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Unit (2020)

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

Cities and Sustainability (SUS523)

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% could be urban by 2050. This unit examines the sustainability challenges that lie ahead as we become an increasingly urban species. It also explores how communities can respond to these challenges in a positive way, creating urban places and lifestyles that are more sustainable and that enhance human dignity and equality. In doing this, the unit draws on inspirational urban sustainability practices from around the world.
Unit Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this unit students will be able to:
1. Identify and evaluate the sustainability challenges and issues facing cities within Australia and globally.
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 interconnected measures in a way that is tailored to each city's unique circumstances.
4. Communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lecture/Workshop 2.5 hours per week (no tutorial)
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 world 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 1,000-word Learning Journal (25%): Students reflect on key urban sustainability challenges now facing humanity (and covered in the first four topics). The Journal is an opportunity to gain early feedback (on writing skills and unit knowledge) from teaching staff. 2,000-word Professional Journal on urban sustainability practice (45%): Students explore the practical application of urban sustainability principles and practices within an urban area that is of particular personal interest. Students consider how these practices can be applied in an integrated way, and gain feedback from teaching staff. Two-hour closed book Exam (30%): Students are asked to discuss better practices for sustainable transport, sustainable urban form, water-sensitive cities and urban greening.
Prerequisites Enrolment in an Honours or Graduate-level course.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed STP220 Cities and Sustainability, SUS300 Cities and Sustainability, SUS300/310 Sustainable Urban Communities or STP623 Cities and Sustainability may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Previously 2013: STP632
2013: 'Sustainable Development Internship/Project'
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Sustainable Development Honours (BA(Hons))
Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science (GradDipEnv)
Master of Business Administration (Global) (MBA(Global))
Master of Community Development (MCommDev)
Master of Sustainable Development (MSustDev)
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
Mr Allan Johnstone
Senior Lecturer

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