Undergraduate Curriculum

Currently, there is no undergraduate major or minor in Global Metropolitan Studies.  Interested students should consider the existing major in Urban Studies administered by the Department of City and Regional Planning. 


Political Science 139D: Urban and Sub-national Politics in Developing Countries, Professor Alison Post (Fall 2010)

Over half of the world’s population is now urban.  As urban populations swell, metropolitan areas in both the developed and the developing world struggle to provide basic services and address the negative externalities associated with rapid growth.  Sanitation, transportation, pollution, energy services, and public safety typically fall to sub-national governments.  Yet local sub-national institutions face difficulties as they tackle these challenges because development tends to spill over political boundaries and resources are limited.  Such difficulties are particularly acute in the developing world due to tighter resource constraints, weak institutions, and the comparative severity of the underlying problems.  Moreover, democratization and decentralization suggest that urban governance and service delivery may have become more democratic, but present challenges with respect to priority setting, coordination, and corruption. 

This course will consider the political and institutional environment in which efforts to address metropolitan problems are developed, the financial and institutional vehicles used to provide services of different types, and the role of political parties and other forms of political organization in the development and allocation of services.  Topics will include urban and sub-national institutions and political regime types, decentralization and multi-level governance, the rule of law and urban violence, civil society and popular mobilization, political party organization and mobilization strategies, public policy formulation, urban bureaucracies, corruption, the politics of urbanization, and the metropolitan political economy. Readings will be drawn primarily from Political Science, Sociology, Geography, and Economics.  

City & Regional Planning 190: Nairobi Summer Design Studio, Professor Jason Corburn (Summer 2009) 

Over the summer of 2009, a team of UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students, led by DCRP Associate Professor Jason Corburn, focused on providing alternatives to the river clean-up displacement plan for informal settlements in the Mathare Valley of Nairobi. The interdisciplinary team of students and faculty are partnering with Kenyan-based NGOs Pamoja Trust and Muungano va Wanjivivi, students and faculty from the University of Nairobi’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning among others. 
During the summer studio course, students researched and created housing and infrastructure upgrade plans to improve river water quality by limiting pollution while also improving living conditions. The hope is that comprehensive social, physical, and environmental plans can help residents build political power, avoid eviction, and begin to address widespread discrimination, insecurity, and marginalization that slum dwellers often experience. In August 2009, the students will travel to Nairobi in order to refine these plans in collaboration with their partners.