How can we shape urban development towards sustainable and prosperous futures?
This course will explore sustainable cities as engines for greening the economy. We place cities in the context of sustainable urban transformation and climate change. Sustainable urban transformation refers to structural transformation processes – multi-dimensional and radical change – that can effectively direct urban development towards ambitious sustainability and climate goals. We will connect the key trends of urbanization, decarbonisation and sustainability. We will examine visions, experiments and innovations in urban areas. We will look at practices (what is happening in cities at present) and opportunities (what are the possibilities for cities going forwards into the future). We bring together a collection of diverse short films and key short readings on sustainable cities as well as interactive forums and a practical assignment to create an online learning community. This course provides key examples of activities to promote sustainable cities in Scandinavia, Europe and around the world. We utilize films and reports by WWF, the Economist Intelligence Unit, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, UN-Habitat, C40 Climate Leadership Group, Arup, Sustainia, the Rockefeller Foundation, and ongoing research projects. This course is produced by Lund University in cooperation with WWF and ICLEI. It is available for free to everyone, everywhere! The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University is an international centre of excellence on sustainable solutions. The IIIEE is ideally suited to understand and explain the interdisciplinary issues in sustainable cities and greening the economy utilising the diverse disciplinary backgrounds of its international staff. The IIIEE has been researching and teaching on sustainable solutions since the 1990s and it has extensive international networks connecting with a variety of organizations.
Each module in Designing Cities will focus on a different aspect of city design including: How Today’s City Evolved; The Ideas That Shape Cities; Tools for Designing Cities; Making Cities Sustainable; Cities in the Information Age; Preserving Older Cities; Designing New Cities, Districts and Neighborhoods; The Challenges of Informal Cities and Disadvantaged Neighborhoods; and Visionary Cities. Materials will be presented by the instructors and guest faculty from PennDesign through a series of five or more lessons per module, each typically 10-12 minutes long. The first lesson in each module will be a roundtable discussion among professors Stefan Al, Jonathan Barnett, and Gary Hack introducing the big issues associated with the subject. Each succeeding module will be a self-contained illustrated presentation of a set of ideas and images. There will be a list of suggested readings for those who wish to follow up on the ideas in each module. Everyone enrolled in Designing Cities will be expected to complete 3 assignments. These will be posted on the course site and they will be in the form of peer assessments. There will be a great deal to be learned from the ideas participants submit, reflecting cities of all sizes and circumstances across the globe so once you submit your assignment, you’ll be able to see what your peers have done.