URBD5803 Sustainability and Cities

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Recently the world's urban population reached 50 per cent of the world's total, and by 2050 this will likely increase to two-thirds. While cities are hubs of innovation and culture, they also use over two-thirds of global energy and produce around 70% carbon emissions, as well as other forms of air pollution. Cities also use vast quantities of fresh water and materials which in turn creates solid, liquid wastes, airborne pollution, affecting human health and destroying natural systems. This unit seeks to: convey an advanced level of understanding of the sustainable development challenges facing humanity in general, and cities in particular, including energy and climate change, resource depletion, water scarcity; and prepare students to apply theories and tools to manage the transition to sustainable urban development.
Students are able to (1) interpret the impact on urban theory of the body of literature related to environmental awareness and sustainable development; (2) demonstrate an advanced appreciation of cities as complex urban systems; (3) demonstrate a critical awareness of the challenges of growth in a world constrained by climate change, resource scarcity and biodiversity loss; (4) evaluate the sustainability performance of buildings and precincts; and (5) apply the principles of sustainability and resilience to the urban design process.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) reports; and (3) seminar presentations. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Adjunct Professor Bill Grace
Contact hours
36 hours
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
This unit is taught by the Australian Urban Design Research Centre.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.