Urban Poverty and Inequality

Course Details

Faculty: Alberto Minujin
Monday 6:00pm - 7:50PM
NINT 5078 CRN 4809

One of the 21st Century’s biggest challenges is, and will continue to be, urban expansion and growing intra-urban inequalities. Fifty percent of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas and, by 2050, that number is projected to rise to 66 percent. Many inhabitants, including millions of children, live in slums with precarious and temporary shelter where inequities are part of daily life. Twelve of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recently adopted by the United Nations concern cities and citizen wellbeing and they must be linked with the 2016 New Urban Agenda. Some key implications of the issues listed above are still unanswered. For example, how many poor live in urban areas? How should urban poverty be measured, and how reliable are current estimations of poverty? How do inequities affect different social groups in cities? What is the situation in cities, for example, of groups such as children, women, and minorities? How are urban policies addressing the multiple challenges that cities increasingly face? What are the relationships, or lack thereof, between central, municipal, local government, and civil society in this context? The approach of the course to address these questions will be to emphasize the practical experience that the student will develop during the course, based in a theoretical framework. This course will delve into a two-part exploration of the issues. On the one side, urban poverty, informality and inequality concepts and measures will be discussed in the context of social justice. On the other side, the course will focus on critically examining social policies that cities - both in developing and developed economies - are implementing to address urban inequities. Using New York City as a case study, students will explore how different organizations implement such policies to address poverty and marginalization among different social and demographic groups. The course will be based on two parallel tracks: 1) Analyzing conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches to measure poverty and inequality and relevant social policies to alleviate urban poverty and exclusion; 2) Students will also design and carry out a practical project related to ways to confront poverty in New York City.

Levels: Graduate, Undergraduate
Course Attributes: Liberal Arts, Open to Non Major with Restrictions

Photo: Watson Brown

Project Details

  • Categories:

    Cities and Social Justice

  • November 20, 2017