ENP-36806 Governance for Sustainable Cities


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work3
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. BJM van Vliet
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. BJM van Vliet
prof. dr. MC Krol
Examiner(s)dr. ir. BJM van Vliet
prof. dr. MC Krol

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Bachelor level knowledge on urban environmental management, environmental sciences and environmental policy.


This course focuses on both general concepts on sustainable cities and the analysis of specific areas of sustainability. Questions of sustainability are approached from a local and international perspective. Conceptually, the course is based on general theories and models that have been developed in political science, sociology, public policy, and public administration, but it also focuses on specific policies such as urban air pollution and urban climate policy.
The course consists of four topics:
(1) Introduction to the governance of sustainable cities, including an overview on the
- political, economic, and social dynamics that influence the growth and development of cities;
- international and national context of urban sustainability;
- institutionalization of environmental policy and sustainable development at the local level.
(2) General concepts and debates relevant for the analysis of urban sustainability:
- basic concepts and theories on governance, stakeholder and citizen participation;
- forms of horizontal collaboration such as the cooperation between public and private actors, and the role of transnational city networks;
- forms of vertical collaboration and relation such as between local, national and international institutions.
(3) Specific issues related to environmental policy in urban environments
- air quality and city climate;
- mechanisms of urban air pollution;
- local climate change policies, including adaptation and mitigation policies.
(4) Scenarios and alternatives for the city of the future and the development of cities in ways which reduce environmental damage, reduce the natural resources consumed by cities, and improve the citizens' quality of life.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- demonstrate understanding of the political, economic, and social dynamics that determine the way cities develop;
- demonstrate understanding of urban climate and air pollution problems, processes and effects on environment and public health;
- identify the major theories and models which contribute to the concept of urban sustainability and its social, economic, and environmental dimensions;
- apply these theories and models to climate and air pollution problems and to specific cities;
- analyze sustainable solutions to complex problems in a specific urban context;
- demonstrate understanding as to how policies for urban sustainability are formulated and implemented and how the development of urban sustainability strategies is influenced by governmental and non-governmental actors at different levels;
- analyze ways how sustainable cities can be created and developed;
- present research results, both orally and in writing.


Lectures and tutorials, studying the course literature, group assignments (focused on analyzing urban climate governance in a specific city), participation in a practical class, presenting case-study.


- written exam with open questions (40%);
- group paper (40%);
- computer based written test based on assignments (20%).
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


See course guide.

Restricted Optional for: MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc3WD
MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc3WD
MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc3WD
MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc3WD
MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc3WD
MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc3WD
MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc3WD