CEM213-Urban Sustainable Development in Emerging Economies

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: CEM107 Sustainable Design and Management Principles and Practice
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr John Connaughton

Email: j.connaughton@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
Sustainability is a core concept for the development and maintenance of the built environment in emerging economies. The construction sector, its clients and the users of buildings and infrastructure need to understand the importance of sustainable development in terms of the material and human resources used in the process. Further, they need to pay close attention to the performance of the built environment across a wide spectrum of issues including the use of natural resources, demographic and social change, and adaptability to changing climate.

The module aims to equip students with a sound understanding of the different concepts of sustainability in both the developing and the developed worlds, with a specific focus on the built environment. It helps them understand and apply the main analytical frameworks covering the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainable development.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of this module, students will have developed:
1. An understanding of different concepts of sustainability in developed and developing countries, in terms of key social, environmental and economic pressures and opportunities for action.
2. An understanding of how concepts of sustainability may be applied to the built environment, covering the process of construction as well as how the built environment is used.
3. An ability to use the main analytical frameworks for a consideration and assessment of sustainability, particularly in emerging economies; and an understanding of their strengths and limitations.

Additional outcomes:
Students will also be expected to have developed:
1. An awareness of the key agencies/stakeholders in sustainable development at pan-national and national levels.
2. An understanding of the relationship between sustainable development and key themes and issues for emerging economies including labour availability and markets, intermediate technologies, and housing.

Outline content:
The Module is structured into six topic areas, as follows:
1. Concepts of sustainability, including background, the concept of the ‘triple bottom line’, climate change, the importance and scarcity of natural resources, demographic and social changes and trends, and the role and nature of ‘environmental scepticism’
2. Sustainability in emerging economies, including key environmental problems and threats (eg sea level rise, extreme weather), resource needs (water, food and energy), habitation issues, wealth and welfare.
3. Sustainability and the built environment, focusing on new development (designing for resource efficiency and adaptability), the existing built environment stock (the role of users, refurbishment and adaptability), and the construction process (labour, materials sourcing, resource efficiency, appropriate technologies)
4. Analytical frameworks and assessment methodologies, including underlying theory, key issues in sustainability measurement, macro-level frameworks, project/business-level frameworks
5. Key actors and agencies, including the role and functions of pan-national agencies, national/government agencies and policy makers, NGOs and related organisations, networks and partnerships
6. Sustainability strategy and policy development, including the importance of leadership, the role of innovation, stakeholder participation.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The Module will be delivered via lectures and group-based tutorials by specialist experts from academe and industry. Case studies will be used to focus and crystallise key concepts.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 8
Tutorials 10
Practicals classes and workshops 10
Guided independent study 52
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Case studies will be used to challenge and stretch students’ understanding. Group-based tutorials will provide opportunities for regular review of and feedback on students’ development.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Students are required to contact the School to confirm reassessment arrangements.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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