Courses Content

First Phase: Core Obligatory Courses (12 CHs)

No Course Code Course Name Final Marks Year's Work Total Credit hours
1 REC 601 City System and Urban Metabolism 40 60 100 3
2 HUM 631 Resources Economics and Management 40 60 100 3
3 HUM 641 Regulations and Institutions 40 60 100 3
4 HUM 651 Research Design and Methodology 40 60 100 3

Second Phase: Elective Courses (18 CHs)

1st Specialized Track City Infrastructure:

No Course Code Course Name Final Marks Year's Work Total Credit hours
1 CEI 641 Water Management 40 60 100 3
2 EPM 662 Energy Management 40 60 100 3
3 CEP 695 Waste Management 40 60 100 3
4 UPL 652 Urban Agriculture 40 60 100 3
5 UPL 653 Sustainable Urban Mobility 40 60 100 3

2nd Specialized Track: Integrated Planning and Building Design

No Course Code Course Name Final Marks Year's Work Total Credit hours
1 UPL 654 Sustainable Urban Form 40 60 100 3
2 ARC 662 Resource Efficient Buildings 40 60 100 3
3 UPL 655 Urban Ecology and Landscape 40 60 100 3
4 UPL 656 Smart Cities 40 60 100 3
5 MDP 631 Industrial Metabolism 40 60 100 3

3rd Specialized Track: Management and Governance

No Course Code Course Name Final Marks Year's Work Total Credit hours
1 HUM 621 Governance and Participation 40 60 100 3
2 HUM 632 Public Services Provision 40 60 100 3
3 HUM 633 Regional Development and Circular Economy 40 60 100 3

Cross Cutting Courses

Methods and Tool

No Course Code Course Name Final Marks Year's Work Total Credit hours
1 UPL 659 Geographic Information System (GIS) and Spatial Analysis 40 60 100 3
2 ARC 664 Life Cycle Assessment 40 60 100 3
3 UPL 660 Empirical Social Research 40 60 100 3
4 EPM 663 Energy flows in Building and Urban Areas 40 60 100 3
5 EPM 664 Renewable Energy Technologies Modeling 40 60 100 3
6 CEI 642 Water Networks Modeling 40 60 100 3

Integrated Project

No Course Code Course Name Final Marks Year's Work Total Credit hours
1 REC 602 Integrated Project 40 60 100 3

Third Phase: Applied Research (6 CHs)

Course Code Course Name Credit hours
REC 603 Applied Research 6

Courses’ Syllabus

Preliminary Courses (12 Credit Hours)

REC 601 City System and Urban Metabolism

Principles of system theory which builds the basis for a deep understanding of urban areas as complex systems with their specific metabolism of energy and matter. Cities as open socio-eco-systems that provide (services) to human needs. Defining system limits and the panarchy; supersystem, subsystems, natural, social, technical,…), and major terms of system behavior (self-regulation, criticality, resilience, etc. ). Scientific analysis and applied urban management for improving systems sufficiency, efficiency and consistency. An interdisciplinary understanding of the urban arena including technical infrastructures, the social dimension, the environment and the related modes of regulation.

HUM 631 Resources Economics and Management

Introduction to economic fundamentals, Efficient and optimal use of natural resources: depletion model, optimal resource extraction of non-renewable resources, and generalization to renewable resources. Trade-offs: Benefit–Cost Analysis and Decision-Making Metrics. Efficient allocation of resources: land, water, wind, solar, and recyclable material. Energy transition from depletable to renewable resources. Efficient resource selection, market structure, price controls, and deregulation impacts. Natural resource management: depletable versus renewable resources.

HUM 641 Regulations and Institutions

Cities as adaptive complex systems, explicit and implicit rules. Different forms of regulation and related institutions, regulatory options (i.e. standards, laws etc.), and policy analysis referring to a natural resource sector. Relevant social science theories of different complexity (i.e. system theory and related concepts of system transformations), Regulating options in the city and its metabolism, the process of policy making, and policy impact analysis.

HUM 651 Research Design and Methodology

Research design and methodology approaches, Different types of research; quantitative and qualitative methods for conducting meaningful inquiry and research. Research process; formulation of a research problem, creation of a research design, constructing instruments for data collection, selecting a sample, writing the research proposal, collecting data, processing data, and writing the research thesis or applied research. Additionally, ethical issues in conducting research will be addressed.

Elective Courses

Specialized Tracks:

1st Track: City Infrastructure

CEI 641 Water Management

Concept of urban water cycle (description, social imperatives, environmental considerations, and economic challenges). Urban water systems in different landscapes, the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and its application at urban catchment scale with a focus on Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM). Problems related to water systems’ demand; supply and access with a stress on the water sensitive urban design. Water infrastructure planning, financing, and management including Water supply system (availability, service levels, free basic water, demand management, loss control, use of recycled water), Sewage system (collection, public health considerations, service levels, dry-versus-wet sanitation debate, social acceptance, grey water management), and Drainage system and the idea of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS). Data requirement for water management, Water quality and ecology of urban water bodies, Urban rivers, groundwater issues and the use of GIS as a water management tool.

EPM 662 Energy Management

Introduction to energy definitions, forms, and conversions. Energy management challenges: energy economics, energy/business drivers, energy priorities, and energy infrastructure. Energy management applications under the umbrella of the integrated system, hybrid energy resources operation, Smart Grid, Demand Side Management concepts under both regulated and deregulated electricity market structures. Traditional energy resources management for thermal and nuclear generation. Renewable energy / sustainable resources management for hydro, wind, solar, biomass, and fuel cell generation. Understanding the fundamental of commercial, management, and operation diversity of the renewables/sustainable as an energy mix. Storage energy technologies types, characteristics and operation. Handling various energy issues and its impact on the environment: Global issues and energy, energy supply, international strategies and support mechanisms, energy sector strategic responses, conventional versus renewables generation debate, planning issues for energy infrastructure, public acceptance, and environmental issues of various energy generation resources.

CEP 695 Waste Management

Concepts of waste management (Definitions, types, sources, nature and composition). Understanding of Individual and group perceptions. Waste management at different levels: Generation, collection, transportation and disposal, Recycling and treatment. Reducing Waste: - Regulatory instruments, standards, permits and licenses. Economic instruments: charges, market creation, subsidies and deposit refund systems. Collection, Recycling, Re-Use- Reduced energy use –and oil-in the transport and disposal of waste, Interchange of food for recycled waste in low income areas. Processing and disposal: Waste to energy, composting organic waste, safety equipment, social security and cooperatives for informal waste pickers; value chains. Wastewater reuse and recycling. Re-design of systems and products; Cleaner technologies and processes. Greening Sanitary systems; Greening the grid; Climate Change and Waste Management. Students should also understand Education and awareness creation efforts; Enforcement institutions and their capacities.

UPL 652 Urban Agriculture

Techniques on urban agriculture and the basic strategies for design, planning, and management of urban agriculture units. Implement projects through the use of methodologies and techniques such as public participation (on all phases of a project), data and information analysis, as well as understand the complex urban problematic and its multiple approach solution proposals. Urban crops phenology, nutrients for crops, nitrogen-carbon cycle, compost and botanical extracts production, natural fertilizers and biofertilizers, integrated pest control, design, construction and management of urban farm based on participatory models.

UPL 653 Sustainable Urban Mobility 

Cities as a multiplicity of functions and activities. People engagement in these activities through spatial interaction and mobility. Efficient and integrated mobility system with low negative impact on environment. Analysis of urban mobility, Development of sustainable urban mobility. Balanced and integrated development of all modes (public transport, non-motorized transport; inter-modality, urban road safety, road transport (flowing and stationary); urban logistics; mobility management; intelligent transport systems); and, integrated planning of urban transport (public and stakeholder involvement, policies, urban mobility planning, traffic and demand management).

2nd Track: Integrated Planning and Building Design

UPL 654 Sustainable Urban Form

Analysis of urban environment, Development of design concepts and tools, Design of sustainable urban form proposals. Contribution of different urban forms to lower energy consumption, lower pollution levels, and urban sustainability. Fundamental design concepts related to sustainable urban forms (compactness, sustainable transport, density, mixed land uses, diversity, passive solar design, and greening). Types of sustainable urban forms (the neo-traditional development, the urban containment, the compact city, and the eco-city). Different urban forms of sustainability.

ARC 662 Resource Efficient Buildings

Strategic direction for developing sustainable buildings, Environmental performance of buildings as a practical, achievable and viable avenue to pursue and facilitate the improvement of buildings and urban sustainability. Resource use and consequent environmental impacts from buildings. Policy problems related to resource use for sustainable buildings. Renewable energy technologies, and resources available locally. Utilization and use of resources efficiently. Certification of the environmental performance of buildings.

UPL 655 Urban Ecology and Landscape

Urban ecology, vertical gardens, green roofs, urban farming, and small gardens. Social meaning of urban ecology. Landscape urbanism, urban spaces regeneration, land use change, natural resources, human habitat and socio-cultural aspects of the life of cities. Ecologic and environmental principles that govern urban landscape systems.

UPL 656 Smart Cities

Definition of smart city. Smart city concept (characteristics: smart economy, smart people; smart governance; smart mobility; smart environment; smart living; benefits); models of Smart Cities; information and communication technology aspects (technological needs, market needs, societal needs); Challenges of Smart Cities and cases in different cities around the world.

MDP 687 Industrial Metabolism

Production and service processes in different industries. The metabolism analysis of firms, companies and products along the principles of sustainable resources management. The logics of material flow and energy flow in industrial processes, along materials, processes or products and services (here with a link to REC 644 LCA). Sustainability assessment and efficiency of such processes. Standards, auditing and certification schemes (i.e. ISO 14000 and 50000 series), the sustainability labels of supranational institutions (i.e. the EU sustainable tourism index) as well as the softer certifications (for buildings and construction sector i.e. LEED, DGNB,..) food and consumer materials (FSC, MSC,…) and fair and ecological production and processing.

3rd Track: Management and Governance

HUM 621 Governance and Participation

Fundamental concepts of social sciences (i.e. actor, power, etc.), social structures, actors/stakeholders, policies and processes of governance and management in urban settings. Structure of government and administrations, Roles of the private sector and civil society stakeholders in urban resources allocation. Different forms of government, governance and urban management; their role on different urban scales (from community-based approaches to transboundary planning on metropolitan area scale), and multi-level governance approaches and related principles (e.g. subsidiarity). Decision making powers and processes; definition and theoretical frameworks of participation (ladder of participation; ladder of citizen empowerment; continuum involvement; perceptions and models of participation; key ideas of participation; public participation techniques).

HUM 632 Public Services Provision

Public services (i.e. health care, education, sanitation and criminal justice). Public services as the link between state and inhabitants. Economic growth and human welfare. Provision of public services in modern high speed growing cities, the ever-rising costs of land and construction and maintenance, high quality services and daily needs of a community on an equality basis. Assessment of available models to understand advantages and disadvantages of the various options to propose the best solution. Urban infrastructures typology, governance of service provision, service providers in all sectors, concepts of PS/PS participation and privatization, settlement structures, different types of land ownership and markets, legal issues; urban renewal, low-cost housing and social housing, slum upgrading and resettlement, infrastructure provision and the poor.

HUM 633 Regional Development and Circular Economy

Economic geography of regions, and the competing claims of regional (economic) growth models. Regional development. Social, technical and ecological system transformation processes. Structural change (e.g. the German energy transition as a socio-technical transformation in a niche-regime approach). Relation between sustainable growth, green growth and the circular economy in to current policies. Urban management strategies and methodologies related to paradigmatic positions.

Cross Cutting Tracks

Methods and Tools

UPL 659 Geographic Information System (GIS) and Spatial Analysis

Key concepts and techniques in GIS with emphasis on developing basic software skills. Data collection, data storage, exploring data, data analysis and visualization. Practical skills in the capture and analysis of spatial data and the visualization of the resulting information. Information from earth observation and GIS data. Study and visualization of resource efficient cities related themes. Use of GIS in understanding processes that shape our environment, predicting their future effects, and providing improved information to support planning and policy making. Different types of spatial analysis, e.g. understanding where phenomenon takes place; measuring size, shape and distribution; determining how places are related; finding the best locations and paths; detecting and quantifying patterns; and making spatial predictions.

ARC 664 Life Cycle Assessment

Life cycle as a methodology to quantify different environmental aspects associated to a building or product’s whole production chain and along its useful life. Raw material; extraction, fabrication, distribution, acquisition, use and disposal/reuse of its components and water and energy for each step. Deconstruction of a market sold product into all its parts and the needs for water and energy. Environmental impact as a result of life cycle assessment. Re-engineering process to minimize impact, goods of mass production. Understand the international standards, the water and energy balances, the use of diverse software for its calculation, strategies to improve a product’s value chain. Material flow analysis in traditional and modern societies; strategies of material efficiency, reuse, recycling, downcycling, cradle-to cradle approach,; overview of resource efficiency (monitoring) concepts such as substance and material flows, life-cycle approaches, input-output-analyses, regional material flow, carbon Footprint, ecological footprint; (Environmental) Life cycle assessment (LCA) (ISO 14040 and 14044), LCA simulation tools (GaBi, etc.), sustainable life cycle assessment; and life cycle costing and social life cycle assessment.

UPL 660 Empirical Social Research

Design of social empirical research campaigns, research objects, the empirical sample, and selecting the proper approach and methods for data acquisition and analysis. Resources management projects, programs, and research. Principles of Social Sciences and related paradigmatic approaches to field work (e.g. grounded theory), distinguishes Quantitative vs. Qualitative Social Research methods, and reflects on the role of the researcher and ethics of social science methods. Data needs, draft a field work strategy, select data acquisition field methods (e.g. interview, survey, observation, participatory field work methods), and data analysis tools, including the specific software tools (e.g. coding and retrieval tools).

EPM 663 Energy flows in Building and Urban Areas

Problems associated with the widely unsustainable modern energy use, evaluation of the energy need of larger and/or pre-existing urban areas and Buildings. Scenario of various levels of detail, covering in a large part the options available to local politicians and energy departments. Simulation frameworks for energy-efficient systems and how the buildings’ energy demand is predicted, and how this infers the production of the connected energy conversion systems on a wider scale or urban areas. Physical laws to simulate and compute energy consumption based on heterogeneous datasets from various data sources at different spatial scales.

EPM 664 Renewable Energy Technologies Modeling

Introducing Renewable Energy Technologies Modeling concepts. Differentiating between grid connected and standalone RE systems interfacing, requirements, operation, and constraints. Evaluating existing modelling software and investigating their similarities and differences. Modeling Solar (Photovoltaic (PV)) parameters and available commercial models and types. Simulating Wind turbines parameters and available commercial models and types. Solar-PV and Wind farms issues. The impact of wind turbulence and cloud shades for wind and solar-PV modeling respectively. Hydro, Biomass, Fuel Cell (FC), and battery various models.

CEI 642 Water Networks Modeling

Distribution networks: Branched network, System reliability, Analysis techniques, Unsteady flow boundaries, Extended period simulation, Commercial software, Optimal design of reservoirs, Pump stations, Practical consideration (control valves, water hammer protection devices, field testing, leakage control), Case study (complete design of water distribution system). Collection networks; Design flow (domestic, storm, drainage), Open channel networks (hydraulics of partial flow in pipes, unsteady flow), Collection network design (layout, pipes), Optimal design, Practical considerations (system flushing, leakage control), Case study (complete design of water collection system). Water quality, Commercial software (waterCAD – SewerCAD - hammer…etc). Integrated Project

REC 602 Integrated Project

In this project based module multi-disciplinary student teams will develop human centered solutions addressing a complex urban resource efficiency challenge. The module follows principles of project-based / enquiry-based didactics, and builds on real-world study cases from external study program partners (stakeholders from public, private or civil society sectors). By the multidimensional and experimental character, the module provides a test-bed for interdisciplinary work, practical application, exercise of soft and leadership skills and ideally implements a creative thinking approach including expansion, convergence, prototyping and testing.

Applied Research

REC 603 Applied Research

The Applied Research is equivalent to 6 Credit Hours. Students should work on their selected topics/projects within the scope of Resource Efficient Cities themes and prepare a research paper of significant depth in applied engineering.