Sustainability in urban social-ecological systems

Understand nature’s role in sustainable cities 

Cities with their consumption of resources pose an enormous challenge for sustainability of the planet. How can we then move towards imagining more sustainable cities? In this course you will focus on analysing the relationship between human ecosystems and urban nature. Moving beyond purely technological solutions that often do not work in addressing environmental challenges in cities, you will explore the role of nature in addressing issues of sustainability — and equitable access to resources. Through case studies you will reflect on the role of nature in aspects such as buffering poverty by supporting subsistence and livelihoods, enhancing physical and mental well-being, protecting biodiversity and building resilience to climate change. You will also learn some research methods such as carbon mapping that are of practical use.