87649 - Urban Studies And Climate Change

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Sociology and Social Work (cod. 8786)

Learning outcomes

The course introduces students to the emerging field of urban studies connected to climate change issue. At the end of the course, students will have a knowledge about: 1) the relationship between two global driving forces: urbanization and climate change; 2) different theoretical and methodological tools to explore how the transformation of cities facing climate change is being understood, managed and achieved; 3) Different approaches promoting more sustainable and resilient forms of urbanization and urban life.

Course contents

Climate change and unprecedented planetary urbanization remain two of the most urgent issues of our time, reshaping societies. Climate change has worldwide implications -from the exacerbation of urban inequalities, to the loss of environmental, social and economic security. In this regard, sustainable urbanisation has moved more and more to the forefront of policy agendas and research.

Using several theoretical approaches and epirical studies, the course will analyze 1) forms and impact of urbanization processes; 2)  how climate change impacts different social groups in our urban systems; 3) Post-carbon cities: adaptation and mitigation strategies being currently implemented.


Lessons take place in the first semester.


Beck U. (2015), Emancipatory catastrophism: What does it mean to climate change and risk society? Current Sociology;63(1):75-88.

Brenner N. (2016), “The Hinterland, Urbanized?,” AD / Architectural Design, 118-127.

Klinenberg E. (2002), Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press.

Sampson R.J. (2017), “Urban sustainability in an age of enduring inequalities: Advancing theory and ecometrics for the 21st-century city”, PNAS, 114, pp. 8957-8962. available at http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/114/34/8957.full.pdf

Shove E. (2010), Beyond the ABC: climate change policy and theories of social change, in: Environment and Planning A, Vol. 42, No. 6, p. 1273-1285 disponibile su https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

Teaching methods

Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion.

Assessment methods

Learning assesment takes place through an individual oral interview (open questions) on the basis of the reference texts for the exam, aimed at evaluating: a) the learning of the contents by the student; b) her/his ability to elaborate and argue.

Attending students can develop a paper and a power point presentation, to be presented to the class, on a topic agreed with the instructor during the course of the lessons.

Appropriate language with the specific nature of the discipline, and the ability to deepen and put into connection with each other the main issues addressed in the course will result in assessments of excellence. Correct language, mnemonic knowledge of contents and partial ability to link the themes covered will produce discrete valuations. Inappropriate language, the presence of some training gaps but achieving a minimal body of knowledge on the topics covered will result in assessments sufficient. Lack of guidance within the themes addressed in the exam readings, inappropriate language, and training gaps will result in negative evaluations.


Teaching tools

Slides presentation, videos, websites.

The slides presented at class will be available during the course.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandra Landi


Good health and well-being Sustainable cities Climate Action

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.