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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2020 - 2021

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

By 2050, the United Nations estimates that ~68% of the global population will be living in urban areas or cities. In this context, the environmental fragility of cities and urban areas caused by increased urbanisation has generated extensive efforts to promote the sustainability of urban ecosystems and physical infrastructures. This module provides an overview of the major contemporary issues in urban sustainability, which has increasing relevance for policy, planning and development practice in both the developed and developing world. The module examines definitions and changing ideas of urban sustainability; it examines the key aspects of governing and planning for sustainability in changing urban contexts with respect to climate change, resource management including water and energy research, health, transport, sustainable urban food systems and the built environment; and it examines the ways in which urban sustainability is promoted through policy and planning and in practice through the use of case studies. The module also explores the concept of ‘sustainable cities’ and the ways in which the sustainability of cities may be measured, and how key technologies at city level are deployed (for example urban water drainage and urban waste management). You will be engaging in innovative activities for this course to support your learning around sustainable cities, including hackathons, smart cities and collaborating with public sector bodies (e.g. city authorities) seeking to become global sustainability leaders

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain how sustainability may be integrated across scales in urban environments (building, neighbourhood and city level).
2. Recognise key components of and examples of sustainable cities.
3. Demonstrate awareness of the key actors and networks which operate within urban sustainability.
4. Evaluate how approaches to urban sustainability can differ across economic development contexts.
5. Integrate ideas, concepts and learnings on sustainable cities into real-world practical activities.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture36Scheduled lectures / seminars and practicals
Assignment Completion8Participation in hackathon event
Group work40Preparation, research and completion of group and Individual work
Independent Study106Independent reading, expansion on in-class material and completion of practical exercises
Total Workload: 190

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Students will be introduced to key concepts, issues and challenges specifically related to urban sustainability.
This will build on the GY111 module content and learnings developed in semester 1 (GY111: Introduction to Sustainability). Indicative content/Learning activities: Planetary boundaries Sustainability, technology and smart cities Sustainable urban transport Nature-based solutions to climate and environmental change Urban heat island Green infrastructure

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

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    Programme or List of Programmes