Courses 2014

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Course NameHuman Settlements and Global Awareness
InstructorNagashima, Catharine
MajorMajor Subjects
Course goalsThe ultimate goal of this course is to educate world citizens of the future to relate to their local communities, while bearing in mind their interconnectedness with all that is happening on planet earth.

A "human settlement" can be a village, town or metropolis where human beings live and work. It provides for basic needs of shelter to support daily life and human transactions. It does not exist in isolation, but is integrated with its hinterland (rivers, fields, forests, hills) and an infrastructure of roads, railways, sewers and power lines.

The study of human settlements is complex. Expertise from many fields is needed to coordinate improvements. Students are introduced to the concept of balance between five "ekistic" elements Nature; Anthropos (human beings); Society; Shells (built environment) and Networks, and the need for an interdisciplinary approach.

Human settlements contribute to the problems of our planet, which is beset with issues of CO2 emissions, climate change, global warming, ozone depletion, pollution of air, soil and sea, loss of biodiversity, deforestation and desertification. At the same time disparities are widening between regions of fast growing human settlements and shrinking population, urban and rural, more developed and less developed, rich and poor. Future conflicts for scarce resources threaten basic human rights.

While recognizing these problems, the course focuses on positive initiatives being undertaken for incremental improvements in human settlements. Case studies are drawn from a variety of regions, at different scales, by governments, NGOs, engaged communities and other enterprises. It is hoped that each student can build up a repertoire of positive examples to store in the mind as reference for future projects.
Course outlineThe course is not a lecture series as such. Rather, it is a series of talks illustrated with powerpoint or DVD excerpts, in which the students play an active part in discussion. Classes include group debate and group workshops. There is no fixed textbook. Materials are provided from various sources: articles from recent publications in English (books, journals, magazines, newspaper and internet articles). Students are expected to make class presentations summarizing selected articles relevant to respective themes.
Evaluation Scale and PoliciesParticipation in class discussion and written comments are assessed at 40%;
Individual Class Presentations at 20%;
Group work and presentation at 20%;
Reports at 20%.
Texts, materials, and suppliesThere is no fixed textbook. Recent publications in English (books, journals, magazines newspaper and internet articles) are shown to the students, who are encouraged to find similar Japanese material to summarize in English to introduce to the class
Course Schedule/PlanThe Plan below is subject to revision, depending on student needs.

1. Holistic Approach to Human Settlements and Images of "Place"
2. Evolution of Human Settlements
3. Dreams of Ideal Cities and Birth of Modern Town Planning

4. Ekistic Population Scale and North-South Gaps
5. Focus on Earth Environmental Issues
6. Focus on Oceans and Water Issues

7. Towards Sustainable Cities and Low Carbon Futures
8. Transport Oriented Planning for Compact Cities
9. Waste Managements and Recycling Systems
10. Towards Energy Self-Sufficiency
11. Future of Food and Farming
12. Small Interventions for improving Existing Cities
13. Building Community Networks

14. Initiatives for a better Local Community: Student Team Workshops
15. Initiatives for a better Local Community: Student Team Presentations