n.MA.ENR.NRMUA.18FS (Natural Resources Management in Urban Areas) 
Modul: Natural Resources Management in Urban Areas
Diese Information wurde generiert am: 21.06.2024
Natural Resources Management in Urban Areas


Version: 3.0 gültig ab 01.08.2021
Degree Program
MSc in Environment and Natural Resources
90 hours (35 h contact lessons, 55 h self-study)
Module Coordinator
Vicente Carabias-Hütter
Vicente Carabias-Hütter and other internal and external guest lecturers
Entry Requirements
The students are able to
  • interpret the city as a complex ecosystem as well as understand and evaluate abiotic, biotic and human-ecological subsystems and their interactions,
  • identify challenges of urban areas (resource scarcity, food systems, biodiversity, climate change) and explaining solutions for their sustainable development and use,
  • present in a differentiated way what urban ecosystems provide for people.
Learning Outcome and Competences
The students will learn to
  • analyse the requirements, influencing factors and goal conflicts of a sustainable management of urban habitats,
  • examine concepts, instruments and measures (Smart City, Urban Ecology, Green Building, Sustainable Urban Food Systems) to increase urban ecosystem services, i.e. to increase the quality of life while simultaneously reducing the consumption of resources, and to assess them critically regarding social, economic and environmental compatibility,
  • plan, implement and evaluate selected management concepts from the fields of urban development, ecosystems, biodiversity, waste, water, soil, energy, air and culture to improve the living and environmental situation in urban areas,
  • apply the concepts of ecosystem services and smart sustainable cities to issues in urban habitats.
Module Content
The students get to know, understand and reflect the basic idea of urban concepts, such as 'Smart Sustainable City' - the intelligent and future-oriented city with the most important challenges and systems (amongst others urbanisation, urban ecology, urban gardening, sustainable urban food systems, urban energy and transport planning, smart urban isles, new metropolitan mainstream, good governance, stakeholder processes, urban transformation) as well as technologies.

The students examinate in small groups a city or municipality of their choice (with a relationship) in terms of existing strategies, processes, instruments and technologies applied in the context of Smart Sustainable City development. They analyse the selected city or municipality with case studies focussing on a specific field of action (e.g. energy / traffic / green concept). They evaluate critically urban resources managements as well as smart city technologies and processes regarding sustainability aspects. They develop their personal visions for a development of Smart Sustainable City elements, discuss and present them as well as their evaluation results of the analysed cities or municipalities
Teaching / Learning Methods
Preparatory literature review, evolving teaching, input presentations, lectures, case-studies, puzzle method, seminar, team-teaching, excursion, panel discussion
Assessment of Learning
The assessment of learning outcome is composed as follows
  • case study (analysis a specific problem situation, design development goals and measures to achieve the proposed goals and plan the implementation, document and communicate the case study)
  • final exam
  • Bisello, A.; Vettorato, D.; Stephens, R.; Elisei, P. (2017). Smart and Sustainable Planning for Cities and Regions. Cham: Springer International
  • INURA (2009). The New Metropolitan Mainstream. INURA
  • Breuste, J.; Pauleit, S.; Haase, D.; Sauerwein, M. (2016). Stadtökosysteme. Funktion, Mgt. und Entwicklung [City Ecosystem. Function, Management and Development]. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
  • FAO/ISU (2015). Food in an Urbanised World: The role of City Region Food Systems in Resilience and Sustainable Development. ISU
  • WBGU – German Advisory Council on Global Change (2016). Humanity on the move: Unlocking the transformative power of cities. Berlin: WBGU. http://www.wbgu.de/en/fr2016/ [15.5.2017]
  • UNCTAD (2015). Strategic foresight for the post-2015 development agenda.
  • More publications on https://www.zhaw.ch/de/engineering/forschung/plattformen/smart-cities-regions/