Gain the skills to take forward innovative environmentally friendly urban developments, reducing the impact of climate change.
There is an ever growing interest in how to reduce the impact of climate change in an urbanising world. For the first time in human history there are now more people living in towns and cities than in rural areas. It is estimated by the UN that by 2030 more than 60% of the world’s population, some 4.9bn people, will be living in urban areas.
Urbanisation today is also associated with a number of other features that make it distinctive from the past. First, the scale of urban areas is increasing. There are now a number of megacities, with populations of over 10m, across the world, including Tokyo, Mumbai, Mexico City, Beijing and Shanghai. Second, the geography of urbanisation has shifted from the developed world of Western Europe and North America to the developing world of Asia, Africa and South America. For example, it is believed that over 90% of urban growth will occur in less developed nations, with 80% of urban growth occurring in Asia and Africa. Third, the pace of urbanisation is spatially variable. In parts of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa urban growth is increasing at over 3% a year, in more developed parts of the world growth is minimal (and numbers in some urban areas are falling).
Whilst urban areas can be sites of environmental degradation they offer the possibility of living in a more resource efficient way. Amongst the key questions that are emerging are: What is a low carbon and ecological (sustainable) city? How can city and regional planning effectively guide sustainable development? Can cities be planned and built to promote low carbon lifestyles, and ecological development that can mitigate climate change? How can urban areas adapt to climate change? The programme will equip students with a critical understanding of the variety of forms of development that badge themselves as sustainable or low carbon and will create practitioners who have the skills to take forward innovative environmentally friendly urban developments that are sensitive to the needs of sustainable spaces. The programme will provide opportunities for students to participate in real low carbon eco-city planning and developments though live projects.
Cardiff Masters Graduate School of City and Regional Planning can bring together the expertise of the Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACE), an intellectual setting that promotes the multi-disciplinary thinking (e.g. planning, human and economic geography, political science) that is essential to deliver a high quality postgraduate taught programme. In addition, the course will draw upon the specialist input of the School of Engineering's work on sustainable energy and from the School of Architecture's work on sustainability, energy and the management and measurement of resource use.
The MSc Eco-Cities is offered as a one year full-time programme.
It is divided into two parts:
Part 1 comprises a teaching programme of core and option modules over two semesters. Options are available in the Masters Graduate School of City and Regional Planning, the School of Engineering and the School of Architecture.
Part 2 comprises an individual dissertation on a topic selected by each student in consultation with members of staff. Whilst there are few constraints on the choice of topic, it must address at least one of the core course themes of the Eco-Cities programme.
The following is a proposed list of modules for the programme in 2013/14. Please note that these may be subject to minor changes.
- Debates in Eco-City Planning and Development
- Live Project for Eco-City Development
- Governance of the Eco-City Development Process
- Researching Eco-Cities
- Theories and Principles of Sustainable Development
- Sustainable Mobility
- Environmental Policy and Climate Change
- Site and Environment – Welsh School of Architecture
- Sustainable Energy and Environment Case Study – School of Engineering
- Planning for Sustainability
- Transport and the City
- Environmental Management
- Low Carbon Footprint – Welsh School of Architecture
- Alternative Energy Systems – School of Engineering
The course is assessed through continuous assessment (a variety of seminars, essays, project work and practical exercises) and examinations. Where required there is room for flexibility in setting alternative, comparable assessments.
This MSc is suitable for graduates in planning, geography, architecture, engineering or other relevant disciplines, or mid-career professionals working in planning, development or similar fields. The course is appropriate for both international students and UK students interested in Eco-Cities.
Applicants should normally hold a first or second class Honours degree in an appropriate subject. A minimum standard in English language of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent will be required for students whose first language is not English.