University of Technology Sydney

15146 Sustainable Urban Development

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2023 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: School of the Built Environment
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Postgraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

This subject provides an introduction to sustainable development and discusses the triple bottom line concept of environmental, economic and social sustainability in urban development as well as the ESG concept of environment, social and governance sustainability, particularly in relation to sustainable development. Sustainable practices are discussed and demonstrated using national and international case studies, guest lectures, in-class group discussions and exercises, and field visits. To gain maximum benefit from this class, students must attend each of the block sessions. Groupwork marks are also earned in each block and students must be in attendance to be eligible for these marks.

During the first block students learn about the concept of urban resilience and explore the sustainability challenges faced by global cities and, more specifically, by the city of Sydney as they seek to address these challenges in their local context. The causes and urban effects of climate change are analysed and discussed in the context of greenhouse gas emissions (and reduction), energy consumption (and alternative energy development strategies), air quality and population growth challenges, economic planning for resilience, as well the social sustainability implications related to equity and inequity across the city (e.g. affordable housing policy and night-time economy policy considerations).

In the second block, students investigate sustainable urban development at the precinct and building scale. In this block, the concepts of eco-footprints and assessment methods for sustainable building and precinct developments are discussed as benchmarks for evaluating sustainability performance. Physical constraints on development such as landform, hydrology and ecology are introduced. The nature of social and economic sustainability and sustainable urban development are discussed in the context of rating tools for sustainable building and precinct developments (do they measure actual performance?), sustainable transport, sustainable energy use, new build vs retrofit and adaptive reuse considerations and challenges, and green roof and urban vegetation as urban sustainable design strategies. In addition, the feasibility of alternative methods for evaluating sustainability strategies is discussed.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Develop team work skills
2. Develop effective written and verbal communication strategies
3. Understand the relationships among urban structure, resource consumption, and sustainability at the building and precinct level
4. Understand the challenges and practical application of principles of environmental, economic, and social sustainability to urban development at the building and precinct scale
5. Develop coherent criticisms of existing policies and plans using available evidence appropriately
6. Understand the environmental risks posed by patterns of development, and the strategies available to manage risk and adapt urban development patterns to mitigate risk

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Work effectively in teams of people with diverse professional and personal backgrounds (C.1)
  • Communicate with people with a wide variety of cultural, social, economic, and political perspectives using verbal, written, and visual media (C.2)
  • Develop creative solutions to complex problems based on research and evaluation (I.1)
  • Investigate strategically the future of cities and regions and identify the drivers of change (P.1)
  • Explore the principles of environmental, economic and social sustainability and apply them to analysing and developing plans (P.7)
  • Develop coherent and logically structured arguments that use evidence appropriately (R.5)
  • Determine risk assessment principles and apply them to simulating future courses of action (R.6)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The term CAPRI is used for the five Design, Architecture and Building faculty graduate attribute categories where:

C = communication and groupwork

A = attitudes and values

P = practical and professional

R = reseach and critique

I = innovation and creativity

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs) are linked to these categories using codes (e.g. C-!, A-3, P-4, etc).

Teaching and learning strategies

Delivery will be over two block sessions and will include lectures on key concepts, presentations by guest lectures, evaluation of case studies and specialist material. Active learning opportunities will be integrated throughout each block and may include group discussion, class workshops, field visit(s) and presentations by student groups. In addition, some flipped learning strategies have been integrated into the subject learning philosophy, including readings and short video clips (available on UTSOnline) which must be viewed prior to the block. In addition, online reference and resource material may be provided throughout the semester, and relevant news topics that relate to subject topics may be posted on Canvas (in the Interesting Ideas tab) to demonstrate relevance of the subject content to contemporary life and professional practice.

The complexity of sustainable urban development challenges cannot be solved by a single profession or individual. To replicate how these challenges are addressed in industry, each assessment task includes a group work component.

Content (topics)

  • urban resilience and sustainability
  • urban effects of climate change in the context of greenhouse gas emissions (and reduction)
  • energy consumption (and alternative energy development strategies)
  • air quality and population growth
  • economic planning for resilience
  • social sustainability implications related to equity and inequity across the city (e.g. affordable housing policy and night-time economy policy considerations)
  • concepts of eco-footprints
  • assessment methods for sustainable building
  • precinct developments
  • physical constraints on development transport
  • sustainable energy use
  • new build vs retrofit considerations and challenges
  • exploration of sustainable urban design strategies.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Investigating best practice solutions for global sustainability issues facing Sydney

Intent:

As you have learned over the course of block session #1, there are many sustainability issues facing our cities today. To address these issues, many cities have begun implementing strategies to address challenges to urban resilience in hopes of improving the social, environmental and economic health of their communities. Some of these solutions are short-term solutions that are intended to be revisited regularly, while others hope to solve the problem entirely with the intervention. Others are similarly focused over mid- or long-term vision and actions periods.

For this assessment you will develop a research question to investigate one of the global resilience/sustainability challenges we have discussed over the block session. In your Mindmapping groups, you will collaboratively brainstorm research ideas during the week after processing all the learning module content through the mind-mapping exercise.

You will then, individually, research one of the global issues and its specific impact on Greater Sydney, identify TWO relevant case studies - these should be global cities/metro areas that are struggling with this same issue and developed some solutions (and started to see success/failure of the solution) - and conduct in-depth research on those case studies to identify key lessons learned from the case study and how these are applicable to Sydney. Finally, you will analyse the key lessons and how they could be applied in Greater Sydney, and from this analyse you will develop a plan of action (POA) for Greater Sydney to address the urban resilience/sustainability challenge you have chosen.

This assignment builds on the information discussed throughout the lecture modules. Review the information posted in the 'After class block 1 - Assessment 1 information & Block 1 feedback survey' Module for more details on the assignment, the submission requirements, and the feedback opportunities.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2, 3, 5 and 6

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.2, I.1, P.1, R.5 and R.6

Type: Project
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 50%
Length:

See Assessment Module

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Quality, clarity, professionalism & coherent structure of deliverable. [10% individual mark/10% Group mark] 20 2 C.2
Evidence of strategic thinking related to the importance of the broader global sustainability as well as how it is impacting Sydney. Is the research question clearly identified and linked to these issues (and a specific target in the Sustainable Sydney 2030 Plan)? - This criteria is essentially asking you to demonstrate the relevance of your research topic for CoS. [Group mark] 15 3 P.1
Evidence of logical selection, assessment and analysis of your case study, demonstrating how the global issue is impacting the case study, what their solution has been, the impact of that solution, and discussion of key lessons learned that can be utilised by the CoS. [Individual Mark] 30 5 R.5
Evidence of logically structured argument in the development of a plan of action (POA) for the CoS, based on lessons learned in the case studies. [Group mark] 30 6 I.1
Evidence of risk assessment (action vs. non-action) related to the global sustainability issue and in the assessment of solutions presented in each case study. In addition, risk should be considered in the POA recommendations to the City of Sydney. [Group mark] 5 6 R.6
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Sustainability performance assessment at a building level

Intent:

This assignment aims to further develop your knowledge and understanding of sustainable urban redevelopment through the preparation of a client report advising on options for the sustainable adaptive reuse of an existing building. Location to be confirmed.

This is an individual assignment and you are required to provide advice and guidance to your client. You are to work within the planning and regulatory constraints affecting property development in the city, which may require additional research.

This assignment builds on the information discussed throughout the lecture series. See assessment brief in the Learning Guide for more details on the assignment, the submission requirements, and the feedback opportunities.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.1, C.2, P.1, P.7 and R.5

Type: Project
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%
Length:

See Assessment brief

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Group presentation in class on Saturday [group mark] 15 1 C.1
Evidence of structured, well written professional client report 15 2 C.2
Quality of strategic advice to client with regards to options, taking into account social, economic and environmental factors 30 3 P.1
Clear articulation of the challenges and practical options for the client in respect of the building 20 4 P.7
Clear articulation of the strengths and weaknesses of any policies or rating tools recommended using available evidence. 20 5 R.5
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

The DAB attendance policy requires students to attend no less than 80% of formal teaching sessions (lectures and tutorials) for each class they are enrolled in to remain eligible for assessment.

Required texts

Recommended readings and lecture resources will be posted on UTS Online at the commencement of the first teaching block and/or as the subject progresses through the semester.

Recommended texts

Wilkinson, S & Remoy, H. (eds) 2018. Building Resilience in Urban Settlements through Sustainable Change Of Use. Wiley-Blackwell

Wilkinson, S., Dixon, T. J., Miller, N., & Sayce., S. (eds) 2018. Handbook of Sustainable Real Estate. Taylor & Francis.

Wilkinson, S. J., Remoy, H. T. & Langston, C. 2014. Sustainable Building Adaptation: Innovations in Decision-making. Wiley-Blackwell, UK

Bullivant, Lucy. 2012. Masterplanning Futures. London and New York : Routledge.