Universität Wien FIND

290056 VU Sustainable Cities (2020S)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 29 - Geographie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 20 participants
Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Home-learning through moodle interface & Zoom
The last session which should have been an excursion will be replaced by a zoom-class meeting. The format will be announced two weeks before.

Thursday 26.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 29 Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 7
Thursday 02.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 Erdgeschoß
Thursday 23.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 Erdgeschoß
Thursday 30.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 Erdgeschoß
Thursday 07.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 Erdgeschoß
Thursday 14.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 Erdgeschoß
Thursday 28.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 Erdgeschoß
Thursday 04.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 Erdgeschoß
Thursday 18.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 Erdgeschoß
Thursday 25.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 Erdgeschoß


Aims, contents and method of the course

Taking different Viennese examples introduced during the course, students will critically and interactively learn about sustainable cities. The course will be divided into 8 sessions each presenting a specific theme:
Session 1 Thinking critically about sustainable cities
Session 2 Urban development and sustainability issues
Session 3 The city as an eco-system
Session 4 Urban design, land use and transportation
Session 5 Green and blue as new paradigms
Session 6 Energy and materials use
Session 7 Social and political dimensions
Session 8 The circular economy of city
Session 9 Wrapping up

Session 1 to 3 will introduce the students with the current scientific and institutional debate on sustainable cities. They each will be complemented by a discussion based on media content (monocle, arte, etc.), cognitive mapping (Lynch, 1960) or role plays.
Session 4 to 8 will be organized as follow: we will start with a theoretical background critically introducing the various perspectives in the scientific debate. Students will then test their knowledge through an interactive case study proposing in groups recommendations to improve one neighborhood’s sustainability located in the city of Vienna. Students will present their results and analysis in the classroom.
Session 9 will be organized as a wrap up session around a site visit, followed by a short critical discussion.

The aim of the course is to introduce participants with new and cutting edge knowledge on sustainable cities. The class is framed to 1) get familiar with the current scientific debate on sustainable development while 2) observing and analyzing how sustainable issues are tackled on the ground; 3) have students develop their own critical perspective on sustainable cities; 4) come up with new critical perspectives for their personal research project.

Students will be working alone and in groups of 3 or 4 max.

The language of the course will be English.
Students should be proficient in English (oral and writing) and have background in urban planning and urban studies.

Assessment and permitted materials

Evaluation will be done during sessions 4 to 7 with 4 short documents (papers) to hand in gathering data, analysis, assessment and propositions for each session.

The work for the evaluation will be done individually.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Data collection, analysis, assessments, propositions, small exercises and discussions (posted on the "forum" moodle) will be part of the course evaluation.

Examination topics

Readings, courses content, participation, critical thinking, creativity and enthusiasm are important elements to take into account for the evaluation.

Reading list

Brenner, N., Marcuse, P., Mayer, M. (eds.) (2011). Cities for people, not for profit : critical urban theory and the right to the city. London, New York : Routledge.

Chen, W.-M., Kim, H. (2019). Circular economy and energy transition: A nexus focusing on the non-energy use of fuels. Energy & Environment, 30(4), 586–600. https://doi.org/10.1177/0958305X19845759

Cohen, S. (2018). The sustainable city. New York: Columbia University Press.

Haughton, G. (1997). Developing sustainable urban development models, Cities, 14(4), 189-195.

Haughton, G., Hunter, C. (1994). Sustainable cities. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd.

Krueger, R., Gibbs, D. (eds.) (2007). The sustainable development paradox: urban political economy in the United States and Europe. New York: Guilford Press.

Laconte, P., Gossop, C. (eds.) (2016). Sustainable cities. Assessing the performance and practice of urban environments. London, New York: I.B. Tauris.

Liverman, D. M. (2018). Geographic perspectives on development goals: Constructive engagements and critical perspectives on the MDGs and the SDGs. Dialogues in Human Geography, 8(2), 168–185. https://doi.org/10.1177/2043820618780787

Seto, K.C., Reenberg, A., Boone, C.G., Fragkias, M., Haase, D., Langanke, T. Marcotullio, P., Munroe, D.K., Olah, B., Simon, D. (2012). “Urban land teleconnections and sustainability, Proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the United States of America, 109(20), 7687-7692.

Wheeler, S. M., Beatley, T. (2014). The Sustainable urban development reader. Oxon, New York: Routledge.

Association in the course directory

(MG-S4-PI.f) (MG-S5-PI.f) (MR3-PI) (MA UF GW 02)

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:21