As economic and ecological pressures increase, it has become increasingly important that greater efforts be expended to have more sustainable urban environments. Specifically, it is essential that the future operation of cities become more sustainable in terms of energy and resource use, while also safeguarding the health and well-being of local citizens. Urban environments, by their very nature, are complex systems and multiple topics must be simultaneously addressed to ensure the safety and well-being of its residents, including, but not limited to:
- Urban connections with agriculture, including consumption patterns and enhanced availability and affordability through development of urban/peri-urban farming;
- Water infrastructure, e.g., decentralized water & wastewater treatment, novel strategies for stormwater management such as greenroof and porous pavements;
- Hazard mitigation and identification and control of vulnerability, e.g., effective assessment of future risks associated with extreme events associated with climate change and earthquakes;
- Green construction, building maintenance and operation to minimize energy consumption;
- Effective and reliable transportation/mobility of goods and people;
- Incorporation of greenspace, parks, and waterway restoration in future re-development strategies;
- Control and treatment of urban wastes, e.g., improved solid waste and recycling, monitoring and control of air pollution; and
- Communication and sharing of best practices.
Achieving the goal of sustainable urban environments requires an interdisciplinary, systems level approach to ensure that needs are accurately identified and resolved, with the end goal of managing urban environments such that the needs and interests of multiple stakeholders are met, including citizens, industries and developers to achieve urban areas that are both environmentally and economically viable. This course will discuss how multiple disciplines can be integrated to identify and discuss this broad goal, including law, public health, engineering, finance, communication, land planning, and construction. A combination of individual and team assignments will be given, culminating in a team term project that provides alternative strategies for consideration by a panel of experts.
Course grades will be based on the following: class participation 10%; literature reviews/homework assignments 40%; field trip summary 15%; and case study project 35%.
The objective of this course to provide outstanding students across campus the opportunity to engage each other interdisciplinary teams to develop more effective strategies to ensure sustainable urban environments.
Lecture 3 hours a week