US/AT/ES 315 - Urban Design and Sustainability

Four momentous changes occurring within the first two decades of the 21st century are having a lasting effect on our planet:

  1. More people now live in cities than in the countryside, unprecedented in human history
  2. There is now a consensus that human activity is a powerful, adverse contributor to climate change
  3. A new revolution is underway — replacing the previous model created by the Industrial Revolution — that is based on a search for alternative, renewable energy generation and sustainable living
  4. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally challenged our appreciation of how cities can and should function and, as a result, added a new dimension to our notion of sustainability.

The intention of this course is to research the myriad consequences of these radical changes to the city and explore how urban design is adapting to address these changes to create more sustainable cities and communities. Our health crisis and our environmental crisis turn out to be linked in interesting ways. Although we will address many types of cities worldwide, the main urban case study will be Berlin.

NOTE: This course is offered during the regular semester and in the summer. For summer sections, the course schedule is condensed, but the content, learning outcomes, and contact hours are the same.

Course Information


Environmental Studies
Urban Studies

Term(s) Offered:




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