Course code Soci2002

Credit points 3

Urban Sociology

Total Hours in Course81

Number of hours for lectures16

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes16

Independent study hours49

Date of course confirmation22.11.2021

Responsible UnitInstitute of Social Sciences and Humanities

Course developer

author reserch

Dina Bite

Dr. sc. soc.

Prior knowledge

Soci1014, General Sociological Theory

Soci2023, Contemporary Sociological Theories

Soci2049, Rural Sociology

Course abstract

The aim of the study course is to make students` understanding about city as a specific space where social action and interaction occurs in order to get solutions for specific problems in the cities.
During the study course students get knowledge of city as a specific space where social interaction and social interaction occurs. Students acquire classical and modern approaches in exploring and interpreting of urban processes, main principles of urban planning as well as specifics of urban systems in different countries. Students acquire skills to assess documents of urban planning and to use appropriate social research methods in exploring of urban environment.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge. Knowledge and understanding of sociological theories about cities (test 1, self-tests); knowledge and understanding of theories of urban areas (test 2, self-tests).
Skills. Ability to describe urbanism and identify its features in cities (individual task); ability to evaluate urban planning documents from a theoretical perspective (individual task, practical work); ability to use appropriate social research methods for urban research (practical work (observation)); ability to responsibly plan time for the implementation of the assigned work (individual tasks); ability to independently obtain the necessary information using various sources of information (individual task).
Competence. Ability to choose the appropriate theoretical perspectives to describe a particular city (individual task), ability to independently find solutions to specific urban planning problems (individual task).

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Urban sociology as a branch of sociology. - 2 hours
2. The most significant sociological theories un urban sociology I. – 2 hours
3. The most significant sociological theories un urban sociology II. – 1 hour
4. Processes of urbanization. - 1 hour
5. Methods of urban exploration. – 1 hour
6. Urban planning. – 2 hours
7. Urbanism. – 2 hours
8. Gentrification. – 1 hour
9. Urban status and urban system in Latvija. – 2 hours
10. Perspectives of urban development. – 2 hours

List of seminar topics (16 hours)
1. Historical and contemporary aspects of urbanization processes. (1 hour)
2. Test I – sociological theories about the cities. (1 hour)
3. Urban policy. Analysis of planning documents. (2 hours)
4. Test II – theories of urban zones. (1 hour)
5. Sustainable urban development. Monocentrism versus polycentrism. (2 hours)
6. Analysis of urban system and urban network in Latvia. (2 hours)
7. Practical work – observation in the city. (3 hours)
8. Urban studies in Latvia. (1 hour)
9. Presentations of the independent task – analysis of a Latvian city/ town (3 hours).

Requirements for awarding credit points

Formal test with a grade. The final assessment is cumulative and is made of the assessment on two tests (30%), the observation (20%), analysis of one city/ town (50%).

Study process in part-time distance learning is organised in accordance with the Order of the Vice-Rector of Studies No. 2.4.-5/59 On distance learning procedures at LBTU. Study courses are scheduled for each semester according to the study plan. The students learn the topics included in the study course independently, using the materials created and placed by the lecturer in the e-studies (Moodle). Feedback on the learning of lecture and seminar topics in distance learning is organised in the form of self-assessment tests, discussion forums and independent work, as well as in face-to-face or online consultations, lectures and final examinations according to the timetable.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Literature studies, preparation and presentation of an individual task.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Students must prepare and successfully present an individual task (50%), they must pass two tests (30%), must do the observation in the urban environment (20%). Students must take part in all practical works. 10% correspond to one point in the 10-point grading scale.

Compulsory reading

1. Flanagan, W., Urban Sociology: Images and Structure, 5th edn., Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010. 443 p.
2. Hodson, M., et al., Urban Platforms and the Future City: Transformations in Infrastructure, Governance, Knowledge and Everyday Life, 1st edn., Routledge, 2020. 292 p.
3. Zukin, S., Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places. New York, Oxford University Press, 2010. 294 p.
4. Karp, D.A., et al., Being Urban: A Sociology of City Life, 3rd edn., Santa Barbara, California, Praeger, 2015. 340 p.
5. Glaeser, E., Cities, Agglomeration and Spatial Equilibrium. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. 275 p.
6. Gottdiener M., Hutchison R., The New Urban Sociology. New York: Westwiew Press, 2011. 435 p. Pieejams EBSCO E-book datu bāzē:
7. Amado, M.P., Urban Development and Infrastructure. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. 2014. Database: eBook Academic Collection. Pieejams EBSCO E-book datu bāzē:
8. Zobena A. (red.). Priekšlikumu sagatavošana Latvijas pilsētu politikas izstrādei, 2009.
9. Grizans, J. Pilsētu ilgtspējīgas attīstības plānošanas un pārvaldīšanas aspekti mūsdienās. Scientific Journal of Riga Technical University “Economics and Business. Economy: Theory and Practice”, 2010, Vol. 20, p. 51-58.
10. Grivins, M., Tisenkopfs, T., Kunda, I. SUPURBFOOD. Towards sustainable modes of urban and peri-urban food provisioning.WP2 Report. National Report: Greater Riga Region (Latvia), 2013.
11. Bite D. Pilsētas socioloģija. Nacionālā enciklopēdija. Pieejams:ētas-socioloģija

Further reading

1. Castells, M., Urban Sociology in the Twenty-First Century. Cidades – Comunidades e Territórios, vol. 5, 2002, pp. 9-19.
2. May, T., Perry, B., The Future of Urban Sociology, Sociology, vol. 39(2), 2005, pp. 343-370.
3. Daniels, P., Movement in Cities: Spatial Perspectives on Urban Transport and Travel. London; New York: Routledge, 2007. 395 p.
4. Atkinson, G. (ed.), Handbook of Sustainable Development. Cheltenham, UK: Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2007. 489 p.
5. Soja, E., Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions. Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 2000. 440 p.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Urban Studies. Online ISSN: 1360-063X. Pieejams:
2. Urban Affairs Review. Online ISSN: 1552-8332. Pieejams:
3. Journal of Urban Ecology. Online ISSN: 2058-5543. Pieejams:
4. Cities and Urban Development, European Commission. Pieejams:
5. Satori. Biedrības “Ascendum” izdots kultūras un patstāvīgas domas interneta žurnāls. Pieejams:


Elective study course in the ESAF academic bachelor study programme “Sociology of Organizations and Public Administration”