Student Groups

Global Metropolitan Studies has sponsored a range of student groups, including the Food and Cities Group, as well as the Berkeley-Stanford City Working Group, which evolved into Critical Urbanisms. The groups listed below are currently active. GMS also encourages proposals for new student groups.


Asian Cities

Driven by convergent and disparate forces of governance and capital markets, the contemporary Asian city represents new models that differ from those in the Anglo-American or European planning traditions. Beyond a site of engagement with capitalism or postcolonialism, Asian cities are nodes of specific local, regional, and national articulations in the pursuit of globality. The ‘Asian city’ thus requires a reflexivity of interdisciplinary fields to situate inter-city comparisons, references and models. The workshop and seminar series will bring together faculty, researchers and graduate students from multiple disciplines in humanity and social science, to study a variety of contemporary cases in Asia. We believe that an Asian perspective will not only inform urban studies research and planning practice, but also help shed light on how the unresolved tensions and friction between cultural norms and values and the various scales of governance impact the processes of city-making and remaking amidst current global crises. For more information, please contact Meiqing Li (


Latin American Cities

Latin American Cities Working Group is a space for fostering collaborative discussions about Latin American cities—how they have been constructed, transformed, and imagined. Our meetings include presentations of ongoing researches across campus on issues related to urban spaces, practices, and planning in Latin America, as well as lectures by invited speakers and discussion sessions based on pre-selected materials (ranging from academic papers to film and literature) on broad themes relating to cities and the urban condition. We regularly post information on future events and meetings, references to materials we plan to use in our discussion sessions, and videos, photos, and summaries of past events on our website.

Urban Dynamics

Urban Dynamics

The Urban Dynamics Group is a collaborative and interdisciplinary group to investigate the dynamic forces surrounding life, death, and renewal in the city.  As researchers within the fields of the social sciences, the humanities, and of the world, how can we come to apprehend a society that is in unceasing transformation and constant motion?  What theoretical approaches can come to terms with the human psychologies of desire, ambition, fear, and loss that are associated with equally dynamic conditions of construction, creation, eviction, and expulsion?  This academic group attempts to address questions of contemporary urban living through dialogue across disciplines and backgrounds by exploring the contemporary phenomena of life and death as systems of dynamics that cut across various ways of interpreting the city.  Based at UC Berkeley, the group will host a series of scholarly discussions, speaker panels, and academic workshops to advance our understanding of urban forces today and in the future. For more information, please contact Chris Chan (