Sustainable Cities Minor

Smart and Sustainable Cities

This course introduces key concepts necessary to effectively plan and develop sustainable infrastructure for cities. The infrastructure concepts include water, electricity, transportation, buildings, and waste management. These skills are vital given that we expect to see an increasing portion of our existing global population (i.e., ~8 billion people at 55% urbanization) dwell in urban environments through the year 2050 (i.e., ~10 billion people at 68% urbanization).

Field Work Abroad (Local Sustainability Practices)

NOTE: This course is taught at Georgia Tech Lorraine (GTL) in Metz, France.

Environmentalism and Ecocriticism

Environmentalism and Ecocriticism—The Cultural History of Trees.  This seminar will examine tree as they function in human technological practices, in our culture, and as source of food. We will study how trees figure in current debates about the environment, including tree structure and forest composition, trees and the law, arguments about plant intelligence, and sustainable food production in an era of environmental degradation. Not content with just reading about trees, we will also do some harvesting.

Sustainability, Technology, and Policy

The goal of this course is to provide a solid introduction to the concept of sustainable growth and development. Students will learn how to professionally navigate the current debate on sustainability and to assess strategies to promote sustainable communities and a sustainable planet. The course will blend qualitative and quantitative analysis of sustainable development, with large use of data analysis to measure progress towards sustainable development.

Equity, Justice, and Economic Development

The course is focused on the topic of social and spatial justice and equity planning. The course explores the inequalities in our planning theory and practice. The course highlights and engages in the key debates in the realm of planning and urban policy. We collectively study the problems of equity and justice in various substantive topics including education, job training, housing and criminal justice system. It encourages thinking of approaches to difficult issues.

Climate Policy

This course aims to address the whole complexity of climate change, by bringing together the science of climate change, the analysis of impacts, and the economic and engineering strategies to reduce emissions.  In this class, students will be actively engaged in exploring the scientific and economic issues underlying the threat of global climate change and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response.

Fundamentals of GIS

Fundmentals of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a course designed to introduce students to the powerful world of geospatial information and technologies. Almost everything we do in life has a spatial element and this course will provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to utilize GIS in any discipline of their choosing. In this course, students will learn how to make digital, interactive maps and applications that can be used to help communities make informed decisions based in science.

Ecology

Ecology is a flipped course where students work on applied problems, including those associated with climate change, invasive species, overexploitation etc. The focus is on the ecological concepts, looking at either sustainability or community, with reference to the other, through units, labs, assignments, and activities. 

Built Environment and Public Health

This interdisciplinary course, examines how cities and neighborhoods can have both positive and adverse effects on human health, and produces recommendations to improve these outcomes. This SEMINAR is an elective planning and public health course that explores the interconnections between these fields and equips students with skills and experiences to plan healthy, sustainable communities. This course covers planning and public health foundations, natural and built environments, vulnerable populations and health equity, and health policy and global impacts.

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