Sustainable Cities

The American College of Greece

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Sustainable Cities

  • Host University

    The American College of Greece

  • Location

    Athens, Greece

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Sustainability

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    ES1000 Environmental Science: Ecosystems and Biodiversity
    ES1010 Environmental Science: Energy Resources and Pollution

  • 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

  • US Credits

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

    This course studies cities and how these can be sustainable. It addresses the political, social and physical dimensions of sustainable cities. It explores why and how to plan living environments that are attractive, functional, appropriately scaled and enjoyable, while reducing their environmental impacts and the energy it takes to build them and operate them.

    More than half of the population on Earth lives in cities and cities consume 75% of the world’s energy. Physical / spatial issues (relating to land use and development, transportation, energy, waste and natural resources) and political and social parameters (like power relations and interest groups, private and public goods, social inequalities like class, gender and ethnicity) are all relevant to the planning and operation of cities so that they constitute/become sustainable communities. Considerations like scale and density, walkability, safety, energy and natural resource use are central to urban planning for sustainable cities.

    As a result of taking this course, the student should be able to:
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic concepts, underlying issues and important parameters of sustainable city planning.
    2. Critically discuss common urban planning debates from the point of view of sustainability.
    3. Analyze different themes / dimensions of sustainable cities, like transportation, public spaces, energy efficiency, resilience and sustainable neighborhoods.
    4. Apply the knowledge of sustainable city planning theories to selected case studies or problems.
    5. Show ability to communicate effectively in several forms (e.g. written, graphical and verbal), engage in debate in a professional manner and produce detailed and coherent project reports.

    In congruence with the learning and teaching strategy of the college, the following tools are used:
    • Class lectures, interactive learning (class discussions, group work), video presentations, and case studies discussed in class.
    • Formative activities (e.g. discussion/investigation of case studies, critical response to selected questions)
    • Invited speakers or site visits.
    • Student presentations.
    • Office hours: students are encouraged to make full use of the office hours of their instructor, where they can discuss class material or any aspect related with the course.
    • Use of a blackboard site, where instructors post lecture notes, assignment instructions, announcements, as well as additional resources (including on-line tools).  


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