GEOG 2201 - Cities and Sustainability

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

As cities grow and develop their environmental impacts are concentrated locally but have impacts across the globe. Informed by a critical use of urban political ecology, this course focuses on the complex interaction between the social and material processes of urbanisation and environmental change. Students will be introduced to: the way urban development alters soils, water systems and biodiversity; energy and resource flows within and through cities; the contribution of cities to climate change and the impacts of climate change on cities. In the process of exploring these issues, students will be introduced to measures aimed at addressing the environmental impacts of urbanisation and creating more sustainable cities.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 2201
    Course Cities and Sustainability
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Restrictions Available to students of Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Management only
    Course Description As cities grow and develop their environmental impacts are concentrated locally but have impacts across the globe. Informed by a critical use of urban political ecology, this course focuses on the complex interaction between the social and material processes of urbanisation and environmental change. Students will be introduced to: the way urban development alters soils, water systems and biodiversity; energy and resource flows within and through cities; the contribution of cities to climate change and the impacts of climate change on cities. In the process of exploring these issues, students will be introduced to measures aimed at addressing the environmental impacts of urbanisation and creating more sustainable cities.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Jennifer Bonham

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1.  demonstrate a critical understanding of urban political ecology

    2.  explain how urban development impacts on environmental processes

    3.  demonstrate an understanding of energy and resource flows and their measurement

    4.  describe the interaction between cities and climate change

    5.  critically examine measures to address the environmental impacts of cities




    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2,3,4,5
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1,2,3,4,5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There are no set texts for this course. All required reading will be made available via MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Books
    Affolderbach, J., Schulz, C. (2018). Green Building Transitions: Regional Trajectories of Innovation in Europe, Canada and Australia. Cham, Switzerland: Springer
    Droege, P. (ed.) (2018). Urban Energy Transition: Renewable Strategies for Cities and Regions. Amsterdam: Elsevier
    Heynen, N.,  Kaika, Maria., Swyngedouw, E. (2006) In the nature of cities: Urban political ecology and the politics of urban metabolism London
    Parris, J. (2016). Urban Ecology. Wiley. Oxford (available online)
    Mazmanian, D., Blanco, H. (2014) Elgar companion to sustainable cities : strategies, methods and outlook. Cheltenham, UK; Edward Elgar 


    Journals that focus on cities and urbanisation have many articles relating to sustainablity and the environmental impacts of cities (see the Course Outline for Urban Futures). The journals listed below are more focused on environment and/or sustainbility aspects of cities.

    List of Journals
    Cities and the Environment
    Environment and Urbanization
    Land Use Policy
    Landscape and Urban Planning
    Local Environments
    Sustainable Cities and Society
    Urban Climate
    Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Teaching and Learning Modes in this course include:
    - Face-to-face/online lectures
    - Small Group Discovery Experience  - Preparation and engagement
    - Assignment Preparation
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The total workload for this course is 156 hours or an average of 12 hours per week for the semester.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week     Topic
    1             Introduction
    2             Applying political ecology to urban environments
    3             Processes and impacts of re-surfacing
    4             Disrupting the hydrological cycle
    5             Re-thinking water in cities: Incorporating Water Sensitive Urban Design into Decision Making
    6             Urban Heat Island: Explanation and impacts
    7             Urban Heat Island: Incorporating responses into Decision Making
    8             Energy: Facilitating new modes of energy supply
    9             Cities as key sites for Biodiversity
    10           Incorporating Bio-diversity into Decision Making
    11           Climate Change and Resilient Cities 
    12           Course Conclusion: A way forward




    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Small group discovery sessions requires students to complete preparatory reading and assigned tasks (e.g. data collection, online searches). SGD includes a mix of in-class research activities, discussions and field based practical exercises.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment                Description                                                                                                  % Weighting
    Online Quiz                  20 questions covering fundamentals of environmental impacts of cities     10%
    Participation                Students must demonstrate engagement with reading and participate      20%
                                        in class activities (10%) and submit a 400word write up of 2 tutorial
                                        research tasks (10%)
    Essay                           Students will write a 2000 word essay which critically examines how         30%
                                        urban decision making processes address one of the environmental
                                        issues covered in the course
    Exam                            2 hour exam                                                                                                  40%








    Assessment Detail
    Assessment briefs will be made available on MyUni at the start of the semester.
    Submission
    Assessment submissions will be via MyUni
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    There is no feedback for this course. It is a new course and will be offered for the first time in 2019
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.