Giulia URSO

Giulia URSO

Docente a contratto

Dipartimento di Storia, Società e Studi sull`uomo

Cittadella della Ricerca - Edificio 3 - S.S. 7 Km.7,3 - BRINDISI (BR)

Presidenza, Piano terra

Telefono +39 0832 299727

Area di competenza:

M-GGR/01 - M-GGR/02

Orario di ricevimento

Mercoledì 9:00-11:00 - Laboratorio Geocartografico, Palazzo Parlangeli, 1° Piano

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Curriculum Vitae

Giulia Urso è dottoressa di ricerca in Studi Storici, Geografici e delle Relazioni Internazionali (XXV Ciclo) per l’indirizzo “Paesaggio, ambiente e territorio: tra gestione delle risorse locali e processi di integrazione” presso il Dipartimento di Storia, Società, Studi sull’Uomo, Università del Salento.


1. Presentation of the course

In this course, our main goal is to make sense of the ways that towns and cities have changed and are changing, with particular reference to the issue of globalization.

We tackle four distinct, and yet interrelated, sets of questions. 

  1. how did cities and other kinds of human settlements vary across time and space? How has the evolution of cities reflected prevailing historical conditions? How do certain cities reflect the distinctive circumstances of their geographical context?
  2. what regularities unite seemingly different cities?  What are the similarities in patterns, processes, and relationships within different cities, and in networks between cities?
  3. how do social relations shape cities?  How are particular (economic) activities distributed within and among cities?
  4. how does globalization influence the decisions of today's corporations, investors, and governments as they gradually create new urban geographies? How have cities changed after/because of globalization? Which is the current global urban structure? Which are the main models to study it?

Urban areas vary in their form, structure, morphology, land use patterns, and historical processes of evolution. But they are also driven by a series of interrelated processes of change - including economic, political, cultural, demographic, technological, environmental, social, and locally-contingent forces. These forces operate at a variety of geographical scales ranging from the global to the local. The goal of this course is to understand the processes undelying the rise of global cities and the character of their urban areas.

In doing so, students will be exposed to:

  1. basic concepts of urban geography
  2. the factors that gave rise to early global cities;
  3. models and theories explaining them;
  4. the various distinct structures and forms of urban areas;
  5. government policies and urban management strategies;
  6. various issues present in our cities today

The course will be delivered in various formats: formal lectures, in-class and tutorial discussions, guest lectures, and videos. By the end of the course students should be able to apply various constructs to real world urban issues.

2. Aims

  1. To introduce you to an interpretation of contemporary globalization that is relational, concrete, geohistorical and avoids state-centrism by focusing on the inter-city links between cities across the world
  2. To confront the difficulties in carrying out global-scale research and to explore ways of overcoming some of the problems
  3. To facilitate your engagement in understanding a changing world-economy so as to think constructively about future global possibilites.


3. Main concepts

  • World city, global city, cities in globalization, and mega-city will be explored and the ideas of leading theorists (Hall, Friedmann, Castells, Sassen) critiqued.
  • Empirical deficits and conceptual confusion will be addressed. The GaWC project will be described .
  • The variety of networks comprising different aspects of globalization - economic, cultural, social, political - will feature.

4. Main topics

  • Introduction: a relational urban studies
  • Historical overview of world cities
  • Contemporary concepts (the interlocking network model; city competition/cooperation; global city/world city);
  • Relational empirics (airline networks; internet networks; corporate networks; advanced producer servicing networks);
  • World city analysis (world city infrastructures, economies, governance)

5. Learning objectives

On completion of this course, students will be able to ground debates about contemporary globalization in a relational understanding of cities and their role in the world economy. Students will experience the dearth of theory and the deficiency of data on inter-city relations that exists in the literature and will be able to explore how GaWC (Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network based at Loughborough) tackles these issues. In this way they will be confronted by the obstacles, both theoretical and empirical, in the way of carrying out global social research and they will be able to work out how to begin to overcome them.

Specific learning objectives:

  • Understanding cities as a consequence of inter-city relations: this includes our contemporary world in which cities provide the organizational hubs of globalization.
  • Developing students' critical perspective in a new direction: our taken-for granted world is made up of nation-states, this course will undermine that way of looking at the world as being geohistorically transitory.
  • Enhancing students' appreciation of the complexities of ‘space’: this core geographical concept will be taken apart and reassembled as spaces of flows and spaces of places, boundaries and mosaics, networks and hierarchies.
  • Adding to students' knowledge of globalization: this most popular contemporary concept will be given a concrete expression in practices and places.

Most of the readings for this course are contained in the text “International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities” (2012), edited by Ben Derudder, Ghent University, Belgium, Michael Hoyler, Loughborough University, Peter J. Taylor, Northumbria University, UK and Frank Witlox, Ghent University, Belgium.

Exams: 10th June 2015; 24th June 2015; 8th July 2015 (09:00 a.m.)


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Settore Scientifico Disciplinare M-GGR/02

Tipo corso di studio Laurea Magistrale

Crediti 6.0

Ripartizione oraria Ore totali di attività frontale: 0.0

Per immatricolati nel 2013/2014

Anno accademico di erogazione 2014/2015

Anno di corso 2

Semestre Secondo Semestre (dal 02/03/2015 al 29/05/2015)


Percorso PERCORSO COMUNE (999)

Sede Lecce - Università degli Studi