Geog 438 Cities of East Asia: Geography and Development  (5 credits)


2003 Spring, Class schedule: T, Th 10:30-12:20, Den 216

Kam Wing Chan, Smith 424; Email:; office hours: Th 2-3pm

Course Description: Cities are pivotal in the transformation and development of East Asia. The course studies the similarities and diversities in the evolution process of cities. It also develops perspectives to analyze cities in the region from theories in geography and urban studies. A comparative approach is employed to study the processes and factors in urban development in the region, and the interaction of geography, history, politics and economics. The course examines national urbanization patterns and policies, as well as issues in the development of several large cities. Students learn about the region, the cities, and perspectives to analyze them. They also develop an in-depth understanding of a topic through completing a research paper. This course caters to students with an interest in Asian studies, urban studies, development studies, and geography students with a desire to learn about urban and economic geography in a non-Western context. Pre-requisite: A general course in China, Japan, or Asia; or in urban studies/geography.



  1. Introduction: geography, history and theories of cities
  2. Traditional or pre-industrial cities

3.       Post-WII economic development strategies and patterns

4.       Contemporary urbanization, urban systems, and major cities

5.       The social and spatial structures of cities

6.       Globalization and cities


Format: Mostly lectures, supplemented with videos and discussions. Students are expected to actively take part in discussions on 2-3 substantive topics.



Test 1 (20%), 4/17/03

Test 2 (30%), 6/3/03

Research paper (40%), due 5/29/03

Class participation (10%).


Note: No make-up or early tests are available except under special circumstances beyond the control of student.



A reading packet is available from Rams Copy, at 42nd and University Ave. Any new additions will be placed on reserve in the East Asian Library, Gowen Hall 3/F.