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Course NameHuman Settlments and Global Awareness
InstructorNagashima, Catharine
MajorMajor Subjects
Course goalsThe ultimate goal of this course is to educate world citizens of the future to be active in their local communities, while bearing in mind their interconnectedness with all that is happening on planet earth. The planet is beset with environmental problems 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. Human Settlements provide for basic needs of shelter to support daily life and human transactions, but they do not exist in isolation, they are integrated with a hinterland (rivers, fields, forests) and an infrastructure of roads, railways, sewers and power lines. They are 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. An interim goal of this course is to prepare students to be useful members of an interdisciplinary team, able to fill in some of the gaps between disciplines. The main focus of the course is 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. The final goal of this course is to encourage each student to 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 Places where we Live: Images of Human Settlements
2 Places where our Ancestors Lived: Evolution of Human Settlements
3 Dreams of Ideal Cities: the Birth of Modern Town Planning

4. Population Growth and Gaps
5. Global Environmental Problems
6. Water Issues

7. Food and Farming
8. Energy issues
9. Waste Managements and Recycling Systems
10. Transport Oriented Development
11. Renovation and Other Small Interventions
12. Building Community Networks
13. Human Well-being and Happiness\n

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