Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


Australian cities and regions are transforming and there is heated political debate about their future course. GEOG2080 examines the economic, social and cultural dynamics of cities and regions, and contemporary shifts in the theories through which we understand them. The course draws on a series of case studies of Australian as well as international cities, regions, communities and policies to explain patterns of urban, suburban and regional growth and decline, change and continuity. Topics covered include: urban economic and socio-cultural diversity; changing urban forms; sustainable urban and regional development; policy challenges for the management of urban and regional development; and the challenges of urban and regional growth and decline. On completion of this course students will have experience in geographical methods, skills and knowledge that are highly useful for future employment opportunities.

Availability2022 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Identify the patterns and problems of urban and regional development and management;

2. Explain the processes driving urban and regional economic, social and cultural transformation at a range of scales;

3. Examine and describe a variety of theoretical approaches from which to investigate and evaluate urban and regional patterns, problems and processes;

4. Develop a range of skills and methods relevant to geographical enquiry and communication. These include: critical analysis and evaluation of data sources; the interpretation of field observations; and the presentation of material including report writing and essay writing;

5. Analyse and evaluate a variety of materials including policy documentation, statistical information and reports.


Module 1: Cities and suburbs:

Changing city forms; the politics of urban development; urban and suburban planning; acknowledging Country in urban spaces.

Socio-spatial patterns of advantage and disadvantage, diversity and difference; wellbeing and social justice.

Public space; gentrification; creative cities; smart cities; place-making.

Module 2: Peri-urbanisation:

Drivers of peri-urban development; policy and peri-urban development; master planned communities; community and place-making; lifestyle choices; market needs vs social needs; social determinants of health; the need for integrated planning.

  1. Peri-urban life
  2. Peri-urban challenges and opportunities

Module 3: Rural and regional places:

Conceptualising the rural; drivers of rural change; transforming rural places; The rural idyll; the anti-idyll; amenity-led migration; performing the rural; competing rural narratives; neglected rural and regional geographies.


Assumed knowledge

GEOG1020 or GEOG1030 or EMGT1020/ENVS1004

Students enrolled in the B Arts - Human Geography and the Environment Major must have successfully completed GEOG1020.

Assessment items

Quiz: Online Quizzes

Report: Field Report

Essay: Essay

Log / Workbook: Field Trip Report

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Field Study: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory fieldwork induction. (1) a compulsory safety and fieldwork induction module before attending the field trip, and (2) an academic integrity module

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 24 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Includes field & computer labs conducted during 2 intensive field trips. Week/dates to be advised.

Online Activity

Online 2 hour(s) per Week for 11 Weeks


Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

Interactive Online drop-in session.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.