1 year (Full-time) / n/a (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)
Graduates of the programme in eco-cities will have:
- developed a critical theoretical understanding about processes of eco-city development and how they relate to the implementation and application of sustainable development policies worldwide
- developed sound methodological skills, in particular for undertaking independent international comparative research on a topic in the field of eco-city development
- international experience of planning practice in eco-city development and used this to critically reflect on the theory-practice interface
- developed cross-cultural awareness and cross-cultural communication skills that are important for eco-city planning and development
There is an ever growing interest in how to reduce the impact of climate change in an urbanising world. For the first time in human history there are now more people living in towns and cities than in rural areas. It is estimated by the UN that by 2030 more than 60% of the world’s population, some 4.9bn people, will be living in urban areas.
Urbanisation today is also associated with a number of other features that make it distinctive from the past. First, the scale of urban areas is increasing. There are now a number of megacities, with populations of over 10m, across the world, including Tokyo, Mumbai, Mexico City, Beijing and Shanghai. Second, the geography of urbanisation has shifted from the developed world of Western Europe and North America to the developing world of Asia, Africa and South America. For example, it is believed that over 90% of urban growth will occur in less developed nations, with 80% of urban growth occurring in Asia and Africa. Third, the pace of urbanisation is spatially variable. In parts of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa urban growth is increasing at over 3% a year, in more developed parts of the world growth is minimal (and numbers in some urban areas are falling).
Whilst urban areas can be sites of environmental degradation they offer the possibility of living in a more resource efficient way. Amongst the key questions that are emerging are: What is a low carbon and ecological (sustainable) city' How can city and regional planning effectively guide sustainable development' Can cities be planned and built to promote low carbon lifestyles, and ecological development that can mitigate climate change? How can urban areas adapt to climate change? The programme will equip students with a critical understanding of the variety of forms of development that badge themselves as sustainable or low carbon and will create practitioners who have the skills to take forward innovative environmentally friendly urban developments that are sensitive to the needs of sustainable spaces. The programme will provide opportunities for students to participate in real low carbon eco-city planning and developments though live projects.
Cardiff Masters Graduate School of City and Regional Planning can bring together the expertise of the Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACE), an intellectual setting that promotes the multi-disciplinary thinking (e.g. planning, human and economic geography, political science) that is essential to deliver a high quality postgraduate taught programme. In addition, the course will draw upon the specialist input of the School of Engineering's work on sustainable energy and from the School of Architecture's work on sustainability, energy and the management and measurement of resource use.
The course is divided into two parts:
- Part 1 comprises a teaching programme of core and option modules over two semesters. Options are available in the Masters Graduate School of City and Regional Planning, the School of Engineering and the School of Architecture.
- Part 2 comprises an individual dissertation on a topic selected by each student in consultation with members of staff. Whilst there are few constraints on the choice of topic, it must address at least one of the core course themes of the Eco-Cities programme.
The following is a proposed list of modules for the programme in 2013/14. Please note that these may be subject to minor changes.
- Debates in Eco-City Planning and Development
- Live Project for Eco-City Development
- Governance of the Eco-City Development Process
- Researching Eco-Cities
- Theories and Principles of Sustainable Development
- Sustainable Mobility
- Environmental Policy and Climate Change
- Site and Environment (Welsh School of Architecture)
- Sustainable Energy and Environment Case Study (School of Engineering)
- Planning for Sustainability
- Transport and the City
- Environmental Management
- Low Carbon Footprint (Welsh School of Architecture)
- Alternative Energy Systems (School of Engineering)
For further details and up-to-date information on the course and modules, please see the course listing on the School's website.
During the Live Project element of the programme, students have the opportunity to undertake an overseas field study visit and work in depth on a ‘live’ planning project and/or governance issue in an eco-city. Students will work closely with a partner organisation and will need to deploy skills in problem-definition; draw upon and develop knowledge and planning, political and cultural context of the development; and appreciate the operational context within which a report will be delivered to the partner organisation.
- Analysis of policy problem
- Critical thinking
- Data analysis
- Evaluation of alternatives
- Recognition of issues of scale, geography and/or culture
- Processing data
- Data analysis techniques of software
- Verbal communication
- Written communication
- Group working
It is estimated that there are about 170 eco-cities (towns) under development in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa, and the Pacific Area. In China alone, more than 90% of cities have expressed their interest in developing a new eco-city or to apply the principles of eco-city to their existing urban area. The scale of current and future eco-city development and its global reach means that the programme will appeal to those who:
- Are currently engaged in eco-developments and wish to develop their professional expertise and academic knowledge in a School of Planning.
- Those who wish to pursue a career in eco-development and wish to learn about best practice and leading edge academic thinking.
Our Alumni collectively represent the variety of potential careers and jobs that our current (and future) students may embark on.
A number of field study visits may be arranged during the course. The School does partly subsidise these trips but students should allow for travelling and subsistence expenses.
Applicants should normally hold a first or second class Honours degree in an appropriate subject. This MSc is suitable for graduates in planning, geography, architecture, engineering or other relevant disciplines, or mid-career professionals working in planning, development or similar fields. The course is appropriate for both international students and UK students interested in Eco-Cities.
A minimum standard in English language of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent will be required for students whose first language is not English. Pre-course English Language tuition is available.
Cardiff School of Planning and Geography is able to offer a reduction in tuition fees of £500 to all Cardiff University alumni.
For other funding opportunities available through the School, please visit their Tuition Fees and Funding webpage.
The fees below are those before bursaries have been deducted.
UK & EU Full Time for 2013/14
International Full Time for 2013/14
Next intake: September 2013
Name: Dr Li Yu
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 79333
Fax: +44 (0)29 208 74845