This course is provided by McGill University through eDx for FREE.

Duration: 12 weeks, starting 14 January 2015 

Course Objective

No region on Earth is immune from natural disasters. As we gain scientific understanding into the causes and nature of such phenomena, we become better able to mitigate the effects of disasters. Yet as the world's population continues to grow, an increasingly large number of people are at risk. This course examines the science behind different types of disasters and our ability or inability to control and predict such events. From this course the student will gain an appreciation of natural disasters beyond the newspaper headlines, and will better understand how the effects of disasters can be reduced.

There is an urgent need for people from all walks of life to better understand the scientific principles behind the occurrence of natural disasters. City planners need to know where and where not to site buildings. Politicians need to make scientifically informed decisions. Emergency management officials need to understand the nature of a potential disaster and ways to mitigate such an event. Journalists need to report scientifically accurate information.

This course is provided by MIT through MIT Open Course Ware for FREE.

Duration: Anytime, unlimited access. This course has ended but course archive available at MITOCW.

Course Objective

This class explores the foundations of the environmental justice movement, current and emerging issues, and the application of environmental justice analysis to environmental policy and planning. It examines claims made by diverse groups along with the policy and civil society responses that address perceived inequity and injustice. While focused mainly on the United States, international issues and perspectives are also considered.

This course is provided by MIT through MIT Open Course Ware for FREE. 

Duration: Anytime, unlimited access. This course has ended but course archive available at MITOCW. 

Course Objective

Through a combination of lectures, cases, and class discussions this subject examines the economic and political conflict between transportation and the environment. It investigates the role of government regulation, green business and transportation policy as facilitators of economic development and environmental sustainability. It analyzes a variety of international policy problems including government-business relations; the role of interest groups, non-governmental organizations, and the public and media in the regulation of the automobile; sustainable development; global warming; the politics of risk and siting of transport facilities; environmental justice; equity; and transportation and public health in the urban metropolis. It provides students with an opportunity to apply transportation and planning methods to developing policy alternatives in the context of environmental politics.

This online course is provided by MIT through MIT Open Course Ware for FREE.

Duration: Anytime, unlimited access. This course has ended but archive available at MITOCW.

Course Objective

This seminar will explore the difficulties of getting agreement on global definitions of sustainability; in particularly building international support for efforts to combat climate change created by greenhouse gas emissions as well as other international resource management efforts. We will focus on possible changes in the way global environmental agreements are formulated and implemented, especially on ways of shifting from the current "pollution control" approach to combating climate change to a more comprehensive strategy for taking advantage of sustainable development opportunities.

This online course is provided by Illinois University through Coursera for FREE. 
Duration: January to March 2015
Course Objective 
This course introduces the academic approach of Sustainability and explores how today’s human societies can endure in the face of global change, ecosystem degradation and resource limitations. The course focuses on key knowledge areas of sustainability theory and practice, including population, ecosystems, global change, energy, agriculture, water, environmental economics and policy, ethics, and cultural history.

This subject is of vital importance, seeking as it does to uncover the principles of the long-term welfare of all the peoples of the planet. As sustainability is a cross-disciplinary field of study, this foundation requires intellectual breadth: as I describe it in the class text, understanding our motivations requires the humanities, measuring the challenges of sustainability requires knowledge of the sciences (both natural and social), and building solutions requires technical insight into systems (such as provided by engineering, planning, and management).

This course is provided by UNSW Australia through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: April to June 2015

Course Objective

The city is humanity’s most complex and extraordinary artifact. As the world population grows and becomes ever more urban, the making of future cities is no longer just about aesthetics or convenience. Questions of sustainability and culture are more and more crucial. Increasingly, the future of the city is the future of the species.

This is an introduction to the interdisciplinary nature of city making. The focus will be on a cutting-edge, high-density urban infill project in contemporary Sydney. We will use this project to explore the interdependencies of the professions at play; urban design, architecture, construction management, planning, landscape architecture, interior architecture and industrial design. 

We will investigate the entire development process from the earliest planning and site purchases through to completion, and from the broad contextual scale through to the design intricacies. In so doing, we will examine design innovations in green technologies, structure, construction, environmental and building service, framing this within the wider context of infrastructure, governance and the political economy.

As a course participant, you will engage in critical discussion from different perspectives; design, sustainability, and the law. You will also analyze the cultural, environmental and political conversations that drive the development, gain an understanding of how key players interact in city making and see how different built environment disciplines relate in this process.

Drawing on designers, thinkers and developers at the forefront of their professions, this course will investigate a key question facing global cities today: how do we engage local democracy to make urban density both sustainable and poetic?

This is an online course provided by Delft University through eDx for FREE.

Duration: 6 weeks, starts on 26 January 2015

Course Objective

This course will focus on basic technologies for the treatment of urban sewage. Unit processes involved in the treatment chain will be described as well as the physical, chemical and biological processes involved. There will be an emphasis on water quality and the functionality of each unit process within the treatment chain.  After the course one should be able to recognise the process units, describe their function and make simple design calculations on urban sewage treatment plants.

The course consists of 6 modules:

  1. Sewage treatment plant overview. In this module you will learn what major pollutants are present in the sewage and why we need to treat sewage prior to discharge to surface waters. The functional units will be briefly discussed
  2. Primary treatment. In this module you learn how coarse material, sand & grit are removed from the sewage and how to design primary clarification tanks
  3. Biological treatment. In this module you learn the basics of the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous cycle and how biological processes are used to treat the main pollutants of concern.
  4. Activated sludge process. In this module you learn the design principles of conventional activated sludge processes including the secondary clarifiers and aeration demand of aeration tanks.
  5. Nitrogen and phosphorus removal. In this module you learn the principles of biological nitrogen removal as well as phosphorus removal by biological and/or chemical means.
  6. Sludge treatment. In this module you will the design principles of sludge thickeners, digesters and dewatering facilities for the concentration and stabilisation of excess sewage sludge. Potentials for energy recovery via the produced biogas will be discussed as well as the direct anaerobic treatment of urban sewage in UASB reactors when climate conditions allow.

The course consists of knowledge clips, movies, exercises, discussion and homework assignments. The course will be finished by an examination. The best students (based on results and activity in the forum discussions) will be invited to follow an online course of the MSc-track Water management of the faculty of Civil Engineering at the TU Delft.

Last year this course was given as part of Introduction to water treatment. This year we offer two separate courses: "Introduction to drinking water treatment" and "Introduction to the Treatment of Urban Sewage".

Together with the course "Introduction to Water and Climate" they form the Water XSeries Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, TU Delft.

The course materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Netherlands License.

This online course is provided by University of Pennsylvania through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: 10 weeks, 15 September to 6 December 2014

Course Objective

Designing Cities is a ten-week course starting in September 2014.  Every week will focus on a different aspect of Designing Cities including: How Today’s City Evolved; The Ideas That Shape Cities; Tools for Designing Cities; Making Cities Sustainable; Cities in the Information Age; Preserving Older Cities; Designing New Cities, Districts and Neighborhoods; The Challenges of Informal Cities and Disadvantaged Neighborhoods; and Visionary Cities.  Materials will be presented by the instructors and guest faculty from PennDesign through a series of five or more modules per week, each typically 10-12 minutes long.   

The first module each week will be a roundtable discussion among professors Stefan Al, Jonathan Barnett, and Gary Hack introducing the big issues associated with the subject.  Each succeeding module will be a self-contained illustrated presentation of a set of ideas and images. There will be a list of suggested readings for those who wish to follow up on the ideas in each module.

Everyone enrolled in Designing Cities will be expected to complete 3 assignments.  These will be posted on the course site and they will be in the form of peer assessments. There will also be three sessions where we discuss a selection of the assignments that have been submitted. There will be a great deal to be learned from the ideas participants submit, reflecting cities of all sizes and circumstances across the globe.

The course concludes with a discussion by the faculty of the issues raised in the discussion groups and responses to the assignments. We are looking forward to connecting with you and seeing the issues at the forefront in designing your city.  

This course is provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology through MIT Open Course Ware for FREE. 

Duration: Anytime, unlimited access. This course has ended but course archive is available through MITOCW.

Course Objective

The course examines the causes and effects of rapid urbanization in developing countries. Using case studies from the world's four major developing regions, including (among others) Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Managua, Singapore, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Kabul, Beirut, Cairo, Kinshasa, Cape Town and Johannesburg, it explores the economic and political dynamics that grease the wheels of contemporary patterns of growth. In addition to examining both local and transnational forces that drive contemporary urbanization, the course focuses on key issues that emerge in rapidly growing cities of the developing world, ranging from growing income inequality and socio-economic exclusion, environmental challenges, and rising violence. Class sessions are discussion-based and focus on a critical analysis of the arguments presented in the readings.