Sustainable urban development

In the post industrial age we have come to realize some of the deleterious effects of technology. Pollution and over utilization of natural resources has created negative effects on human health and well being. This course on sustainable urban development will discuss how to best plan for the challenges posed by huge populations and what appears to be limited space and natural resources.

Eminent physicist Stephen Hawking once stated that humans must colonize the cosmos in order to survive as a species. Since colonizing planets, extrasolar or otherwise is not currently a possibility, we must use the resources we have as efficiently as possible. Utilizing the resources we currently have in the most efficient manner can potentially allow humans to live, and even thrive in conditions of high population densities while still keeping the earth in a healthy and pristine condition.

It follows then that studying sustainable urban development allows one to see how to best face the limiting conditions we face. Through this course we will discuss systems of keeping water clean, disposing of waste, using non toxic materials, and renewable resources, etc.



Technologies and areas that will be explored are:

Sustainable best practices

  • Permaculture
  • Improving the production cycle
  • LEED sustainability Ratings
  • Sustainable business practices
  • Maximizing efficiency in buildings
  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Rain water management
  • Carbon offsetting
  • Net metering
  • Promoting public transit

Alternative energy

  • Alternative Power Sources
  • Biofuels
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Battery Technologies

Natural energy and energy from waste

  • Plasma arc waste disposal (gasification)
  • Algae use in biofuels
  • Cellocitic Ethanol
  • Wind Power
  • Solar Power

Local projects