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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Postgraduate Course: Ecocities (fusion on-site) (EFIE11181)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course will delve into the concept of ecocities and equip students with detailed, critical knowledge that can inform practices of realising sustainable cities. Students will be introduced to critical concepts that will enable them to analyse some of the diverse experiments and projects that have been developed in pursuit of sustainable urbanism and to envisage more just and equitable approaches to building/realising ecocities.
Course description In this course, students will learn to understand and appraise ecocities and urban sustainability through the core social science concepts of political ecology, urban metabolism, travelling policy, green gentrification and environmental racism.

Around the world, there are multiple attempts to produce sustainable urban forms. From redeveloped eco-districts, greening initiatives, and 20-minute neighbourhoods, to the construction of entirely new, master-planned cities, urban sustainability has been interpreted in diverse ways and produced different definitions, typologies, practices and results. In this course, students will gain in-depth knowledge of the concept of urban sustainability and the underlying ambitions, assumptions, agendas and initiatives that have been inaugurated around the world in efforts to produce sustainable urban forms.

Awareness of different approaches is insufficient, however. Students will be equipped with critical tools and concepts that will enable them to critically examine and analyse various urban sustainability initiatives. Sustainability has to encompass multiple measurements and factors, including inclusivity, equity, community, dignified livelihoods and democracy. The course will therefore emphasise the linkages between these ideals and urban sustainability, and push students to critique existing practices, as well as think about future projects/initiatives in these terms. Pathways to sustainability are also shaped by the socio-political contexts in which they are implemented. The role market forces, public-private-partnerships, communities and political contestation play in shaping urban sustainability projects and their outcomes will be foregrounded to enhance students' analytical frameworks.

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - On-Site Fusion Course Delivery Information:

The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities.

Students should be aware that:
- Classrooms used in this course will have additional technology in place: students might not be able to sit in areas away from microphones or outside the field of view of all cameras.
- Unless the lecturer or tutor indicates otherwise you should assume the session is being recorded.

As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 7, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Formative Assessment Hours 3, Other Study Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Other Study: Scheduled Group-work Hours (hybrid online/on-campus) - 5
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative Assessment:

The course will be assessed by means of the following components:

1) Sustainable Response Assessment (100%)

A single summative assessment to develop and apply a method to assess chosen measures of sustainable response of an ecocity typology.

Students will be required to interrogate existing typologies (of their choosing) to demonstrate awareness of how sustainability and ecocities have been interpreted and developed in different contexts, and the extent to which these can be considered sustainable.

Assignments will take on the form of a textual report by the student supplemented by other media such as photographic survey, cartographic analysis or interview outputs.

Word count: 2000-2500
Deadline: 4 weeks after intensive

Course assignments will be assessed on the extent to which students demonstrate clear critical understanding of core concepts in the course and are able to use these to analyse existing case-studies. Students' abilities to think through ecocity typologies in terms of inclusion, equity and accessibility will be crucial.
Feedback At the start of the intensive period students will present reflective pieces and will receive verbal feedback from the teaching team and their peers. As the last activity on Day 2, student groups will present their developing critical models and will receive verbal and online feedback from the teaching team and their peers.

2 weeks before the assessment submission date, all students will have a formative feedback session to give guidance on their final submission.

Students will receive written feedback on their final assessments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the various definitions and descriptions of urban sustainability and ecocities in theoretical and built contexts.
  2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the socio-political and geographic environments that define ecocities in relation to sustainable development.
  3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the challenges and opportunities for ecocities to deliver sustainable, inclusive outcomes.
  4. Apply knowledge of ecocity and sustainability definitions and strategies to inform practice and policy making.
Reading List
Essential Readings:

Anguelovski, I., Connolly, J.J.T., Masip, L., Pearsall, H., 2018b. Assessing green gentrification in historically disenfranchised neighborhoods: a longitudinal and spatial analysis of Barcelona. Urban Geogr. 39, 458-491.

Asiyanbi, A., 2015. Mind the gap: global truths, local complexities in emergent green initiatives, in: Bryant, R. (Ed.), The International Handbook of Political Ecology. Edward Elgar Publishing, Massachusetts, pp. 274-290.

Caprotti, F., 2014a. Critical research on eco-cities? A walk through the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, China. Cities 36, 10-17.

Caprotti, F., 2014b. Eco-urbanism and the Eco-city, or, Denying the Right to the City? Antipode 46, 1285-1303.

Checker, M., 2011. Wiped Out by the 'Greenwave': Environmental Gentrification and the Paradoxical Politics of Urban Sustainability. City Soc. 23, 210-229.

Cugurullo, F., 2018. Exposing smart cities and eco-cities: Frankenstein urbanism and the sustainability challenges of the experimental city. Environ. Plan. Econ. Space 50, 73-92.

Curran, W., Hamilton, T., 2012. Just green enough: contesting environmental gentrification in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Local Environ. 17, 1027-1042.

Farreny, R., Oliver-Solà, J., Montlleó, M., Escribà, E., Gabarrell, X., Rieradevall, J., 2011. Transition towards Sustainable Cities: Opportunities, Constraints, and Strategies in Planning. A Neighbourhood Ecodesign Case Study in Barcelona. Environ. Plan. Econ. Space 43, 1118-1134.

Grydehoj, A., Kelman, I., 2016. Island Smart Eco-Cities: Innovation, Secessionary Enclaves, and the Selling of Sustainability. Urban Isl. Stud. 2.

Joss, S., 2011. Eco-cities: the mainstreaming of urban sustainability - key characteristics and driving factors. Int. J. Sustain. Dev. Plan. 6, 268-285.

Mahzouni, A., 2015. The 'Policy Mix' for Sustainable Urban Transition: The city district of Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm. Environ. Policy Gov. 25, 288-302.

Neo, H., Pow, C.P., 2015. Eco-cities and the promise of socio-environmental justice, in: Bryant, R. (Ed.), The International Handbook of Political Ecology. Edward Elgar Publishing, Massachusetts, pp. 401-416.

Pellow, D.N., 2016. TOWARD A CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE STUDIES: Black Lives Matter as an Environmental Justice Challenge. Bois Rev. Soc. Sci. Res. Race 13, 221-236.

Pow, C.P., Neo, H., 2015. Modelling green urbanism in China. Area 47, 132-140.

Premalatha, M., Tauseef, S.M., Abbasi, T., Abbasi, S.A., 2013. The promise and the performance of the world's first two zero carbon eco-cities. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 25, 660-669.

Pulido, L., 2017. Environmental Racism, in: International Encyclopedia of Geography. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, pp. 1-13.

Rapoport, E., 2014. Utopian Visions and Real Estate Dreams: The Eco-city Past, Present and Future. Geogr. Compass 8, 137-149.

Rutherford, J., 2019. Redeploying Urban Infrastructure: The Politics of Urban Socio-Technical Futures, 1st ed. 2020 edition. ed. Palgrave Macmillan.

Recommended Readings:

Anguelovski, I., Connolly, J., Brand, A.L., 2018a. From landscapes of utopia to the margins of the green urban life. City 22, 417-436.

Bulkeley, H., Castán Broto, V., 2013. Government by experiment? Global cities and the governing of climate change. Trans. Inst. Br. Geogr. 38, 361-375.

Chang, I.-C.C., 2017. Failure matters: Reassembling eco-urbanism in a globalizing China. Environ. Plan. Econ. Space 49, 1719-1742.

Flynn, A., Yu, L., Feindt, P., Chen, C., 2016. Eco-cities, governance and sustainable lifestyles: The case of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City. Habitat Int. 53, 78-86.

Harris, A., Moore, S., 2015. Convergence and divergence in conceptualising and planning the sustainable city: an introduction. Area 47, 106-109.

Iverot, S., Brandt, N., 2011. The development of a sustainable urban district in Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm, Sweden? Environ. Dev. Sustain. 13, 1043-1064.

Joss, S., 2015. Eco-cities and Sustainable Urbanism, in: Wright James, D. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Elsivier, Oxford, pp. 829-837.

Joss, S., Cowley, R., Tomozeiu, D., 2013. Towards the 'ubiquitous eco-city': An analysis of the internationalisation of eco-city policy and practice. Urban Res. Pract. 6, 54-74.

Long, J., Rice, J.L., 2019. From sustainable urbanism to climate urbanism. Urban Stud. 56, 992-1008.

Miao, B., Lang, G., 2015. A Tale of Two Eco-Cities: Experimentation under Hierarchy in Shanghai and Tianjin. Urban Policy Res. 33, 247-263.

Roggema, R., 2016. The future of sustainable urbanism: a redefinition. City Territ. Archit. 3, 22.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course contributes to the following graduate attributes and skills:

- Critical and reflective thinkers
- Creative problem solvers and researchers
- Passion to engage locally and globally
- Curiosity for learning that makes a positive difference
- Effective and influential contributors
- Skilled communicators
KeywordsUrban Sustainability,Ecocity,Political Ecology,Inclusion,PG,EFI,Level 11,Sustainability
Course organiserDr Aidan Mosselson
Course secretaryMiss Yasmine Lewis
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