This course examines the historical foundations and a range of contemporary critical challenges and associated strategies for sustainable urban and regional planning in the Global South. Urban-rural dynamics and the rapid and ongoing urbanization in most countries in the Global South places substantial pressure on urban planning for a sustainable development; socially, culturally, environmentally and economically. Many people live in informal settlements and work within the informal economy leading to challenges for the everyday lives of urban residents and for the official planning systems. Many people live neither discretely urban nor rural lives but move between urban and rural spheres in order to improve their livelihoods. This course will raise, highlight and discuss theoretical perspectives and challenges for sustainable planning in Southern contexts. We will discuss how urban and regional planning in the global South are influenced by development theories such as the largescale modernistic ideas as well as alternative post modernization approaches that, for example, focus on alternative framings of central challenges and solutions including an emphasis on the micro-scale, uneven development, and local practices and forms of knowledge.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student is expected to be able to:

  • describe historical and contemporary challenges in urban areas in the Global South.
  • describe how different development and planning theories explain historical and contemporary challenges for social development.
  • analyse consequences of urban and regional planning strategies.
  • discuss future challenges and possible solutions for urban and regional planning in the Global South.


Instruction is conducted in the form of introduction, lectures and seminars. 


Student performance is evaluated through testing students’ knowledge and understanding as defined by the learning outcomes. Testing of knowledge and understanding takes place via assignments. 

Course facts

Course coordinator:  Senior Lecturer Andrew Byerley
Course code:  KG2310
Name in English: Challenges for Planning in the Global South
Name in Swedish: Planeringens utmaningar i det globala syd
Credits: 7.5 HECs
Cycle: First Cycle
Main field of study:  Urban and regional planning. The course can be included in a bachelor's degree in the following main fields of study: urban and regional planning, and human geography.
Language of instruction:  English
Pace percentage:  100%, i.e. full-time
Delivery mode: On campus
Course start: Spring Semester
Semester period:  B
Target group: The course is offered freestanding and is also part of Human Geography II – course package Globalization and Cities, 30 HECs, and elective in the second semester within the Bachelor's Programme in Human Geography – Society, Environment and Global Processes, 180 HECs, and within, among others, the Bachelor's Programme in Urban and Regional Planning, 180 HECs, the Bachelor's Programme in Geography, 180 HECs, and the Bachelor's Programme in Global Development, 180 HECs.
Special eligibility requirements:  15 HECs from Introduction to Human Geography, 7.5 HECs, Population, Environment and Landscape Change, 7.5 HECs, Cities and Urban Society – Local and Global Challenges, 7.5 HECs, GIS and Spatial Analysis I, 7.5 HECs, Urban and Regional Planning – Foundations, 7.5 HECs, Urban and Regional Planning – Organization, 7.5 HECs, or 15 HECs from Human Geography I, 30 HECs. Alternatively 30 HECs from a social science or humanities main field of study or geography, or equivalent.
Selection:  Higher Education Credits (up to 225)
Application:  See the University course catalogue
Limitations: The course cannot be included in a degree together with another course whose content fully or partly corresponds to the content of the course. This applies, for example, to the courses Challenges of Planning in the Global South – Focus Africa, 7.5 HECs, and Urban and Regional Planning III, 30 HECs.

Detailed information, including grading criteria, is provided at the course introduction and via the learning platform Athena. Syllabus, reading list and schedule are published below. When the syllabus is revised, this is done at least one month before the last application date. The reading list is usually revised before each course instance and this is done at least two months before the course starts. The schedule is available here no later than one month before the course starts, but minor schedule adjustments can be made later.