GEOG343/743/EES781 Urban Geographic Theory

Fall, 2017

Class hour: Thursday 5:35-8:15 p.m.
Class location: HN1022
Professor: Hongmian Gong
Office and phone: HN1050, 212-772-4658
Office hours: Thursday 3-5:30 p.m., or by appointment.

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


Course Description and Learning Outcomes


This course focuses on spatial analysis of contemporary and theoretical issues concerning the economic growth, transportation, land use, globalization and technological impacts, social segregation, and urban governance in metropolitan areas.  We will discuss a topic each week, reading and responding to articles that link a contemporary urban issue to new and traditional urban geographic theories.  Emphasis will be placed on the urban experience of developed countries, especially the U.S., although urban issues in developing countries will also be briefly discussed.


Students will be exposed to some theoretical frameworks, approaches, and methodologies used in urban geographical studies.  They are expected to learn the types and aspects of urban geographical research from the examples provided and discussed in the course.  They will be guided to conduct an urban geographical study of their own and present it in the research paper format.



Permission of department. 


Textbooks and Readings

No required textbook for this course.  Optional textbook: Kaplan, Wheeler, and Holloway, Urban GeographyWiley, 3rd edition, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-118-57385-3.
Reading assignments will be given out in Blackboard throughout the semester.


Course Evaluation

Grade will be based on the following Criteria.

Weekly reading response paper


Weekly discussions


Research paper and presentation



1. A reading response paper is due before each class.  No late paper is accepted. 

2. No incomplete (IN) is given as a grade unless it is under the most extraordinary, and documented, circumstances.  To request IN as a grade, you must contact the instructor by Dec. 14 and complete a Contract to Resolve Incomplete Grades.


Class Schedule

Week 1 (August 31): Introduction
Week 2 (September 7): Cities in information age
Week 3 (September 14): Telecommunications and urban mobility

Week 4 (September 19): Telecommuting

Week 5 (September 28): GPS/GIS for urban transportation

Week 6 (October 5): Neighborhoods and social capital
Week 7 (October 12): Intraurban analyses

Week 8 (October 19): Spatial mismatch
Week 9 (October 26): Knowledge-based services
Week 10 (November 2): Growth of temporary help services

Week 11 (November 9): Globalization and financial Services

Week 12 (November 16): Urban Housing Markets

Week 13 (November 30): Urbanization in developing countries

Week 14 (December 7): Presentation

Week 15 (December 14): Research paper due on Blackboard

Notes on Schedule

August 31: First class for this course.

September 14: Last day to drop the class without a grade of "W".

September 19 (Tuesday): Classes follow a Thursday schedule at Hunter College.  Class for this course.

September 21 (Thursday): No classes at Hunter College.

November 10: Last day to drop the class with the grade of "W".

November 23: College closed.

December 7: Last class for this course.

How to Use Blackboard to Access Your Grades and Course Information

1. Follow instructions on to access Blackboard;

2. To view your grades, click My Grades, and then click Urban Geographic Theory;

3. To access course announcements, click Urban Geographic Theory, and then click Announcements on the left.

4. To access course documents, click Urban Geographic Theory, 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 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.

Hunter College Policy on Sexual Misconduct

In compliance with the CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Hunter College affirms the prohibition of any sexual misconduct, which includes sexual violence, sexual harassment, and gender-based harassment retaliation against students, employees, or visitors, as well as certain intimate relationship. Students who have experienced any form of sexual violence on or off campus (including CUNY-sponsored trips and events) are entitled to the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights for Hunter College.

a.      Sexual Violence: Students are strongly encouraged to immediately report the incident by calling 911, contacting NYPD Special Victims Division Hotline (646-610-7272) or their local police precinct, on contacting the College’s Public Safety Office (212-772-4444)

b.     All Other Forms of Sexual Misconduct: Students are also encouraged to contact the College’s Title IX Campus Coordinator, Dean John Rose ( or 212-650-3262) of Colleen Barry ( or 212-772-4534) and seek complimentary services through the Counseling and Wellness Services Office, Hunter East 1123.

CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct Link:

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.