Key social and technological challenges and opportunities for ecologically sound urbanization.

Faculty: Applied Science
Subject: Community and Regional Planning
Year / Level: 3
Theme(s): Climate Justice and Social Science; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation



Green cities are essential for managing global environmental change. For many cities, the path toward greening is one of lower greenhouse gases; protection from ecological hazards; higher quality of life; and economic growth. Green cities value ecosystem functions and seek to harmonize development with nature. They also provide ways of adapting to and mitigating climate change. However, the rollout of green cities generates social and ecological feedbacks with unintended consequences. As a result, it may simultaneously remove and expose (if not expand) barriers to a healthier connection between humans and the ecosystem.

Learning Outcomes

At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Critically assess the possibilities and limitations of urban green planning as a tool for simultaneously addressing the ecological and social equity implications of global environmental change.
  2. Interpret the extent to which major historical trends within green urbanism shape contemporary strategies in cities.
  3. Apply key concepts from urban ecology and social science to the analysis of specific cases of green urbanism.
  4. Analyze how social and political dynamics shape the effects of urban greening in case studies of cities throughout the world.
  5. Generate proposals for urban green plans that integrate social and ecological goals by drawing on historical and conceptual frameworks for greening cities.
  6. Interpret the historical, conceptual and practical trends within urban greening through a community-engaged project rooted in the Vancouver urban planning context.


Check SSC to see if the course is currently offered and if you meet pre-requisites etc.

open SSC 


Read a copy of the course syllabus to see reading lists, assignments, grading, and more.



James Connolly

"The transformative measures needed to achieve climate and resilience goals are impossible unless the social implications of environmental interventions are taken into account."