In this set of activities, students are introduced to sustainability in the urban context. They will describe their vision of a sustainable city, identify the challenges facing cities, and discover the ecosystem services provided by nature. Sustainable cities are much more than places where humans and nature coexist productively—they are cities in which all people, regardless of their race, color, income and so on have equal access to a healthy environment in which they can flourish. In designing sustainable cities, planners must incorporate environmental justice ideals and more broadly—social justice. The lesson guides students into taking an active role in their cities by using technology to map their communities and plan, design, and propose an urban design project that incorporates nature-based solutions.
Keywords: sustainable, urban, cities, community, mapping, ecosystem services