GEOG30840 The Urban Environment

Academic Year 2019/2020

The majority of humanity now live in urban areas, which are densely occupied places that have experienced intensive landscape change. In addition, these are places of intensive energy, material and water use and waste generation. As a result the enviornment (atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere) for most on the planet have been modified, usually for the worse. The combined impact of cities worldwide is a major driver of global environmental changes that will have a enhanced impact on cities due to the concentration of humans and infrastructure at low elevations close to sea-level. This module consists of a series of lectures that cover the breadth of environmental issues associated with cities including the health consequences associated with degraded air and water quality and hiistorial and modern policies to manage these environments.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

A basic knowledge of the impacts of urban development on natural systems.
Acquire a historical and geographical appreciation of urban environmental issues and policy responses.
An understanding of how cities affect environmental changes at all scales up to the planetary scale and how global environmental changes will impact cities.

Indicative Module Content:

Physical geography of citie; Historical and global urbanisation; Urban footprints and metabolism; Land and materials; Energy and wate; Food and waste; Hydrology; Weather and climate; Biodiversity; Air and water quality; Flooding and heatwaves; Sustainable cities; Green and compact cities; High-rise cities; Smart cities

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Lectures

20

Field Trip/External Visits

4

Autonomous Student Learning

76

Total

100

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The bulk of the course material is presented in the form of lectures most of which use current information to link the topic to current affairs. The field trip is an opportunity to link some ideas to the nature of the urban landscape as experienced by the student. The essay is an opportunity to delve into a topic of interest (an aspect of urbanisation or a city) in some detail and the exam attempts to evaluate your understanding of all of the materials within a coherent framework. While students may have encountered some of this material elsewhere, this course brings it together in a geographical context. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.  
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Fieldwork: The fieldtrip is self-directed. You select a place to illustrate aspects of the urban environment and complete a 1000 word report illustrated with a map. Week 9 n/a Graded No

15

Essay: The essay should be between 3,000-4,000 words long (not including references). Given the topics covered in this course your essay could focus on a topic (e.g. air pollution) and/or a city (e.g. Cairo) Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No

35

Examination: The final exam covers the topics of Urban Environment and is one hour long. 1 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No

50


Carry forward of passed components
No
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

The feedback is used to aid in understanding the materials during term and to prrpare for the final exam.

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2. Fletcher, T.D., Andrieu, H. and Hamel, P., 2013. Understanding, management and modelling of urban hydrology and its consequences for receiving waters: A state of the art. Advances in Water Resources, 51, pp.261-279.
3. Fenger J. 1999: Urban air quality. Atmospheric Environment 33, 4877-4900.
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5. Gurjara B.R., Butler T.M., Lawrence M.G. and Lelieveld J. 2008: Evaluation of emissions and air quality in megacities, Atmospheric Environment 42, 1593–1606.
6. Jabareen Y.R. 2006: Sustainable Urban Forms: Their Typologies, Models, and Concepts. Journal of Planning Education and Research 26, 38-52.
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9. Kenworthy J.R. The eco-city: ten key transport and planning dimensions for sustainable city development. Environment & Urbanization 18, 67–85.
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11. Mentens J., Raes D. And Hemy M. 2006: Green roofs as a tool for solving the rainwater runoff problem in the urbanized 21st century? Landscape and Urban Planning 77, 217–226
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13. Ningal T, Mills G. and Smithwick P. 2010: An inventory of trees in Dublin city centre. Irish Geography 43, 161-176.
14. Nowak D.J. 2006: Institutionalizing urban forestry as a ‘‘biotechnology’’ to improve environmental quality. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 5, 93–100.
15. Perez-Lombard L., Ortiz J. & Pout C. 2008: A review on buildings energy consumption information. Energy and Buildings 40, 394–398.
16. Reddy, B.V. and Jagadish, K.S., 2003. Embodied energy of common and alternative building materials and technologies. Energy and buildings, 35(2), pp.129-137.
17. Rees, W., & Wackernagel, M. (2008). Urban ecological footprints: why cities cannot be sustainable—and why they are a key to sustainability. In Urban Ecology (pp. 537-555). Springer US.
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22. Vergara, S.E. and Tchobanoglous, G., 2012. Municipal solid waste and the environment: a global perspective. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 37, pp.277-309.
Name Role
Professor Harriet Hawkins Subject Extern Examiner
Professor Glenn McGregor Subject Extern Examiner
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.  
Autumn
     
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 12:00 - 12:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Wed 11:00 - 11:50
Autumn