Cities and Sustainability - 2014

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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.167 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2014: SP1 , SP2
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 (20%) , Assignment 2 - Project (35%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2014 Fees
Domestic 1,134.00
HECS 1,438.00
International 1,384.00

Cities around the world are grappling with problems of automobile dependence, urban sprawl and environmental quality. This unit involves an integrated approach to understanding and changing cities based on a theme of sustainability. Topics include: town planning, transport planning, environmental planning, social planning, natural resource management, infrastructure planning and management. The interplay between city technology, professional practice and community values. A case study focuses on cities that have used sustainability to reduce automobile dependence and its associated problems.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. understand the multitude of sustainability challenges and issues confronting cities today which are forcing a rethink of the way our urban communities are being designed and built
  2. understand the importance of physical planning in attempting to resolve these problems
  3. appreciate the physical evolution of cities over the centuries, in particular the role of transport technology and other infrastructure in shaping urban form and function
  4. demonstrate how cities around the world today can be classified according to their degree of automobile dependence, and to understand quantitatively the range of land use and transport characteristics associated with different levels of automobile dependence.
  • Assignment 1 (20%)
  • Assignment 2 — Project (35%)
  • Invigilated Exam (30%)
  • Participation — Discussion/Participation (15%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Students must have completed 18 credit points (6 OUA units) at Level 1 before enrolling in this unit.

  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Unit overview: cities and sustainability in an urban century
2Cities and human history
3Cities and climate change
4Towards sustainable cities
5The greening of urban transport: public transport, integrated with land use
6The greening of urban transport: walking and cycling, integrated with land use
7Sustainable urban form: compact cities, urban villages and urban containment
8Sustainable urban form: new urbanism and livable neighbourhoods
9Water and the city
10Nature and the city
11Professional practice, participation and community ethics

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Print based materials

  • Welcome Letter

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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