Urban Sustainability in a Global Context

Winter Semester 2020/2021

Aims of the Course

The course aims at giving students an overview over the various aspects of urban sustainability as defined in the Sustainable Development Goal #11. SDG #11 aims to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. SDG #11 thus adresses all dimensions of sustainability namely:
social sustainability by reducing poverty, spatial segregation and social inequality on various dimensions (e.g. class, gender, race/ethnicity, age and disability)
economic sustainability by overcoming economic exclusion, creating career and business opportunities for all income groups and building resilient societies and economies
ecological sustainability by reducing negative environmental impacts of cities, by reducing the negative impact of disasters and climate change on cities and by protecting and safeguarding the world’s natural and cultural heritage.

SDG #11 in particular aims at giving access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing, green and public spaces, transport system as well as basic services such as water, food, electricity, sanitation, waste deposal, internet, heating and/or cooling, clean air, education, work/jobs, health care, leisure activities and sports.
The course addresses these issues by (1) discussing how cities can be transformed by urban planning and design, (2) introducing the various dimensions of social inequality that need to be addressed in order to achieve social sustainability, (3) discussing how social, economic and ecological sustainability are entwined and (4) discussing each of the substantial dimensions addressed by SDG #11. This is done by dedicating each week to a different topic.
The course is part of the mandatory program of Action 3-1 in the “Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (GCSMUS), but it is also open to bachelor and master students at TU Berlin.

Speakers & Topics

  • Social Sustainability: Reducing Social Inequality
    • Nina Baur: Introduction to the Course Programme & Social Sustainability: Global Inequality, Regional Disparities, Rural-Urban-Divides and Between- City-Inequality
    • Nina Baur: Race & Ethnicity
    • Thando Tilmann: Science Communication: Blogging – Twitter – Facebook
    • Maria Norkus: Social Class, Income and Poverty
    • Christoph Scherrer: Rural-Urban-Connections, Decent Work in Agricultural Value Chains and Organizing the Informal Economy
    • Maisha Maureen Auma: Who needs Feminism? Intersectional and Decolonial Perspectives
    • Nina Baur: Gender and Space (1) – Violence Against Women
    • Susann Fegter: Children and Young People
    • Clemens Tesch-Roemer: Old Age and Ageing
  • Environmental Sustainability: Climate Change 
    • Anita Engels: Environmental Sustainability: Climate Change
  • Economic Sustainability: The Urban Economy