The New Urban Transition

Course lecturer: Dr. Christien Klaufus
Period: 7 January 2019
Schedule: Monday and Wednesdey 13:00- 16:00
Course load: 6 / 7.5 EC
Course ID: 180421046Y

When UN-Habitat published a report on Latin American cities in 2012 with the subtitle Towards a new urban transition, the title expressed a wish more than a reality. The first urban transition in Latin America is now completed, but what will be next? The report invites scholars and practitioners to work towards more sustainable cities – and that is what we will consider in this course.

This course engages in academic theories as well as policy agendas on Latin American urban development since the 1990s, with the Habitat III conference 2016 in Quito as the most recently held event. This course introduces students into the multidisciplinary field of Latin American urban studies, in which geography, sociology and history are integrated. Concrete policy cases will familiarize students with aspects of social housing, solid waste collection, urban transport, neighbourhood culture, and other topics. Moreover, students will methodologically explore the city as a fieldwork setting for their own research topic.

After finishing this course, students will be able to recognize different analytic frameworks for the assessment of urban development in a Latin American context; to use key concepts and methods in their own research set-up; and to interpret current events taking place in Latin American cities based on the models and theories discussed.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- understand and apply basic concepts and theories from the urban studies literature;
- distinguish and apply different approaches to investigate social life in cities;
- identify and qualify key themes in academic and policy debates on Latin American urban developments.

Form of instruction and assessment
The course consists of lectures and working group sessions.
Weeks 1,2 and 3 consist of two meetings per week, three hours each (two hours lecture and one hour working group session with an assignment given in class).
In week 4, students work in class on a group assignment, which will be presented during the last meeting.
A final paper is to be handed in one month after the last course session.

The course grade will be based on:
- three in-class assignments: 10% each
- a group assignment prepared in the fourth week: 20%
- the final paper: 50%, due one month after the last session

For the examination dates please consult the timetable on
Click here for the course description in the UvA Studiegids.

The literature will be announced six weeks in advance.

Class attendance is compulsory as an active participation in the working group sessions is part of the form of instruction. Students can finish the course if they have attended at least seven of the eight sessions.

Registration and Participation

UvA Students

Students registered at the University of Amsterdam can register for the CEDLA courses through SIS.

Students registered at other Dutch universities
BA students that are registered at another Dutch university can register as a guest student Spanish Language and Culture (‘bijvakstudent Spaanse Taal en Cultuur’) at the University of Amsterdam in Studielink.

MA students that are registered at another Dutch university can register through our digital registration form.

Persons who are interested in our courses, but are not registered as students at a university, may participate in some courses under certain provisions. Those interested, should provide the secretariat with some information on their background, their background knowledge and their special interest in taking the course. Non-students can register for the courses through our digital registration form

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the CEDLA secretariat. We are open on weekdays from 9.00 to 17.00 hours.

Telephone: +31 20 525 3498

Pictures: Adam Cohn (CC BY-NC 2.0) & Oscar Juárez (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)