Spring 2022 - URB 645 G100

Urban Sustainable Development (4)

Class Number: 6103

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    HCC 1415, Vancouver



In this course, we begin to answer the question: what does the idea of sustainable development mean for cities? Using case studies from Vancouver and around the world, we will seek to understand how urban sustainable development innovations are developed, designed, and implemented. Special attention will be paid to the importance of sustainable development linkages between urban issues related to economic development, social justice, and environmental conservation and protection.


Sustainable development is a contested concept of contemporary relevance to urban studies. With increasing population growth and limited resources on the planet, city regions are often noted to be key areas for facilitating change for more sustainable futures. This course begins to answer the question: What does the idea of sustainable development mean for cities?

The course delves into the connections between sustainable development and urban issues. It examines ethics, politics, commitments, and paradoxes of sustainable development. The course explores sustainability topics including, but not limited to, efforts in urban planning and policy, and urban issues related to social and environmental justice and economic development. The course also focuses on advancing an understanding of sustainable development through comparative place-based and historical-cultural insights and practical applications of local aspects of sustainability. It provides insights to challenge the role of English as a “lingua franca” of urban sustainability, planning, and policy, and offers an introduction to lived aspects of sustainability from other languages and ways of knowing.


  • Participation 40%
  • Urban observation assignment 20%
  • Final essay 40%



Course readings will be made available on Canvas and through SFU library.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.