Plants, Greenspace and Urban Sustainability

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Plants, Greenspace and Urban Sustainability

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Environmental Sustainability

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
    Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites: Basic understanding of plant functioning OR A level Science or equivalent
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7
    Summary module description:
    To provide the student with an overview of the role of green infrastructure in supporting sustainable living in urban environments. Green plants in urban setting provide numerous ecosystem services, which will be discussed during the module, and would apply to the ecosystem issues in developed as well as the developing world. Case studies will be used to illustrate our relationship with the urban landscape and wider environmental issues. The module has a strong focus on urban environments and the use of appropriate greening interventions to improve human health and quality of life.
    Assessable learning outcomes:
    Assessable outcomes
    - Identify environmental problems and suggest appropriate design and management interventions in urban landscapes that may help address or mitigate these problems.
    - Identify the integral role certain urban greening interventions have in satisfying human nutritional, environmental and welfare needs.
    - Critically evaluate terms and concepts associated with the management of the environment - ?ecosystem services?, ?green infrastructure? ?carbon footprint? etc.
    - Be familiar with the latest research findings associated with one or more of the key subject areas.
    Additional outcomes:
    Communication and debating skills will be developed in the lectures / seminars. Students should be able to formulate arguments and develop independent thinking.
    Outline content:
    The module will run over 10 weeks as a series of lectures, seminars and visits covering:
    1 Climate change and lifestyle implications
    2 Sustainable landscape management and carbon footprint
    3 Plants for places - physiological adaptation in ornamental and landscape plants to urban stress factors
    4 Green roofs / walls and the provision of ecosystem services
    5 Allotments and home-grown food
    6 Plants and sustainable living (biofuels, wood products, waste management)
    7 Urban green-space and environmental modification
    8 Inner-city nature reserves, conservation and biodiversity
    9 Student seminars
    10 Student seminars
    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    There will be a two-hour lecture slot each week covering lecture and seminar. Students will be asked to review both a scientific publication (assigned to them) and a lay article of their choice within the broad subject area of the module.
    Contact hours:
    Lectures 8
    Tutorials 12
    External Visits 4
    Guided independent study 76
    Total hours by term 100.00
    Total hours for module 100.00
    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Method Percentage
    Written exam 60
    Oral assessment and presentation 40
    Other information on summative assessment:
    Review of a scientific paper assigned to the student, highlighting contribution to understanding within a specialised area. Students will provide critical comment on the content, approaches and conclusions of the paper. Oral presentation with written summary.
    Requirements for a pass:
    An overall mark of 40%.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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