4 Online Courses that Will Teach You the Future of Sustainable Cities

4 Online Courses that Will Teach You the Future of Sustainable Cities

The future of sustainable cities has become a very interesting topic for places around the world. Federal governments and local municipalities have been working and looking for ways to innovate and invest in city performance and technology. From solar carports, to community charging stations, to smart roads, cities have been on a mission to implement the correct technology to bring themselves into the new century of sustainability.

What are these technologies and approaches that cities are taking? Below are some of the most innovative courses that discuss these very topics. As cities adapt and change, so will jobs and skills of the workforce. Take a look at the four courses below and discover the amazing things cities are implementing and how a new generation of workers will help create it all.

Greening the Economy: Sustainable Cities

Created by: Lund University
About the Course: This course will explore sustainable cities as engines for greening the economy. We place cities in the context of sustainable urban transformation and climate change. Sustainable urban transformation refers to structural transformation processes – multi-dimensional and radical change – that can effectively direct urban development towards ambitious sustainability and climate goals. We will connect the key trends of urbanization, decarbonisation and sustainability. We will examine visions, experiments and innovations in urban areas. We will look at practices (what is happening in cities at present) and opportunities (what are the possibilities for cities going forwards into the future). We bring together a collection of diverse short films and key short readings on sustainable cities as well as interactive forums and a practical assignment to create an online learning community. This course provides key examples of activities to promote sustainable cities in Scandinavia, Europe and around the world. We utilize films and reports by WWF, the Economist Intelligence Unit, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, UN-Habitat, C40 Climate Leadership Group, Arup, Sustainia, the Rockefeller Foundation, and ongoing research projects. This course is produced by Lund University in cooperation with WWF and ICLEI. It is available for free to everyone, everywhere!


Sustainable Urban Development

Created by: DelftX and WageningenX
About the Course: Did you know that cities take up less than 3% of the earth’s land surface, but more than 50% of the world’s population live in them? And, cities generate more than 70% of the global emissions? Large cities and their hinterlands (jointly called metropolitan regions) greatly contribute to global urbanization and sustainability challenges, yet are also key to resolving these same challenges.

If you are interested in the challenges of the 21st century metropolitan regions and how these can be solved from within the city and by its inhabitants, then this Sustainable Urban Development course is for you!


Energy ? The Technology You Must Know in the 21st Century

Created by: OECx
About the Course: Energy technology is a highly multidisciplinary subject, which extends from engineering (e.g. mechanical, chemical, civil, environmental and electrical) to economy and ecology. This course is designed for students with limited engineering knowledge. It gives a broad overview of energy technology, mainly focusing on electric power generation. Before introducing technical aspects of power generation, impacts of excessive fossil fuel consumption to the environment, such as global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain and emissive pollutants, are addressed. In addition, strategies and challenges of energy security and social justice for resource-poor countries, such as an island region of Taiwan, will be emphasized.

The technical topics cover most of the existing and emerging technologies, which include:

  • Fossil Fuel and Thermal Power Plants
  • Fuel Cells
  • Solar Energy ? Photovoltaic & Concentrating Solar
  • Wind Energy
  • Hydroelectric Power & Ocean Energy
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Biomass Energy
  • Nuclear Energy

The students will gain comprehensive knowledge of the above listed energy technologies, in which the working principles, their practical applications and the latest progresses are emphasized. Based on the knowledge learn in the classes, the students will be aware about the pros and cons of these technologies, and be able to make their choices for selecting the most desired energy. The course will also provide guidance for those who are interested in perusing their future careers or advanced educations in energy-related fields.


Smart Cities – Management of Smart Urban Infrastructures

Created by: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
About the Course: Learn about Smart Cities within the context of management of urban infrastructures. The introduction of Smart urban technologies into legacy infrastructures has resulted in numerous challenges and opportunities for contemporary cities and will continue to do so. This course will help you to understand how to make the best of these smart technologies in your cities’ legacy infrastructures. Over the past few years, advances in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have significantly challenged the traditionally stable land scape of urban infrastructure service provision. This has resulted in increasing interest from both technology vendors and public authorities in the transition of cities towards so-called “Smart Cities”. Although such “Smart technologies” can provide immense opportunities for citizens and service providers alike, the ICTs often act as disruptive innovators of urban infrastructure service provision.