Sustainable Cities Minor

Equity, Justice, and Economic Development

The course is focused on the topic of social and spatial justice and equity planning. The course explores the inequalities in our planning theory and practice. The course highlights and engages in the key debates in the realm of planning and urban policy. We collectively study the problems of equity and justice in various substantive topics including education, job training, housing and criminal justice system. It encourages thinking of approaches to difficult issues.

Climate Policy

This course aims to address the whole complexity of climate change, by bringing together the science of climate change, the analysis of impacts, and the economic and engineering strategies to reduce emissions.  In this class, students will be actively engaged in exploring the scientific and economic issues underlying the threat of global climate change and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response.

Fundamentals of GIS

Fundmentals of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a course designed to introduce students to the powerful world of geospatial information and technologies. Almost everything we do in life has a spatial element and this course will provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to utilize GIS in any discipline of their choosing. In this course, students will learn how to make digital, interactive maps and applications that can be used to help communities make informed decisions based in science.

Ecology

Ecology is a flipped course where students work on applied problems, including those associated with climate change, invasive species, overexploitation etc. The focus is on the ecological concepts, looking at either sustainability or community, with reference to the other, through units, labs, assignments, and activities. 

Built Environment and Public Health

This interdisciplinary course, examines how cities and neighborhoods can have both positive and adverse effects on human health, and produces recommendations to improve these outcomes. This SEMINAR is an elective planning and public health course that explores the interconnections between these fields and equips students with skills and experiences to plan healthy, sustainable communities. This course covers planning and public health foundations, natural and built environments, vulnerable populations and health equity, and health policy and global impacts.

Government and Housing Markets

Why are we in an affordable housing crisis? What can city planners do to help households at various income levels obtain safe, affordable housing? How can city planners take housing markets into account when planning for transportation, sustainability, and equity to avoid unanticipated consequences? In this class, we will learn the fundamental concepts of housing markets and housing policy.

Urban Transportation

This course is an introduction to urban passenger transportation policy and planning in the US with a sustainability focus. It is structured around three components: (1) History, theory, and problem definition, (2) The planning process, and (3) Solutions and analytical techniques. The course will help to understand the planning process comprehensively along with its multiple dimensions, how our current transportation systems has evolved over time, what is a sustainable system, policies and planning approaches that help is to achieve it, and challenges related to planning.

Policy Tools for Environmental Management

Given its wide impact on community well-being and the economy, it should be no surprise that U.S. environmental policy engenders controversy. This is particularly apparent since the 2016 elections. Many questions arise. Have environmental laws worked effectively to improve the quality of the environment? How can society best establish environmental policies and management systems when faced with scientific uncertainties and significant economic costs? What is the role and effectiveness of command-and-control regulation?

Fundamentals of GIS

Fundmentals of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a course designed to introduce students to the powerful world of geospatial information and technologies. Almost everything we do in life has a spatial element and this course will provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to utilize GIS in any discipline of their choosing. In this course, students will learn how to make digital, interactive maps and applications that can be used to help communities make informed decisions based in science.

Introduction to Land Use Planning

Land use planning touches upon all the core areas of sustainable planning practice, from community development, environmental planning, and economic development, to transportation/mobility and climate change. The course introduces the process of land use planning and shows how the plan document is prepared. It also discussed the criteria for determining good plans and provides an overview of the tools used for implementing sustainable solutions. We draw from recent experiences with neo-traditional planning, smart growth, climate sensitive design, and smart city debates.

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