Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems



About Module 7

Module 7 begins with the concept of urban landscapes and then looks at different aspects of urban development with an emphasis on transportation and urban design. These two topics are important to study together because of how closely interconnected they are. The designs of the urban areas we live in influence our choices of transportation. Likewise, our tastes for transportation influence the designs of our urban areas. And both transportation and urban design have large impacts on the environment. Next, the module briefly reviews the environmental impacts of urban form focusing on a few major contributors. Following the discussion of urban environmental problems, the module ends with an examination of what cities can do to become more sustainable and resilient with real-world examples.

What will we learn in Module 7?

By the end of Module 7, you should be able to:

  • define the concept of an urban landscape, and discuss the role that landscape plays in major world cities;
  • explain the connection between urban design and transportation, in particular for pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods, streetcar suburbs, and automobile suburbs;
  • discuss the environmental impacts of urban form;
  • know the representative examples of sustainable urban development;
  • explain the challenge of transitioning to new states, in particular sustainable states, including the transition of physical infrastructure and the transition of our minds.

As you read through this module, look for ways that these key concepts are integrated in the topics we will cover here as well as previous modules.

What is due for Module 7?

There are a number of required activities in this module. The chart below provides an overview of the activities for Module 7. For assignment details, refer to the location noted. Due dates are noted in Canvas.

Module 7: Lesson Assignments
Requirement Location Submitting Your Work
Reading Assignment: Most Walkable U.S. Cities Urban Design and Transportation No submission
Learning Activity: Sustainable Cities Learning Activity: Sustainable Cities Submit in Canvas


If you have any questions, please post them to our Course Q & A discussion forum in Canvas. I will check that discussion forum often to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate. If you have a more specific concern, please send me a message through Inbox in Canvas.