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A Built Environment for a Healthy and Sustainable Future

4th term
Environmental Health and Engineering
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Shima Hamidi

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses. 180.611 The Global Environment, Climate Change and Public Health, 180.607 Climate Change and Public Health, or consent of instructor


This course is intended for anyone interested in learning about how the built environment affects our health and well-being. We will address some rural and agricultural land use issues, but the majority of the course will focus on the urban built environment and transportation infrastructure. We will explore ways to change the urban built environment to contribute fewer greenhouse gases and also to adapt to a changing climate. With more than half of the global population now living in cities, this is a timely topic.

Addresses the role that the built environment plays in public health. Specifically examines how building design, community planning and design, land use, and transportation networks contribute to energy use, water supply degradation, climate change, ecosystem degradation, and public health. Explores the contributions of suburban sprawl to adverse environmental and public health outcomes. Also examines how the built environment could and must change if we are to stabilize the climate and move into a sustainable future.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze how land use and transportation networks contribute to adverse public health outcomes
  2. Explain the role of health impact assessment in addressing these issues
  3. Use Systems Thinking to explain the relationships between the built environment, climate change, equity, and public health
  4. Distinguish the focus, tools, and solutions offered by the green architecture, the New Urbanism, and smart growth approaches to the environmental and public health impacts of the built environment
  5. Develop a framework for considering different strategies of creating or transforming the built environment for a sustainable future
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 30% Participation
  • 30% Midterm Assignment
  • 40% Final Assignment

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent of instructor required for students who have not taken the prerequisite

For consent, contact: