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Sustainable Cities


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Sustainable Cities: Learn how government, the private sector, and other actors can support sustainable urban development

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Did you know that experts estimate an additional three billion people will live in cities by 2050? What will impact the current world population – half of which currently lives in cities and contributes to about three-fourths of global economic output? The opportunities are vast, but so are the potential issues.

In Sustainable Cities, you will learn about the major challenges currently faced by urban areas worldwide – including poverty, unemployment, poor housing infrastructure, and constraints on productivity – and the extraordinary potential of these areas to enable change in the future. From infrastructure to culture to economic opportunity, learning how to harness the power of urban development for global progress is imperative.

This course examines how urban sustainability can be delivered with increased productivity and reduced inequality; provision of universal basic services and infrastructure; protection of the urban environments; and other solutions and investments, both speculative and in action worldwide.

You will emerge from this course understanding how governments, private stakeholders, and other actors can improve urban development to heed the call of Sustainable Development Goal 11 – “making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable“ by 2030.

This course has been developed through a partnership between the SDG Academy and the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), which is working to transform the current nature of urban education and practice in India.

This course is for:

  • Anyone interested in the concept of sustainable cities – including those interested in the development of their own local community – who wants to understand the foundations of modern urban development
  • Graduate students and advanced undergraduate students in architecture, real estate development, sustainable development, sustainable business, international development, public policy, and other related fields
  • Sustainable development practitioners interested in the elements of sustainability that impact urban areas worldwide
  • Private-sector actors, such as those who work in real estate development, technology, telecommunications, transportation, or energy – whose work can contribute to and redefine urban areas
  • An overview of governance, land management, utilities, and other entities that make up urban systems
  • Understanding how poverty, health, economic opportunity, and other people-focused issues impact urban systems and development
  • How technology is shaping transportation, energy, urban resilience, and more
  • Case studies of major cities in the Global North and South

Module 1: The urban opportunity

  • The urban opportunity
  • Cities: cultural and social transformation
  • Challenge of urban politics, planning, and governance
  • Urban research methods
  • Urban theory and history

Module 2: What makes a city function?

  • Understanding urban systems
  • Municipal, regional, and national governance
  • Urban utilities
  • Urban public finance and taxation
  • Law, order, and conflict
  • Land management and planning
  • Lessons from London and Mumbai

Module 3: How can we reduce urban poverty and make cities inclusive and safe?

  • What is urban poverty?
  • Measuring urban poverty
  • Poverty reduction in cities
  • Affordable and adequate housing
  • Who can deliver the housing we need?
  • Safety and violence
  • Urban vulnerabilities

Module 4:Making cities productive and reducing inequality

  • City production and consumption
  • Women in the informal economy
  • Migration, mobility, and the urban-rural continuum
  • Wealth and inequality
  • Case: SEWA, India
  • Migration and the refugee crisis

Module 5: Improving human development in cities

  • Addressing the challenges of urban public health
  • Solutions for improving urban health
  • Education and skills
  • Higher education in cities
  • Gender in the city
  • Human rights and justice
  • Law and equality
  • Apartheid in South African cities

Module 6:Providinguniversal urban services and infrastructure

  • Sustainable environmental services and infrastructure
  • Sustainable transport planning
  • ICT
  • Sustainable urban energy systems
  • Sustainable transport: Bangkok

Module 7: How can cities be resilient?

  • Air, water, food, and natural resources
  • Urban ag for sustainable cities
  • City risk exposure
  • Climate impacts, adaptation, and mitigation
  • Building urban resilience
  • Environmental planning and the politics of change
  • Sustainable environmental practices: Durban
  • Urban disaster risk management
  • Post-disaster recovery

Module 8: Governing sustainable cities

  • SDGs and other global processes
  • New institutions and governance
  • Public participation and democracy
  • Financing sustainable development
  • Measuring and monitoring the SDGs
  • Opportunities for secondary cities

Module 9: Implementing change

  • Making cities more sustainable
  • United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and urban sustainability
  • Urban innovation: community-based organisations and civil society (the case of SDI)
  • UN-Habitat and international development and financing agencies
  • Implementing urban sustainability
  • International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and urban sustainability
  • Local leadership: a case study of Melbourne
  • International climate action: A case of Chinese cities
Sustainable Cities


DISCLAIMER: Courses on Future Syllabus are free but subject to return to their original prices on host platforms upon coupon expiration. Enrol while they are free. To report any error, use the "Further Actions" tab.




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