ETE-32806 Managing Urban Environmental Infrastructure


Studiepunten 6.00

One day excursion12
Project learning11
Course coordinator(s)dr. L Rodic-Wiersma
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. I Leusbrock
dr. L Rodic-Wiersma
dr. M Spiller
dr. ir. AR Mels
Examiner(s)dr. L Rodic-Wiersma
dr. ir. AR Mels

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:



Infrastructure services are essential for functioning of urban communities. This course introduces urban environmental infrastructure in the context of rapid urbanisation on the one hand, and technological innovation on the other. Its main focus is on urban environmental infrastructure, i.e. the systems to provide urban residents and other users with energy, drinking water, sanitation and waste material services.
The course begins with an introduction of various physical and organizational elements that feature in the existing systems designed to provide urban energy, water, and waste services. The development of these systems is presented in a historical perspective, highlighting the processes and key drivers for their development in different urban typologies (developing, transition and developed countries).
Management issues such as ownership (public or private), regulation, service pricing, and the handling of public health risks are addressed with the aim of making students aware of the importance of finding acceptable trade-offs between political, environmental and financial considerations. Guest lecturers are invited to share their experiences. The group assignment brings perspective into the subject by encouraging students to device viable management strategies for new technological developments in a real setting, i.e. in an existing neighborhood and an existing utility company. The course includes study visits to water supply, waste management, and energy utility companies.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the importance of urban energy, water and waste services for the urban environment;
- classify the physical elements of urban environmental infrastructure and understand the difference between infrastructure and infrastructure services;
- recognize the historical evolution and current and future trends in the management of energy, water and wastes in economically developing, transition and developed countries;
- explain how the organizational performance of infrastructure services can be measured and compared (e.g. by benchmarking);
- understand the organization of (utility) companies and evaluate how strategic and operational decisions may affect the performance of utility companies;
- apply theories and concepts related to the ownership, management and regulation of urban infrastructure services in innovative infrastructure;
- analyze various ways in which utility services lend themselves for private sector involvement and assess how this may affect the performance of the service provision.


Lectures, field visits, project.


Closed book written exam (65%) and assignments (35%); a passing mark (5.5 or higher) is required in each part.



Keuze voor: MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc5MO