ENP-36806 Governance for Sustainable Cities


Studiepunten 6.00

Literature study
Project learning18
Course coordinator(s)dr. K Kern
S Bouteligier
Lecturer(s)dr. K Kern
dr. ir. LWA van Hove
dr. ir. MK van der Molen
S Bouteligier
Examiner(s)dr. K Kern
S Bouteligier

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Basic 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 such as urban climate and air pollution policy. Conceptually, it is based on general theories and models which have been developed in public policy, public management and public administration, but it also focuses on specific policies such as urban air pollution and urban climate policy. Methodically, the course is based on a case study approach, but case studies will be explained and analyzed from a global and (international) comparative perspective. The course consists of four topics:
(1) Introduction to the governance of sustainable cities and city-regions in different parts of the world, including an overview on the:
- economic, political and social dynamics that influence the growth and development of cities and city-regions;
- phases of the institutionalization of environmental policy and sustainable development at local level;
- institutional preconditions for the sustainable management of cities, including decision-making procedures for urban sustainability particular Local Agenda 21 and related concepts;
(2) General concepts and debates relevant for the analysis of urban sustainability: - basic concepts and theories on governance, social capital, stakeholder and citizen participation, etc.;
- sustainable cities and city-regions in multi-level systems, i.e. the national, European, international context of local sustainability;
- forms of horizontal collaboration such as the cooperation within city-regions and the emergence of national and transnational city networks;
- forms of vertical collaboration such as the cooperation with national, European and international institutions.
(3) Specific issues related to environmental policy in urban environments:
- processes controlling air quality and city climate;
- urban climate and air pollution policy;
- urban climate change policies, including energy and transport 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:

At the end of the course students will be able to:
- demonstrate understanding of the economic, political and social dynamics that determine the way city-regions develop;
- demonstrate understanding of urban climate and air pollution problems, processes and effects on environment and public health;
- demonstrate understanding as to how urban policies for sustainability are formulated and implemented and how the development of urban sustainability strategies is influenced by governmental and non-governmental actors at different levels;
- 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 develop sustainable solutions to complex problems in a specific urban context;
- propose ways how sustainable cities can be created and developed.


Lectures, studying the course literature, assignments for working groups (such as developing an action plan for becoming a fossil-fuel free city or developing a set of sustainability indicators), participation in a practical, guest lectures.


Participation in a practical, group presentation and written exam.


A course outline will be available.

Keuze voor: MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc4WD