4 Modules


Interactive Learning

Re-Use Encouraged

Sustainable Cities: Adding an Africa Perspective is a course that introduces students to the theories and strategies to reimagine cities from an urban sustainability perspective. The course modules are beginner level building blocks that cater to the new inter-disciplinary trend around Cities Engineering. 

The modules provide an introduction to concepts of sustainability, urbanization, climate change; strategies for best practices in the design of new cities and redesign of existing ones; and tools and methodologies for environmental assessments, material flows, and urban metabolism. Each module is expected to take 2-3hours for completion, this includes following the videos, reading through the global cities and African cities examples, and completing assessments, contributing to discussions and reflections. The course activities and interactions will enable students to design cities in developed and developing world contexts, in addition to engineering the great African cities of the future.  The course is organized in 4 modules, where each module begins with an introduction to definitions and theories, followed by academic research on the topic, then showcases case studies from global cities in developed and developing world contexts, and from African cities.

Assessments include quizzes, discussions and reflections.

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Module Components

  1. Quizzes: There is a total of 4 quizzes, placed at the end of each module as a summative assessment of the module’s topics. Quizzes are presented in a set of 5 multiple choice questions with unlimited attempts.
  2. Reflection: At one point in the course, there is an opportunity to define a sustainable city by reflecting on the material covered based on the exploration of cities throughout the course modules.
  3. Discussions: There are discussion questions, one discussion point at the end of each module, to offer an online space to share thoughts and ideas from your own cities of choice.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants will have the knowledge and technical capability to:

  1. Recall the context of urbanization in global cities, and specifically in African cities;
  2. Describe sustainable design theories and the roles that engineers can have in sustainable growth, particularly in low-resource settings;
  3. Recognize and interpret the challenges of rapid urbanization and its implications on the cities’ built environment; and
  4. Evaluate challenges of and opportunities for African cities as they relate to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Project Components
Introduction to Urbanization: Growth of World Cities

This module provides a background on urbanization, and walks you through the growth of world cities over time. 


Concepts of Sustainable Cities and Communities

This module provides concepts of sustainable cities and communities through the lens of sustainable development focusing specifically on climate change.

Principles of Sustainable Urban Design

This module provides the basis upon which cities are designed and built, or rather how they should be designed and built instead of emerging and growing sporadically and unplanned.

City performance indicators and methods of assessment

This module provides tools and techniques to quantitatively evaluate and compare cities based on standardized metrics.