Cities and the Climate Emergency - GEOG5005

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Jonathan Rock checkmark-circle


This module draws on a variety of debates from human geography and social sciences, introducing students to a wider, comprehensive understanding of the 'cities and climate change' discourse. It also seeks to establish a working interface between the social sciences and the environment supporting students who aim to work across disciplinary barriers, and to develop a more nuanced discussion related to the ‘cities and climate change’ debate. In addition to an overview of key policy documents driving the discourse, lectures will explore theorisations across human and physical geography that help rethink the arguments in a renewed way. This includes an understanding of how key concepts such as Anthropocene and adaptation and mitigation have shaped the discourse. The complementary role of lectures and seminars provide the context in which these questions are investigated through engaging more in-depth in the seminars with practical examples, interpretation and analysis of what is covered in the lectures.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22

Private study hours: 128

Total study hours: 150


Compulsory for:

BA in Environmental Social Sciences

Optional for:

BSc in Human Geography BSc in Wildlife Conservation

Method of assessment

Essay (1500 words) (40%)
Exam, 2 hours (60%)

**Please note that the exam in May/June 2023 will be Online (24 hour window)**

Reassessment instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Bulkeley, H. (2013). Cities and climate change. London and New York, Routledge.

Bulkeley, H. (2010).?Cities and the Governing of Climate Change.?Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 35:229-253

Bickell, J., et al., Eds. (2009). Adapting cities to climate change: Understanding and addressing the development challenges. London and New York, Earthscan.

Cartwright, A., S. Parnell, G. Oelofse and S. Ward, Eds. (2012). Climate change at the city scale: impacts, mitigation and adaptation in Cape Town. Abingdon and New York, Routledge

Rosenzweig, C., et al., Eds. (2011). Climate Change and cities: First assessment report of the urban climate change research network, Cambridge University Press.

Stone, B. (2012)?The city and the coming climate: climate change in the places we live.?Cambridge University Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Understand the relationship between global urban development and how it impacts climate change.

8.2 Evaluate the key drivers of the climate change debate in the context of globalisation.

8.3 Understand the broader theoretical and methodological overview of the 'cities and climate change' discourse from a social sciences perspective allowing for new viewpoints to emerge.

8.4 Reevaluate critically the ‘cities and climate change’ discourse and the extent to which related debates from human geography and social sciences have informed and influenced publications.

8.5 Critically analyse adaptation plans in cities.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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