Program Benefits

Systems Thinking

Because today’s cities exist in a world that is more messy, crowded, interconnected, interdependent, and rapidly changing than ever before, we need to develop holistic ways of seeing and mapping key relationships and processes. Our students are taught to become adept systems thinkers who can:

  • Address a problem at multiple scales
  • Analyze social, scientific, and economic implications
  • Transfer knowledge across disciplines
  • Engage in creative problem-solving

Environmental Literacy

Building from a foundation of environmental science, students gain a strong understanding of cities as ecosystems. From this perspective, students explore diverse urban sectors such as food, land, energy, waste, and water, and configure ways and means for human settlements to become more compatible with nature.

Practitioner Skills

Through workshops, courses, and fieldwork, our students learn and practice technical skills including facilitation, policy analysis, mapping, research, graphic presentation, and evaluation as well as the habits of a reflective practitioner.

Social Justice Perspective

Reducing inequality at the local, regional, and global level is a prerequisite of urban sustainability. Students learn to apply a human rights lens to their ecosystems analysis and practice in order to become global citizens who can help shape a more equitable world.