Urbanism II - Trends & Topics in Urbanistic Processes – Past, Present, and Future 


Vesta Nele Zareh, Professor of Urban Planning

Florent Leveque, Teacher 


As of 2007, for the first time in human history, more than 50% of the world’s population is living in urbanised areas (the rate of 80% was surpassed 2020 in Germany). What created a stir at the time and has since then given rise to endless discussions about the future of cities, the future of urban life, and life in general is the result of pressing processes of urbanisation, which are shaping not only cities and city life, but also, due to the increase in urbanized areas, the globe itself. Current estimations show that this rate of urbanisation will reach 90% by 2050, while, in South East Asia alone, predictions indicate that climate change and reduced access to water and food will drive another 2.5 billion people to live in urbanised areas. While these numbers are hard to understand since they are based on both individual stories and common trends, they show the ever-increasing importance of understanding and – if possible – shaping urbanisation processes in such a way that they allow for the majority of people to participate in sustainable and socially integrated city life. The lecture series will introduce you to the trends and topics in contemporary urbanistic processes, starting from and drawing references to the urbanisation processes of the past and examining those of the future.


The weekly lecture series is split into roughly five parts, each comprising three lectures that introduce students to key topics in historical and current trends in urbanism and the political, ecological, economic, social, and spatial effects on and of urbanistic tendencies. Each lecture begins with a definition of and an introduction to the topic, presents historical and contemporary references and case studies, and includes a section on methods.

Parallel to the lecture series, which will introduce you to the overarching topics and trends, you will work during the semester in groups of a minimum of three and maximum of five students: choosing a topic and a method for research/ analysis and developing your own micro-case study. Detailed information will be provided during our first meeting via zoom on the 12th of April 2021.



The course will begin as an on-campus course, but we will switch to online class if required by the COVID-19 regulations. The course will also test the possibilities of the green classroom on campus.



Each student will work on a chosen topic, which should be linked to the field of infrastructure and the urban landscape.


The course aims to establish an enhanced understanding of historical and contemporary processes of urbanization in weekly sessions, while also communicating methods for analyzing and describing specific urbanistic developments.