GGH323 Urban Geography

for FA 2010

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GGH 323 Urban Geography


FA 2010 HOZ


Fox, David P.


Assistant Professor of Geography

Office Location

Parkville Campus - Findlay-Wakefield Science Hall (SC) 004

Office Hours

Mon/Wed 10-12, Tues/Thur 9-10; 12-1

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

Aug 16 - Dec 10

Class Days


Class Time

12:00 - 1:15 PM



Credit Hours



By Paul L. Knox & Linda McCarthy
ISBN: 0131424505

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

See the Webliography page in the course eCompanion website ( for any internet resources that may be posted throughout the semester.

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Course Description:
GGH323 Urban Geography: The course is an in-depth study of the major concepts in urban geography, the physical characteristics of cities, and the current and future problems urbanization presents humans from the local to the global scales. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
My educational philosophy is to encourage student engagement by using a variety of learning opportunities.  Readings, lectures, demonstrations, discussions, internet resources, videos, writings, group activities, field work, mapping, Socratic seminars, quizzes, and examinations are common activities that may be utilized.  My goal is to create a positive, interactive, challenging, engaging, lively, and even potentially confusing (believe it or not) classroom environment.  But my success in doing so is largely dependent upon you.  Your willingness to engage in all learning opportunities, think critically, ask questions, and share your knowledge and perspectives is ultimately what will make this a meaningful course.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe and identify the basic characteristics of cities and urbanization.
  2. Analyze the ways that urban politics and urban planning shape urban settings.
  3. Analyze the forces and factors that shape residential neighborhoods (transportation to zoning laws).
  4. Appraise and propose the future of cities (urban sprawl) and how it impacts the global community.
Class Assessment:

:  You are always expected to participate in any class discussion activities.  On at least six unannounced occasions, you will be evaluated on the basis of your participation in these important learning opportunities.  Usually this will require making a written summary of your thoughts and reactions.  Some discussion activities may require use of the eCompanion website outside of the regular class period. 

Exams:  Three exams (including the "Final Exam," which will serve as the course Core Assessment) will be given.  Each exam may consist of multiple choice, true/false, matching, short answer, map, or short essay questions.

: Two homework assignments will be given during the course of the semester and will be due on the dates indicated in the course schedule (below).  These assignments are primarily intended to reinforce student learning of one or more of the Core Learning Outcomes and to help you prepare material for your course presentation.
Presentation:  Students will be required to research various aspects of the geography of a selected urban area (i.e., city).  The presentation will require use of Microsoft PowerPoint software.  Specific requirements and instructions for this assignment will be made available to students in the course eCompanion website and discussed in class.


Assignments (2 @ 10% each)
Exams (2 @ 15% each)
Final Exam (Core Assessment)
The course grade is determined by weighting the number of points earned for each assessment based on the above percentages.  Final grades will be based on percentage cutoffs--i.e., 100-90% = A, 89-80% = B, 79-70% = C, 69-60% = D, and 59-0%= F.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Work submitted within one week of the announced due date and time will be penalized 25% of the grade.  Assignments submitted after one week will be penalized 50%.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Make class time your first priority.  Arrive on time and do not leave early unless you have an emergency situation.

Treat fellow students and the instructor with RESPECT.  Disruptive or disrespectful behavior toward another student or the instructor will not be tolerated.  (This includes holding off-topic conversations or using a computer for non-related course activity during class time.)  The offending student(s) will be asked to leave the classroom for the remainder of the period and will not be allowed to make up any assessments yet to be completed during the missed class time.  Repeated occurrences of such behavior will be grounds for further administrative action as allowed by the Park University student code of conduct. 

Contribute to an atmosphere conducive to learning.  Phones or other electronic devices must be either turned to the silent mode (vibrate only) or OFF in the classroom.  If you do receive notice of an emergency call (other than during an exam), quietly leave the classroom.  Talking on a phone during class is prohibited.  During an exam, ALL phones and electronic devices must be turned OFF and put completely away.  ANY use of such equipment during an exam will result in a ZERO for the assessment.

All students will be held accountable for any material presented or discussed in class or through assigned readings.  It is the responsibility of the student to obtain all materials and information missed during a class session, regardless of whether or not the absence is excused by the instructor.  Failure on the part of the student to acquire missed information will not excuse the student from questions over that material on any assessment activity (quiz, exam, assignment, etc.).
You will be expected to use the eCompanion website for the course:  Some assignments/activities may be required to be completed online either during or outside of the regularly scheduled class time.  Students are expected to notify the instructor in advance of the due date of any questions or concerns accessing or using this technology.

You are expected to be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of any technological problems that may be encountered.  Therefore, computer problems will NOT automatically be considered grounds for having late work excused.  Be sure to save copies of your work OFTEN and in multiple locations for backup purposes. 
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, plagiarize.  Always respect the university's policies on academic honesty and freedom.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

The Instructor reserves the right to amend this schedule based on the progress of the course and the needs of the students.)

1 Aug 16 & 18 Ch. 1: Urban Geography
2 Aug 23 & 25 Ch. 2: Origins of Cities
3 Aug 30 & Sep 1
Ch. 5: Foundations of Urban Form & Land Use
Ch. 3: Foundations of the American Urban System
4 Sep 6 & 8
No class Sep 6 (Labor Day)
Ch. 6: Changing Metropolitan Form
5 Sep 13 & 15
Ch. 4: Urban Systems in Transition
6 Sep 20 & 22
Ch. 7: Urbanization in Less Developed Countries
7 Sep 27 & 29
Ch. 8: Urban Form & Land Use in LDCs
Assignment #1 due
8 Oct 4 & 6 Ch. 9: Urban Problems in LDCs
9 Oct 11 & 13 No classes (FALL BREAK)
10 Oct 18 & 20 Ch. 11: Urban Development Process
11 Oct 25 & 27
Ch. 13: Neighborhood Change
12 Nov 1 & 3
Ch. 15: Problems of Urbanization
Ch. 16: The Politics of Urban Change
13 Nov 8 & 10
Ch. 12: Residential Kaleidoscope
Ch. 14: Urbanization, Urban Life & Urban Spaces
Assignment #2 due
14 Nov 15 & 17
Ch. 17: Urban Policy & Planning
Ch. 10: The City as Text
15 Nov 22 & 24
Ch. 18: Urban Futures
16 Nov 29 & Dec 1 Presentations
17 Dec 8 FINAL EXAM, Dec 8, 10:15-12:15

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93
Students will receive a zero (no credit) for any assignment that has violated the Academic Honesty and Plagiarism policies in any way.  In addition, the student may be reported to the Dean for any additional disciplinary action that is deemed appropriate by the university.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:8/13/2010 4:34:54 PM