Transforming Cities for Sustainability
Nobel Prize Winner, Aromar Revi, has called cities the most important human invention in the last 5000 years. By 2050, 68% of the world's people will be living in cities. That's why transforming cities is key to solving our interconnected global crises.
Monash University is a global leader in Net Zero Emission and Water Sensitive Cities research. Now we're bringing that expertise together to offer you a unique and one-of-a-kind Masters unit.
In this course, you will:
- Develop a deeper appreciation and critical understanding of city evolution and sustainability issues
- Learn about Water Sensitive Cities and Net Zero Decarbonisation and how they interconnect
- Learn from Monash's own on-campus 'living laboratory' how innovations can be translated into real-world impact
- Engage with experts who are shaping the future of cities
- Apply social innovation tools to design your own sustainable cities experiment
Cities are products of people - our ideas, cultures, plans and everyday actions shape and define them. How do we, as sustainability specialists, guide our cities - which face many complex challenges - into the future?
In this unit, you'll dive into case studies and stories of urban experimentation, design and action from around the world. These examples will show you the real-world tensions and great debates taking place about the future of sustainable cities: should we encourage density or urban sprawl? Can decentralised technologies and nature-based solutions replace and improve on 20th-century 'big tech' approaches to resource delivery? On whose terms will future cities be created - communities, the private sector, or governments?
You'll learn key principles of the Net Zero emissions and Water Sensitive Cities (WSC) paradigms, drawing on Monash University's leading international research and practice in both areas. Together, these provide powerful guiding frameworks for rethinking urban climate, water and energy systems.
You'll then pull this knowledge together with practical, collaborative innovation processes to design locally-specific, experimental urban solutions, which embrace emerging technology, integrate nature, and support engaged, socially resilient communities.
By completing this unit, you'll change the way you see your urban environment. You'll recognise the invisible systems that flow around us - water, energy, information and more - and understand strategies to improve them. You'll envision how community action, private enterprise and government actors can act together for the sustainable transformation of our cities. Equipped with knowledge from the real-world innovations on Monash's 'living laboratory' campus and engagement with industry experts, you'll grow your confidence to influence urban sustainability in your chosen context.
You'll learn how to:
- Investigate and assess the challenges facing cities through a sustainable development lens
- Analyse how cities evolve and are planned for in both social and technical realms
- Describe and evaluate the fundamental principles of Water Sensitive Cities and Net Zero decarbonisation and how they interconnect
- Practice social innovation approaches to influence change and enable the sustainable development of cities
This unit is run over six weeks as a Summer Semester unit in January and February, finishing just before Orientation Week. It will be available in both fully-online and hybrid study modes (online and face to face blend), with field experiences and interactive workshops.
Assessment will include two major tasks. The first is an opportunity for you to select case studies of urban sustainability of interest to you and your career, and critically analyse these using theories from the unit. The second is a hands-on challenge to design a sustainability experiment or initiative relevant to the Monash precinct, using a guided social innovation process.
This is a Summer Semester unit that will run in January and February, finishing just before Orientation Week.
This unit is run by the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and administered by the Faculty of Science. For Master of Environment and Sustainability students, enrolment should be open to you via WES.
For students outside of this program, please contact the Unit Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, to express your interest in the unit, and gain guidance on the enrolment process.
Is this course for you?
This unit is an elective in the Master of Environment and Sustainability, and has been designed to compliment existing specialisation studies. It may also be of interest to students studying within Business, Project Management, Urban Planning, Public Policy, Engineering and more. If you are interested in the unit, but unsure of its relevance to your studies and interests, please feel free to contact David Robertson, the Unit Coordinator, to discuss.