About this online course


Urban design, inequality and segregation are strongly connected.

Cities around the world, from the Global South to the Global North, are facing a rise in inequality and socio-economic segregation. The wealthy are increasingly concentrating in the most attractive urban areas and poverty is spreading to the suburbs. Rising levels of segregation have major consequences for the social sustainability of cities and leads to unequal life opportunities depending on where in the city you live.

In this course, aimed at a broad range of professionals, from urban planners and architects to geographers, you will learn what the main drivers and indicators of urban inequality and segregation are, using examples from cities from all over the world. You will learn how segregation is measured, how to interpret the results of the analyses of segregation and how to relate these insights to urban design. With this knowledge, you will be able to analyze how these issues may be affecting your local environment.

Additionally, we will present some historical examples of how urban design has played a role shaping spatial inequality and segregation in a selection of case study cities. This will help you to get a better understanding of how urban design can reduce spatial inequality and segregation.

The course is taught by the editors of the new SpringerOpen book "Urban socio-economic segregation and income inequality. A global perspective" and senior experts from the Urban Design section of TU Delft, which is ranked number 2 in the QS World University Rankings in the field of Architecture.

After taking this course you will be able to:

  • Identify the main drivers of urban inequality and socio-economic segregation and the links between them
  • Understand how segregation can be measured
  • Examine the consequences of urban inequality and segregation based on the case studies presented
  • Evaluate the urban inequality and segregation aspects of your own urban context
  • Develop urban design and policy solutions to suit your own urban context


Course Syllabus:

The course builds up following the five learning objectives and it is based in four sections: introduction, the challenges, the tools and proposals. Besides the introduction section, the other sections are divided into three different urban scales: region, city and neighborhood. Participants can choose to complete each section before moving to the next one or just focus on one specific scale. Nevertheless, it is required to follow the content of the three scales to successful complete the course. An example of the course structure based on the sections:

  • Week 1 – Introduction
    • What is inequality? What is segregation?
    • What is it important? Conclusion on Global Segregation book
    • The consequences of segregation
    • Urban Design and inequalities
  • Week 2 – The Challenges
    • The region: access (or lack of) to public goods
    • The City: case studies
    • The Neighborhood: inclusiveness of public spaces
  • Week 3 and 4 – The Tools
    • The region: network analysis and accessibility analysis
    • The City: measuring segregation and quantifying free and open spaces
    • The Neighborhood: analysis of movement pattern and participatory practices
  • Week 5 and 6 – Proposals
    • What can design do?
    • The Region
    • The City
    • The Neighborhood
  • Week 7 – Final Feedback and Hot Topics


Unless otherwise specified, the Course Materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. se


This is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that runs on edX.


We recommend for you to take the Rethink the City MOOC as an introduction to this course.

  • Starts: Apr 07, 2021
  • Free
  • Length: 7 weeks
  • Effort: 4 - 5 hours per week

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