Summer 2021 - URB 497 E100

STT-International Field Studies (9)

Class Number: 3588

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units; By permission of instructor.



Fieldwork-based study of a selected city, including its built form, policy initiatives and events. Emphasis is placed on experiential learning approaches, learning across cultures and contexts, team-based work and relationship building.


Comparative Urban Sustainability

This course takes a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to urban sustainability. Nordic countries are often referred to as having some of the “best practices” in the realm of urban sustainability. This circumstance often leads to Nordic terms, policies, and practices being adopted in Anglophone countries. However, while a great amount of literature focuses on Nordic urban sustainability practices and outcomes, this course offers insights that aim to go beyond the textbook explanations. This course will explore sustainability practices in relation to their linguistic and cultural context, both in the Vancouver region and through selected case examples from the Nordic countries. The course will include critical insights from locals, native speakers, and experts on urban sustainability, and include exercises that aim to broaden understandings of how cultural contexts, languages, and histories shape sustainability knowledge and outcomes. The overarching learning objective of this course is to advance an understanding of sustainability beyond familiar knowledge and context.

The course will encourage participants to think beyond their individual ideas and cultural biases around sustainability. Comparisons between places and concepts will be drawn through interdisciplinary discussions and exercises, and course participants will engage with global issues in an active and practical manner. Case examples, visiting speakers, and lecture materials will further push participants to think more critically and challenge often taken-for-granted understandings of sustainability.

Synchronous online meetings, via Zoom. Tuesdays 5.30-9.20 p.m.


There will be an optional online information session for this course on March 3, from 5:00-5:30pm PST. RSVP to

Please also see see the virtual field school page for important additional information, including about timing, how to apply and costs.


  • Participation 20%
  • Seminar facilitation and reflection 15%
  • Urban sustainability project (team work) 30%
  • Photo essay (individual work) 25%
  • Study journal (individual work) 10%




Course readings will be made available online through Canvas.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).