• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Areas of interest Geography, Development Studies, Policy Studies, Political Sciences, Sustainability
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Hayley Henderson
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Summer Session 2022
    See Future Offerings

In 2022 the class dates are February 21, 25, 28

Most of the world's population live in cities, where many of the world's big challenges combine, from climate change to inequality. To meet contemporary challenges, it is imperative that policy makers can measure the demographic and economic drivers behind urbanisation patterns as well as understand their social and environmental outcomes. It is equally imperative that policy makers have the skills to work collectively with communities, political leaders as well as for-profit and non-profit organisations to guide decision-making on complex urban problems in a way that builds resilient cities. This involves an integrated approach to examining urban problems and designing solutions that can weigh up economic development considerations with social policy priorities as well as environmental management needs.

This course is designed for those interested in complex urban problems and integrating policy making to build more resilient cities. It provides an overview of common problems faced in cities over time as part of urbanisation processes and utilises urban and governance theory to consider different interpretations of these problems. Students will also utilise different analytical techniques to study these multifaceted problems. Then, some contemporary solutions designed to resolve complex urban problems are examined, with a particular focus on governance approaches that integrate policy areas in cities, for example in programs relating to urban renewal and informal settlement upgrading to large-scale infrastructure planning and urban river basin management. In this regard, attention is given to the important collaborative, boundary spanning and inter-jurisdictional work required of public policy practitioners in working to address complex urban problems.

Students will be invited to imagine themselves in the situation of other actors in the urban policy making and governance process so as to understand and empathise with different perspectives in a way that seeks agreement without avoiding conflict nor striving for consensus.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Explain contemporary conceptions and principles of social justice and sustainability relevant to urban policymaking.
  2. Identify and analyse complex problems and their expression across diverse urban contexts.
  3. Identify stakeholders and collaborators relevant to urban policymaking as well as develop strategies for collaborative urban governance.
  4. Design and appraise policy utilising qualitative and quantitative methods and principles of planning for equitable and sustainable cities.

Indicative Assessment

  1. 5-minute presentation or recorded film: identify and explain an urban problem in your city or neighbourhood (group or individual, depending on course format and student location) (20) [LO 1,2]
  2. Problem paper: analyse an urban problem in your city or neighbourhood (individual) (1000 words) (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Real case application: simulation of policy making processes to address an urban problem, based on real world experience (group) - 1000 word public policy brief plus 'governance' simulation meeting (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


This intensive course requires approximately 15 contact hours and 30-40 non-contact hours including private study.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

Unit 1. Applying urban planning and governance theory

  1. Campbell, S. & Fainstein, S. (2012). Introduction: The Structure and Debates of Planning Theory. In S. Fainstein & S. Campbell (Eds.), Readings in Planning Theory (pp.5-16). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  2. Jessop, B. (2018). The rise of governance and the risks of failure: the case of economic development. International Social Science Journal, 68: 43-57
  3. Pierre, J. (2011). The Politics of Urban Governance. New York: Palgrave MacMillan (Chapter One)
  4. Tonkiss, F. (2005). Space, the City and Social Theory: Social Relations and Urban Forms. Cambridge: Polity Press (Chapter: Spaces of Difference and Division)

Unit 2. Urban governance dynamics

  1. Fraser, N. (2004). Institutionalizing Democratic Justice: redistribution, recognition and participation. In S.Benhabib & N.Fraser (Eds.), Pragmatisim, Critique, Judgement: Essays for Richard J. Bernstein. Cambridge: MIT Press. 
  2. Healey, P. (1997). Collaborative Planning: Shaping Places in fragmented Societies. Cambridge: MacMillan.
  3. Lopes de Souza, M. (2006). Together with the state, despite the state, against the state: Social movements as ‘critical urban planning’ agents. City 10:3
  4. Nuno F. da Cruz, P. & McQuarrie, M. (2019). New urban governance: A review of current themes and future priorities, Journal of Urban Affairs, 41:1, 1-19

Unit 3. Urban policy practice

  1. Patton, C., Sawicki, D. & Clark, J. (2013). Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning, Third Edition. Georgia: Pearson. (Chapter 1. The Need for Simple Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning)
  2. Hoch, C. (2012). Making Plans. In R. Crane & R. Weber (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  3. Hopkins, L. & Zapata, M. (2007). Tools for effective planning practices. In L. Hopkins & M. Zapata (Eds.), Engaging the Future: Forecasts, Scenarios, Plans and Projects (pp.1-17). Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
  4. Sullivan, H. (2015). Performing a 'Collaborative Self'


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
3 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

3.00 0.06250
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $2100
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $3000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
1589 14 Feb 2022 22 Feb 2022 04 Mar 2022 25 Mar 2022 In Person View
1590 14 Feb 2022 22 Feb 2022 04 Mar 2022 25 Mar 2022 Online View

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