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GEOP1080 – Urban Planet: Cities and Planning in the Anthropocene

2020 – Session 1, Fully online/virtual

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor
Sara Fuller
6 First Walk, 414
Please email for an appointment
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

The unit focuses on two big ideas: urbanisation and the Anthropocene – a proposed epoch in which humans are driving planetary change. For the first time in human history, over half of the world’s population live in cities. Urbanisation and the political, cultural and economic structures that sustain urban life are key drivers of global environmental change. The unit asks the question: how are we to imagine, plan and govern cities in the Anthropocene epoch? How are cities contributing to global environmental change and what solutions might cities offer? Key dimensions of urban and planning theory and practice are introduced, including: urban infrastructures and mobilities, social change and social justice, urban political economy and governance, and sustainability transitions. Students will apply theory and practice to case studies of Australian and international cities to explore the problems and possibilities of living on an urbanised planet.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Identify and describe historical and contemporary processes of urbanisation
  • ULO2: Discuss the interconnections between cities, climate change and social justice
  • ULO3: Explain how cites are imagined, planned and governed in theory and practice
  • ULO4: Apply urban and planning theories to case studies of Australian and international cities
  • ULO5: Communicate to diverse audiences using appropriately selected written, oral and visual means

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Assessment Information

Assignment requirements and submission

Detailed requirements and marking rubrics for each assessment are available from the iLearn site. All written assignments should be submitted online to Turnitin via the relevant links provided in iLearn. You are not required to submit a hardcopy of any assignments or include a cover sheet.

Assessment extensions and late penalties

Circumstances that affect your ability to complete assignments by the deadline must be discussed with the convenor (Sara) prior to the due date. Extensions will be granted only in unforeseen or exceptional circumstances according to the University Special Consideration policy. Students must apply online via AskMQ and provide appropriate supporting documentation (e.g. medical certificate).

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. 

Assessment feedback

All feedback for assignments will be made available online. The grade will be in the form of a letter as consistent with University policy (HD, D, Cr, P, F) alongside written feedback.

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status


Weekly classes involve a 2 hour lecture and a 1 hour tutorial.

  • Lecture: Monday 9-11
  • Tutorials: Monday 11-12; 12-1; 1-2; 3-4


There are a range of journal articles and chapters that are required reading. These will be listed on iLearn and available via Leganto.

Technology used and required

All enrolled students have access to the GEOP1080 website via iLearn. iLearn will provide access to lectures (powerpoint presentations for download and recordings through the University's Echo lecture recording facility) as well as readings, links and forum discussions. Regular access to iLearn is required in order to complete the unit.

Unit Schedule

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The unit schedule/topics and any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19. Please consult iLearn for latest details, and check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

Week Date Topic Assessment
    MODULE 1: Urban planet  
1 24th Feb Introducing cities in the Anthropocene  
2 2nd March Just cities  
3 9th March Global cities  
4 16th March Everyday cities Logbook part 1
    MODULE 2: Urban challenges  
5 23rd March Urban resilience  
6 30th March Urban transitions  
7 6th April Urban mobilities Urban futures case study
8 27th April Urban nature  
9 4th May Urban regeneration Logbook part 2
    MODULE 3: Urban futures  
10 11th May Urban imaginations  
11 18th May Smart cities  
12 25th May Sharing cities Logbook part 3
13 1st June Urban futures: towards climate justice

Cities, justice and the Anthropocene essay

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Changes since First Published

Date Description
20/02/2020 Updated unit schedule
07/02/2020 Corrected error in unit schedule