Module Catalogue 2019/20

TCP2033 : Urban Infrastructures: A Lens on the City

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Diego Garcia Mejuto
  • Lecturer: Professor Geoff Vigar, Mr Clive Davies, Professor Stephen Graham
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



Roads, sewers, telecommunication networks or schools are essential to the development and functioning of cities; they provide the conditions for urban life yet they also constrain its possibilities. The module aims to foster a critical understanding of economic, social, environmental and political processes in the city through a focus on the infrastructures that condition them. This aim is two-fold: it seeks, on the one hand, to help students develop a critical understanding of the key issues and theoretical debates in the social sciences on urban infrastructures, and, on the other, to enable them to apply and enhance this understanding through the analysis of particular urban infrastructures in the Newcastle and Gateshead area. It thus combines theoretical reflection on globally relevant issues with applied and place-specific work. Importantly, this empirical focus allows the students to engage with processes of urban change through the preparation of proposals on the studied infrastructures.

Outline Of Syllabus

The first part of the module consists of a series of lectures and supporting workshops to provide the students with the knowledge basis necessary for the completion of the coursework. It combines general sessions on infrastructures, the city, and planning and governance, with specific sessions on particular types of urban infrastructures (e.g. transport infrastructures, green and blue infrastructures, and social infrastructures). The last part of the module consists of supported group work to apply and develop the knowledge acquired in the first part.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

•A critical and empirically-informed understanding of the relationship between infrastructures and urban processes.

•A good awareness of the key global debates on urban infrastructures and the range of infrastructures implicated in the production of the city.

Intended Skill Outcomes

•An increased aptitude in independent thinking and development of an argument.

•An ability to analyse and make proposals on urban environments through a focus on infrastructure.

•Enhanced team work and presentation skills.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture82:0016:00Lectures introduce the topic and provide the knowledge basis for the coursework
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical42:008:00Studio work for the development of the group assignment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Seminars for active discussion of materials covered in lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide students with an introduction to both the relationship between infrastructures and urban processes and the range of infrastructures that support the functioning of the city. The associated seminars further help students to develop a critical understanding of these issues by promoting their direct engagement with them. The group workshops finally enable them to apply this understanding to a particular setting whilst enhancing their team work and presentation skills.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M602,000-word individual essay.
Prof skill assessmnt2M40Group work: poster and presentation.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Both the individual essay and the group poster and presentation assess the understanding of the relationship between infrastructures and urban processes. In addition, the essay further permits evaluating the awareness of key global debates and types of urban infrastructures and the independent thinking and argumentation skills, and the group poster and presentation assesses both team work and presentation skills and the ability to analyse and engage with urban environments. Finally, the fact that the presentations are made in front of the other groups provides the students with an opportunity to enhance their knowledge outcomes by exposing them to other similar in-depth studies of cases of urban infrastructure.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.