Sustainable Cities: Finance, Design, and Innovation
Course Number 1487
Senior Lecturer John D. Macomber
Winter; Q1Q2; 3 credits
This course is about designing and building sustainable cities. The content is designed for students interested in finance, consulting, or operations in real estate development, infrastructure delivery, manufacturing and technology, social enterprise at large scale, and entrepreneurship in business and the environment.
This course considers practical responses to three global trends: 1) rapid and massive urbanization as billions of people move from the countryside to urban areas; 2) current and worsening scarcity of key resources, notably clean air, clean water, electric power, and effective transportation; and 3) the inability of most governments to address these trends with as much foresight and long view thinking as might be hoped. Many of these issues can be effectively addressed by interventions in the built environment. How can the tools of business be applied? What works?
The course will appeal to students who want to understand issues and potential action with respect to rapid global urbanization, tensions and tradeoffs in the energy-water-food nexus, innovation in both infrastructure and resource optimization, and the future of American and international cities and the built environment.
The course takes a component approach, looking at the elements which investors and business people can most directly influence. In particular, this means electricity, water, real estate, housing, waste, roads, bridges, metros as well as storm and flood considerations. Scale includes not only entire cities but also new satellite cities, large urban regeneration, and large integrated mixed use developments. Environmental sustainability is considered in terms of resource efficiency (energy, clean air, clean water, transit time); economic sustainability is looked at through the lens of competitiveness of cities; and social sustainability is looked at with particular consideration of electricity, water, transit, housing, and jobs.
There are three primary modules, all emphasizing "how to" tools for real estate development, infrastructure investment delivery, and building sustainable cities. The structure steps up in scale and complexity from buildings, to infrastructure, to urban scale.
- Buildings in Cities: Development, Design and Construction
- High performance and green buildings
- Transport, Water, Smart Cities
- Resilience, Adaptation, and Coping with Climate Variability in Cities
- Whole Cities
This course is a good complement to "Real Property" and has little overlap with "Real Estate in Emerging Markets." This course is part of a portfolio of offerings relevant to Social Enterprise and Business and the Environment. For full listings, see the Social Enterprise Initiative and Business and Environment Initiative websites. This is the successor course to both "Real Estate Development, Design, and Construction" and "Sustainable Cities: Urbanization, Infrastructure, and Finance."