ATS2778 - Public spaces and city life - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Human Geography



Not offered in 2017


The unit has a domestic field tripdomestic field trip ( component and may incur an additional cost.


Public spaces lie at heart of city life. They are the sites where communal values such as good citizenship, civic responsibilities, and social cohesion are enacted and challenged. The unit examines the changing role of urban public space and its role in the political and social life of democratic societies. In recent decades, traditional public spaces such as streets, parks and civic squares have been under threat in various ways, from being usurped by restricted private forms of communal space - in shopping malls, corporate plazas, arcades, and gallerias - that exclude some social groups and restrict democratic practice, to various forms of surveillance that control collective action. The unit will provide students with new understandings of how contemporary urban design and development seek to redefine the meaning of citizenship, civic rights, and the scope of the urban public realm.


Students who successfully complete the unit will have developed the following key competencies and capacities. You will be able to:

  1. Understand the historical and contemporary roles of urban public space;
  2. Explain the sociopolitical and economic changes that have shaped contemporary urban public space;
  3. Identify the ways in which individuals and groups are differentially included in or excluded from public space;
  4. Utilise selected geographic research skills and concepts relevant to urban geography.


Within semester assessment: 80% + Exam: 20%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement. + Additional requirements + Field trip

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Geographical science


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units. It is highly recommended that students only take this unit after they have completed two gateway units in Human Geography.