Urban Studies term papers

What is Urban Studies?

The diverse range of approaches pertaining to the study of anything urban (cities, suburbs and urban areas), is known as urban studies.  The opposite of urban studies would be known as rural studies.  Urban studies can incorporate many different disciplines which may or may not be interlinked, including urban planning studies, architecture, economics, politics, social relationships, demographics, ecology and transportation systems.

Why a Degree in Urban Studies?

With more and more people in the world moving to metropolitan areas, where there is a need to balance an urban lifestyle with one that still incorporates elements of green, a degree in urban studies could be a fascinating one.  Urban studies provide students with the opportunity to really learn about how different elements in a city interact with one another, from the authorities to city dwellers, from the transportation systems to places of employment, and from specific city laws to architecture and urban planning.

Which Type of Person Suits an Urban Studies Program?

Urban studies is not for everyone, and the student who chooses this program needs to have certain characteristics over and above an interest in the subject matter.

  • Flexibility - Urban studies is interdisciplinary by nature, and students will be required to seek connections from other disciplines in order to understand urban issues. These include fields such as sociology, political science and environmental studies.
  • An interest in the real world - Urban studies is a very hands on field, which requires students to be grounded and show an interest in the workings of the real world around them - whether good or bad.

Typical Urban Studies Program

A typical urban studies program in an institute of higher learning would be one that is interdisciplinary in nature, which combines academic studies with hands on experience - with an aim to understand what makes cities tick.  The program will address questions such as: Why do people live in cities or suburbs? How does the physical environment influence behavior? How should problems such as urban poverty, homelessness, poor education and pollution be addressed?

The program will also teach the history and development of cities around the world.

A typical urban studies program has students take specific core and prerequisite classes, all the while learning skills in research methods and Geographic Information Systems.  Many programs incorporate internships and an original research project as part of the student's experience.

More specific degrees in urban studies may be chosen, including Urban, Community and Regional Planning, Urban Planning, Urban Education and more.

Career Choices with an Urban Studies Degree

An urban studies program can be the stepping stone to professions such as architecture, urban planning, law, education, public policy and business.  Urban studies graduates could find careers in the non-profit sector, government offices, consulting and real estate development, to name just a few.

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