Urban transformation: theory and practice


Environmental and Regional Studies (3rd level)

Regional studies (3rd Cycle)

Course code: DIR13
Year of study: without

Course principal:
Assist. Prof. David Bole, Ph.D.


Workload: lectures 40 hours, seminar 20 hours, individual work 120 hours
Course type: modul elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: lectures, e-learning, tutorial


Course syllabus (download)


Second-cycle Bologna degree in the relevant track or a university (level VII) degree


Content (Syllabus outline):

  • Key concepts in urban geography
  • Historical overview of urban development in Slovenia and abroad
  • Spatial transformation of cities: (sub)urbanisation and regional cities
  • Economic transformation of cities: the cultural turn and commodification of urban space
  • Social and political transformation of cities: segregation, exclusion and quality of urban life
  • Mobility and transformation of cities: transport problems and transport politics
  • Planning the transformed city
  • Critical urban geography: current topics (cities in the pandemics, the role of Industry 4.0, etc.)



  • Florida, R., Rodríguez-Pose, A., & Storper, M. (2020). Cities in a Post-COVID World. Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) No. 2041. Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography.
  • Grandin, J., Haarstad, H., Kjærås, K., & Bouzarovski, S. (2018). The politics of rapid urban transformation. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 31, 16–22.
  • Latham, A., McCormack, D., McNamara, K., McNeill, D. (2009). Key concepts in urban geography. Sage, London.
  • Montgomery, J. (2008). The new wealth of cities: city dynamics and the fifth wave. Ashgate, Aldershot.
  • Power, A. (2018). Regional politics of an urban age: Can Europe’s former industrial cities create a new industrial economy to combat climate change and social unravelling? Palgrave Communications, 4(1), 97.
  • Scott, A. J. (2012). A world in emergence: cities and regions in the 21st Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.
  • Sieverts, T. (2003): Cities Without Cities: An Interpretation of the Zwischenstadt. Routledge, New York.
  • Storper, M. (2013). Keys to the city: how economics, institutions, social interaction, and politics shape development. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
  • Thorns, D. C. (2002). The transformation of cities: urban theory and urban life. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.


Objectives and competences:

Goal of the course is to introduce newer concepts in urban geography. Modern society is an urban society and so the students should gain new knowledge of modern urban theories and urban life. The course will focus on five basic changes related to urban transformation. The first are spatial changes reflected in (sub)urbanisation and new spatial patterns. The second are urban-economic changes, especially with the rise of urban cultural industries and the commodification of cities. The third are socio-political changes with the focus on social exclusion, segregation and quality of living in cities. The fourth segment is changes in the mobility of urban population, automobilisation of the society and measures taken to counter the effects of unsustainable urban mobility. The last thematic segment is planning and institutional changes. We will encourage the students to critically evaluate mentioned urban processes and carry out independent research. For this reason every mentioned segment will require a seminary paper. The lectures will be partly carried out in the field.


Intended learning outcomes:

  • Understanding modern concepts and research methods in urban studies
  • Ability of critically evaluating urban processes and finding solutions on urban challenges
  • Ability to connect contemporary urban challenges with wider development and planning context



Oral exam (50 %), written paper (50 %).