Why Urban Studies?

Welcome to Urban Studies!

If you are curious about cities and human settlements, enthralled by their forms, energised by their cultures, troubled by their injustices, worried about their environmental harms, or enthusiastic about their economic and creative potentials, then you will find a unique opportunity in the Urban Studies Major.

Urban Studies at Yale-NUS offers a rich supply of inspiration and provocation. Singapore is a city-state that boasts many regional and international innovations in urban policy and infrastructure development. It has a history of rapidly adopting—and improving—urban ideas from elsewhere, and nowadays Singapore generates its own standard-setting innovations that are exported worldwide. Almost every contemporary “starchitect” has been commissioned to design a building in Singapore, making the city a living gallery of contemporary architecture. Yet, all this urban innovation is located in Asia, a region where other cities face immense challenges in terms of rapid growth, poverty, infrastructure provision and governance.

The Urban Studies major takes full advantage of this context, exploring Singapore and the many other vibrant urban areas in Asia. It also offers students an in-depth understanding of urbanisation and urban conditions in other times and places, including the theoretical models used to account for such urbanisation.