Fall, 2014

Class hour: Tuesday and Friday 2:10 p.m.-3:25 p.m.
Class location: HN1022
Professor: Hongmian Gong
Office and phone: HN1050, 212-772-4658
Office hours: Friday 3:30 -4:30 p.m., or by appointment.

Web page:
Department office and phone: HN1006, 212-772-5265


Course Description and Learning Outcomes


Spatial analysis of functions of metropolitan areas.  Social and economic characteristics of cities and suburbs.  Urban land use and the impact of globalization, transportation, and telecommunications.

This course will introduce students to the basics of urban geography, such as definition of cities (including Urban Areas, MSAs, and Micropolitan Statistical Areas in the U.S.), central place theory, urban systems, and traditional models of urban spatial structure (including concentric Zone Model, Sector Model, Multiple Nuclei Model, and Urban Realms Model).  More importantly, students will be exposed to contemporary urban topics such as global cities, urban economic restructuring, spatial and skill mismatch, homelessness, telecommuting, suburban growth models, and metropolitan governance and planning.  Emphasis will be placed on the urban experience of developed countries, especially the U.S., although urban issues and models such as false urbanization and the Model of Latin American Cities are also discussed.




GEOG 101 or permission of instructor.


Required Textbook


Kaplan and Holloway, Urban GeographyWiley, 3nd edition, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-118-57385-3 (Paperback) or 978-1-118-86514-9 (E-Text).  Required.

Additional readings may be given out in Blackboard.


Course Evaluation

Grade will be based on the following Criteria.  One may strengthen the grade by meaningful class discussions.  

Midterm exam (Friday, Oct. 24, subject to change)


Final exam (Tuesday, Dec. 23, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., same classroom)





1. A make-up exam for the Midterm or Final requires instructor’s consent ahead of time and will be given in an oral exam format in instructor’s office during office hours.

2. Each student is required to write a 3-page (double spaced, 12 point font) review of two related articles published in academic journals since 2009 on an urban topic discussed in the course.  A hard copy of the paper is due at the beginning of the last class on Dec. 12.  Late papers will be marked down 10% each day. 

3. The only students who will be eligible for CR/NC at the end of the semester are those who have completed all course requirements including the two exams and the paper.

4. Only students averaging C or above in the course are eligible to request an incomplete grade.  Granting incompletes to eligible students is at the discretion of the instructor.

5. Class attendance is mandatory.  Missing more than three classes in a semester, regardless the reasons, will adversely affect your grade.  Students are responsible for obtaining any information presented in class during an absence.




Chapter 1: Introduction to Urban Geography
Chapter 3: Evolution of the American Urban System
Chapter 4: Globalization and the Urban System
Chapter 4.5: Urban Transportation (not in the textbook)
Chapter 5: Urban Land Use
Chapter 6: Landscapes of Production

Chapter 7: Foundations of Urban Social Landscapes
Chapter 8: Urban Housing Markets
Chapter 11: Metropolitan Governance and Fragmentation

Notes on Schedule

August 29 (Friday): First class for this course.

September 17 (Wednesday): Last day to drop the class without a grade of "W".

September 26 (Friday): No chasses scheduled at Hunter College.

October 3 (Friday): No chasses scheduled at Hunter College.

November 6 (Thursday): Last day to drop the class with the grade of "W".

November 28 (Friday): College is closed for Thanksgiving.

December 12 (Friday): Last class for this course.

How to Use Blackboard to Access Your Grades and Course Information

1. Follow the instructions on to access Blackboard;

2. To view your grades, click My Grades, and then click GEOG243 Urban Geography;

3. To access course announcements, click GEOG243 Urban Geography, then click Announcements on the left.

4. To access course documents, click GEOG243 Urban Geography, and then click Course Information on the left.

5. When you are done, click “Logout” at the top to exit your account, and then close the Internet browser.  

Email Policy

Students should check the Announcements section in Blackboard and the course syllabus before emailing the instructor.  Content of the emails is limited to what has not been covered and cannot be covered in class or during office hours.  Emails are generally replied to within one business day and no later than two business days.  Remember to include the course title in the subject line and sign your full name as it appears in CUNYFirst.

Hunter College Policy on Academic Integrity

Hunter College regards acts of academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating on examinations, obtaining unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents) as serious offenses against the values of intellectual honesty.  The College is committed to enforcing the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity and will pursue cases of academic dishonesty according to the Hunter College Academic Integrity Procedures.


ADA Policy

In compliance with the American Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Hunter College is committed to ensuring educational parity and accommodations for all students with documented disabilities and/or medical conditions. It is recommended that all students with documented disabilities (Emotional, Medical, Physical, and/or Learning) consult the Office of AccessABILITY, located in Room E1214B, to secure necessary academic accommodations. For further information and assistance, please call: (212) 772- 4857 or (212) 650-3230.

Syllabus Change Policy

Except for changes that substantially affect implementation of the evaluation (grading) criteria, this syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advance notice.  Any changes made to the syllabus will be announced in class and/or posted in Blackboard under Announcements.