Sustainable Cities Minor

Sustainable Urban Development

This course explores the principles and practice of sustainable development from the building and site to the city and region.  This exploration takes place while considering national and global implications.  Sustainability is NOT simply concerned with the natural environment. Instead, sustainable practices place equal weight on environmental preservation, economic feasibility, and social equity to achieve long-term viability. For the purposes of this course, sustainability is defined as multi-faceted, multi-sectoral, and multi-temporal.

Information and Communication Technologies and Development

This course focuses on information and communication technology (ICT) design, adoption, and use as seen through the lens of global development. We will begin with studying the history of technological advancement, the global development discourse (from the 1940s to the present era), poverty as experienced, before we engage with the design thinking process. We will then shift our gaze to particular domains of global development, discuss important questions and concerns in these areas of work in the present day, before asking what all this means for us as local and global citizens.

Foundations of Sustainable Systems

How can we accelerate progress towards a more sustainable world? How do we create sustainable systems for the 21st century? This course discusses how to employ a systems framework to advance sustainability at multiple scales, including a community, a region, a supply chain, a company, or an entire nation. The course considers sustainability from its theoretical foundations to its modern-day practice, incorporating environmental, economic, and social dimensions.

ABCD in Practice: Participatory Facilitation (SHORT COURSE)

This short course reviews the basics of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) - working with communities based on their assets, or strengths - and then introduces participatory facilitation methods that can be used to implement ABCD with diverse stakeholders. These methods can be used by students and professionals alike to create truly equitable and participatory environments, whether that be in academic project work, in the community/field, or in their professional spaces.

Urban Transportation

This elective course provides an introduction to the field of transportation planning. We will learn about the history of the transportation planning field, travel modes and patterns that comprise our transportation system, and how a transportation plan is created.

Crossing Borders

In this class, students will learn about causes and effects of migration movements and how they relate to aspects of sustainability by examining cultural artifacts such as literature, film, music etc. produced about and by minorities in German-speaking societies. Students will gain insights in the history of emigration from and immigration to Germany, the culturally and linguistically diverse make-up of German-speaking societies and social and political issues that have affected and changed them and continue to do so.

Language for Business and Technology (LBAT): France

This study abroad LBAT (Language for Business and Technology: France) program includes several courses.  One of these, French Culture and Society, is affiliated with SLS.  Participating students will discover another culture's approach to sustainability: in particular, French cultural attitudes toward ecology, pesticides, GMOs, food additives, nuclear energy, and pollution.

The City in U.S. History

This course surveys the development of cities in the territory that became the United States – from bustling colonial seaports, to dense industrial centers, to sprawling postmodern metropolises.  Such topics as leisure, pleasure, reform, environment, trade, commerce, politics, im/migration, work, family, community, racial and class inequality, suburbanization, planning, redevelopment, gentrification, crime, and homelessness will be covered.

Energy Policy

This course cuts through myths that are pervasive in the media, in public opinion, and in statements by politicians. It will provide students with a theoretical basis from which to assess energy policy options, an understanding of how global energy markets work, and an overview of domestic and international energy policy. The course seeks to build group project skills, and students will produce a policy analysis of policy options related to an energy policy problem.

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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