This course focuses on the multidimensional processes of urbanization and how they produce cities characterized both by common and unique geographic characteristics. In the first part of the course, we study the historical development of cities with an emphasis on recent changes and the role of globalization. Next, we turn to the theoretical tools used to understand cities and urban life and consider alternative discourses that have been put forward as explanations for new urban forms and experiences. We conclude by examining a variety of topics of importance to urban geographers, including poverty, social exclusion, race, ethnicity, gender, housing, sprawl and environmental degradation, using the theoretical tools studied earlier. This part of the course includes discussions about policy solutions and alternatives.