For the first time in history, the majority of the world’s people live in cities. Cities are major contributors to emissions and resource consumption but also centers of technological and socio-cultural innovation. Cities can be at the forefront of actions for sustainable development – working with nature instead of against it.
This class will review concepts of sustainable urbanism and the systems that comprise it: open space, mobility, food and water, energy and waste. Our main focus, which reflects its methodology, is based on two premises: (a) the role and importance of Place as an impediment or facilitator of urban sustainability and (b) the fundamental part played by citizens’ participation in the commitment to sustainable policies and practice. Through these perspectives, students will comprehend the principles informing sustainable urban planning and the socio-cultural, economic, and political challenges faced by its promoters. Our approach is both global and local – we will use Perugia as our case-context while considering broader issues and analyzing case-studies both in Europe and in the US, to compare approaches, goals, and policies.
The course will be carried out with the collaboration of the College of Agriculture of the University of Perugia (DSA3) and will also focus on the various roles played by the vegetation within the context of a densifying city.
Starting from the definition of the ecosystem services provided by “nature in the city,” the course will approach the ever-transforming context of Nature-Based Solutions as a framework of reference and as an opportunity to observe specific case studies, as well as to apply this approach to practical interventions in the city of Perugia.
By the end of the course, students will be able to: