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Understanding Cities: Track 2

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At the beginning of the 21st century, more than half the world’s population live in cities. Issues about governance, intensification of social relationships, the impact of globalisation, and the way green spaces are utilised become ever more pressing concerns. The tracks on this album explore some of the challenges faced across the world as citizens and administrators adapt to ever increasing pressures on city spaces and resources. The material forms part of the course DD304, Understanding Cities.

By: The OpenLearn team (The Open University,)

  • Duration 2 hours
  • Updated Tuesday 13th April 2010
  • Posted under Sociology
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Track 2: Nature Spaces

An allotment in Handsworth, Birmingham as an example of a nature space. Allotment holders talk about the ecological, sociological and community benefits of allotments.

© The Open University 2008

Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Understanding Cities    A short introduction to this album. Play now Understanding Cities
2 Nature Spaces    An allotment in Handsworth, Birmingham as an example of a nature space. Allotment holders talk about the ecological, sociological and community benefits of allotments. Play now Nature Spaces
3 Shared Spaces    Some problems that can ----- from differing viewpoints emerging in a shared community space, and possible threats to such spaces. Play now Shared Spaces
4 Nature Formations    Implications for social justice and the future sustainability of city nature formations, in the context of continuing urban densification. Play now Nature Formations
5 New Ideas    Cities as a cultural crucible with nature spaces as an integral part. The potential for allotments as small-scale production centres. The wider implications of nature spaces and their representative values. Play now New Ideas
6 Networking    The effects of globalization trends on cities and the relevance and position of entrepreneurship. What do cities have to do to survive? Play now Networking
7 Humanism and cities    The impacts of making the city more competitive, and whether this detracts from cities as a purely human space. Cities as moving beyond purely economic environments. Play now Humanism and cities
8 Encounter or Containment?    The city as a non-corporate entity - the political possibilities inherent in city spaces. The city can be a politically strategic space, and how otherwise powerless groups can gain attention. Play now Encounter or Containment?
9 Unruliness and cities    The relationship of order and disorder in the city, and the intensification of social relationships in cities. Is such disorder positive or negative? Play now Unruliness and cities
10 Power Relations    Is the spacial order of cities a reaction against disorder? The suburbs as a social response to the city environment, the importance of connections in the city. Play now Power Relations
11 Order and Disorder    The problem of segregated spaces and exclusional development in relation to power structures in cities. Play now Order and Disorder
12 Government and Governance    The distinction between government and governance as a response to the growth of cities. Changing concerns and structures. Play now Government and Governance
13 Governance and Privatisation    The promotion of private sector governance in developing countries, and the problems that can ----- with communities. Shared agendas as a possible solution. Play now Governance and Privatisation
14 Growth Agendas    The development of brownfields sites in terms of growth, using East London as an example,. The victims of such development and the potential cultural and social loss. Play now Growth Agendas
15 Divergent Agendas    How are agendas defined, and what is lost in a shift to governance over government? The possibilities for democratic accountability and the problems of local councils. Play now Divergent Agendas




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