"Greener Cities“ for Sustainable Development in the Urban Century

Dates: 3-14 October, 2016

Humanity is becoming an increasingly urban species. At the same time cities are currently playing a crucial role in why and how we are fundamentally altering the Earth System.

Cities are home to problems and opportunities for a more sustainable global development in the „urban century“. On the one hand, rapid urbanization, unmanaged expansion, GHG emissions, pollution, and ecosystem degradation through urban activities are taking their toll on humans and the environment. On the other hand, cities are the centers of economic growth, innovation, employment, education and prosperity.

The idea of “greener cities”, and transformation of cities into them, is necessary for a more sustainable development of humanity. This requires a timely implementation of innovative ideas, measures, and instruments for environmentally sound urban development on the ground.

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to how cities function as barriers and solutions to a more sustainable development in the „urban century“. The focus is more on the „bigger“ picture than on „hard practice“ on the planning level.

Course Objectives:

By the end of the course, participants

  • will be sensitized for how cities can contribute to sustainable development from a global and local perspective;
  • will have understood selected strategies and instruments for environmental urban management;
  • will have learned from multiple examples of good practice;
  • will be familiar enough with the concept of “green cities” to deduce implications for their own work;
  • will be sensitized to global and regional processes on short and long time scales which are shaping cities, and are crucial for transformations to greener cities.

Course Content:

  • Climate change impacts, and strategies for mitigation and adaptation in cities
  • Urban management under rapid urbanization
  • Towards greener cities amidst global and local influences on short and long times scales
  • (Peri-)urban agriculture
  • Multiple examples from high-, middle and low-income economies
  • Excursions to good practices in Berlin
  • Transformative ideas for greener cities

Course Level: Beginner to intermediateThe course is a comprehensive interdisciplinary introduction. Parts of the content can be useful complements for applicants who are already familiar with some aspects of the topic.

Trainer: Till Sterzel

The preliminary course programme can be found here.