PLG 408/508 Climate Action Planning

This course will feature explore urban resilience across the world, with a focus on cities in arid environments, such as the binational El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuaha metropolitan region pictured above.

Cities are on the frontlines of climate change as they emit the majority of the world’s greenhouse gasses and are increasingly impacted by sea level rise, floods, drought, extreme heat, and wildfire. This course explores climate action planning and the challenges and opportunities of planning for more sustainable and resilient cities. Students will learn about greenhouse gas emissions accounting, vulnerability assessments, localized climate change projections, climate impacts, and how cities can both mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and plan for climate adaptation. Climate action planning will be considered through a variety of professional disciplines and scales including neighborhoods, cities, and regions. This course emphasizes inclusive and equitable planning processes that engage those most vulnerable to climate impacts.

Course Objectives
After completing the course requirements, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how cities contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and how they are impacted by climate change.
  • Critically analyze climate action planning strategies to decrease local greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to climate impacts.
  • Compare, contrast, and evaluate climate action planning efforts undertaken by cities of diverse sizes, demographics, and geographies.

In addition to the above learning outcomes, graduate students should be able to:

  • Develop research skills by writing an original research proposal, conducting a literature review, finding and analyzing the appropriate data, and summarizing results with recommendations.
  • Demonstrate professional presentation skills with a focus on both verbal and visual presentation techniques.