Spring 2020 - GEOG 449 D100

City and Environment (4)

Class Number: 5839

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 8:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    HCC 2205, Vancouver

  • Instructor:

    Annika Airas
    Office: TBA
    Office Hours: TBA
  • Prerequisites:

    60 units, or enrolment in a Sustainable Community Development program; and one of GEOG 362, 363, or SCD 301.



The city as human-natural system; its processes and interactions in urban environmental policy and practice; with attention to historical and theoretical context.


This seminar course will explore topics in urban geography with a particular focus on environmental connections. It will investigate the evolving and intertwined relationships between cities and the environment, and it will tackle contemporary challenges around sustainability and climate change. The course will engage students with theoretical approaches and practical examples, and enhance critical thinking around urban environmental processes. It will explore the historical, social, and linguistic differences that shape urban development and environmental understandings across local and place-specific contexts. Topics and approaches in this course will include, but will not be limited to, the environmental challenges facing cities, sustainable development and related urban planning and policy, climate action and environmental justice, greening efforts, and eco-urban neighbourhoods. These will be investigated with the help of empirical case examples, particularly from Canada and Europe. Course participants will learn through reading, writing, group, and individual work.

A short field trip will also be included in the course program to broaden understandings of course topics. Be aware that the field trip will include walking in the city and crossing roads with busy traffic. Appropriate clothing and foot wear must be worn. Further details regarding safety will be discussed prior to the field trip. Students must at all times remain compliant with all student responsibilities, regulations, and policies as outlined in the current Academic Calendar, as well as relevant regulations and policies as outlined in the SFU Policy Gazette. This includes, but is not limited to, expected student conduct and the maintenance of appropriate medical insurance coverage.

Note: There will be no tutorials during the first week of class.


  • Participation 15%
  • Group presentation 15%
  • Assignment #1 10%
  • Assignment #2 20%
  • Final paper proposal 10%
  • Final paper 30%



Journal articles and other texts will be made available on Canvas.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html