an evolving world urban system.

And yet key aspects of urban life do remain local and unique: theories and explanations born in one city can’t be used as cookie-cutters in other cities, ignoring the rich contours of local urban cultures, histories, and identities.

Urban Studies is open to all majors. It is not a full degree program, but rather allows students to choose urban-oriented electives from different disciplines.

The program includes two core Urban Studies courses, along with urban-oriented courses in Art HistoryClassical StudiesFamily StudiesGeographyHistorySociology, and several other fields.

Click here for Program Requirements


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Department of Geography
Geography Building
1984 West Mall
Tel: 604-822-2663

Geography Students Association