In their final Intro class before the Autumn period break, students were introduced to the theme of sustainability. In the morning, PhD. Kati Vierikko elaborated the terminology behind the sustainable – or eco, smart, green, resilient – city. Study by Jong et al. (2015) shows the evolution of such terminology in published scientific articles. The rise of the “Smart city” in the 2010s is particularly high.
Students were also asked to brainstorm sustainability challenges and possible positive changes they have recorded in their home cities. Students well determined sustainability as a complex concept, not only in ecological or climatic terms, but also from socio-cultural, economic and political perspectives.
In the afternoon, students immersed in a game called ‘GREEN SURGE City’, which is a science communication tool that makes the research of GREEN SURGE (https://greensurge.eu/) more accessible to practitioners, policy-makers, and students. The game illustrates the spatially explicit nature of UGI [urban green infrastructure], the collaborative decision making process around building UGI, the tradeoffs and synergies of ecosystem services in UGI planning, and the benefits of specific UGI for mitigating the weather events precipitated by climate change. These principles are explored as players build UGI in an imagined city, negotiate space, balance costs and benefits, and experience changes in governance and dramatic climate events.
The game created a relaxed learning environment, perfect after working hard till the mid-term. Intro course will continue in two weeks – have a good break!
Jong et al. (2015): Sustainable – smart – resilient – low-carbon – eco – knowledge cities; making sense of multitude of concepts
promoting sustainable urbanization. Journal of Cleaner Production 109, 25-38.