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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Sustainable Urban Communities (SUS310)

Organisational Unit Global Studies
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S1
Description Over half the world's population now live in urban areas and 75 percent could be urban by 2050. This unit examines the sustainability challenges and possibilities that lie ahead as we become an increasingly urban species. The unit explores how we can create urban communities and lifestyles that enhance human dignity and equality, while also being more environmentally sustainable. The unit takes an international perspective, exploring major urban sustainability issues and inspirational practices from Australia, Asia and around the world.
Unit Learning Outcomes At the completion of this unit students will be able to:
1. Identify and evaluate the multitude of sustainability challenges and issues confronting urban communities today.
2. Formulate measures to address these challenges through more sustainable urban transport, urban form and neighbourhood design, water management and urban greening.
3. Design and implement holistic urban sustainability visions and plans which integrate these measures.
4. Communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lecture/Workshop 2.5 hours per week
Unit Learning Experiences The unit readings explore a wide range of contemporary urban sustainability challenges and possibilities. Many case studies are featured in the readings, highlighting how urban citizens and practitioners in developed and developing nations are responding to the challenges of living in our first urban century. The unit's lectures contain lots of visual materials (photographs and films) to complement the readings.
The unit's tutorials and online discussion boards are an opportunity to exchange ideas regarding the readings and lecture themes - and to think about our urban communities in some new ways.
The approach taken during this journey is 'critically optimistic'. The unit critically assesses some of the profound sustainability challenges that face humankind as we become an urban species. But it also looks at inspiring examples of urban sustainability better practice from around the world and explores how the application of urban sustainability principles and practices can be world-changing.
The unit is relevant to anyone who lives in urban communities and/or wants to make them more liveable, sustainable places. For some, the unit can be an important step towards a career dedicated to doing this.
Assessment A Journal ( 25%) invites students to reflect on key urban sustainability challenges now facing humanity (and covered in the first four topics). Through a whole-of-semester Project (45%), students explore the practical application of urban sustainability principles and practices within an urban area that is of particular personal interest. Students are thus challenged to consider how these practices can be applied in an integrated way, and to get feedback from teaching staff on this. A closed book exam (30%) gives students an opportunity to demonstrate that they've met the unit's learning outcomes. Students are asked to discuss better practices for sustainable transport, sustainable urban form, water-sensitive cities and urban greening.
Prerequisites Nil.
Exclusions Students who have completed STP220 Cities and Sustainability, SUS300 Cities and Sustainability or SUS300 Sustainable Urban Communities may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Previously 2014: 'Cities and Sustainability'
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Community Development (BA)
International Aid and Development (BA) [New in 2019]
Sociology (BA)
Sustainable Development (BA)
Appears in these Co-Majors Community Development
International Aid and Development
Sustainable Development
Appears in these Minors Community Development
Sustainable Development
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Mr Allan Johnstone
Senior Lecturer

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 6278
e: A.Johnstone@murdoch.edu.au
o: 440.3.020 - Building 440, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S1-External
MURDOCH: S1-Internal
Dr Noraisha Oyama
P/T Teaching

e: N.Oyama@murdoch.edu.au
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