a. Course description:

This course examines the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability in cities. Thus, it explores different definitions to the concept of sustainability and it explores how the concept applies to cities and urban local communities.  Policies and programs that try to address the challenges of sustainability from both developed and developing countries are studied and compared. The focus is on discussing smart growth strategies and tools as a means for addressing the challenges of unsustainable development.  Some of the major themes explored in the context of the sustainability of cities are indicators of sustainability, demographic trends and migration, income distribution, crime and security, green building, urban sprawl, air and water quality, global climate change, and sustainable energy and transportation policies.

b. Course objectives:

To familiarize students with the concepts of sustainability and sustainable cities and to develop their ability to recognize and critically asses policies and strategies implemented by local urban governments from the perspective of sustainability.  

c. Skills acquired by students:

- To be able to identify and to discuss various definitions and approaches to sustainability and how they apply to cities (urban ecosystems);

- To develop a framework for assessing the sustainability of a city or community they are familiar with.

- To draft a redevelopment plan for a community based on the notion of sustainability.

This course develops the discussion on decision -making support tools related to local economic development, with focus on the strategies that local governments can devise in order to promote the economic component of the local development plans.