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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Scott Swearingen

Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Lecturer

Contact

SOC 321K • Building The Sustainable City

44990 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CLA 0.118
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Description

Building the Sustainable City is an interdisciplinary course that examines why we have to create  more sustainable living environments, what we are presently doing to rebuild American cities in more sustainable ways, and where we need to go in the future.  The course adopts the strong definition of sustainability to include the connections between economy, equity, and environment.   80% of the population lives in urban areas today, the vast majority of economic activity occurs in them, and most environmental problems are related to urbanization and industrialization.  Understanding how to build a sustainable city, then, is the key to building a sustainable society.  This course will focus on energy use, transportation policy, housing, and food production/distribution in the city.  Social equity issues will be integrated into all four themes, as all four are both cause and effect of social inequalities. 

The course links our academic understanding of sustainability with “real world”, on-the-ground people doing sustainability today.  It will feature several people working in city government, the non-profit sector, and academic positions as guest speakers.  These speakers will discuss their organizations as examples of how to build a sustainable city, and show students how they are building a more sustainable future here in Austin.  

Required Texts

Girardet, Herbert; "Cities, People, Planet."  Wiley and Sons, 2008.

Grading Policy

There will be 3 essays of 4-5 pages, typed, double spaced, and one group design project where student team design and "build" a sustainable city (this is a poster project which can be displayed on the wall, but those with technical expertise are welcome to mount it on a web platform).  Each essay will be 25% of the course grade, and the design project will be the final 25% of grade.

 

SOC 321K • Building The Sustainable City

46151 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CLA 0.112
(also listed as URB 352 )
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Description

Building the Sustainable City is an interdisciplinary course that examines why we have to create  more sustainable living environments, what we are presently doing to rebuild American cities in more sustainable ways, and where we need to go in the future.  The course adopts the strong definition of sustainability to include the connections between economy, equity, and environment.   80% of the population lives in urban areas today, the vast majority of economic activity occurs in them, and most environmental problems are related to urbanization and industrialization.  Understanding how to build a sustainable city, then, is the key to building a sustainable society.  This course will focus on energy use, transportation policy, housing, and food production/distribution in the city.  Social equity issues will be integrated into all four themes, as all four are both cause and effect of social inequalities. 

The course links our academic understanding of sustainability with “real world”, on-the-ground people doing sustainability today.  It will feature several people working in city government, the non-profit sector, and academic positions as guest speakers.  These speakers will discuss their organizations as examples of how to build a sustainable city, and show students how they are building a more sustainable future here in Austin.  

Required Texts

Girardet, Herbert; "Cities, People, Planet."  Wiley and Sons, 2008.

Grading Policy

There will be 3 essays of 4-5 pages, typed, double spaced, and one group design project where student team design and "build" a sustainable city (this is a poster project which can be displayed on the wall, but those with technical expertise are welcome to mount it on a web platform).  Each essay will be 25% of the course grade, and the design project will be the final 25% of grade.

 

SOC 321K • Environmental Sociology

45735 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CAL 22
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Description

This course investigates the ways humans and the natural environment interact.   Human social patterns and ideologies shape how we do things that affect the environment, and the environment shapes our human lives.  The relationship between people and their environment includes the natural (unbuilt, or unchanged by humans) environment, and the built environments - our urban and city space.  The city of Austin is used as a case study of these relationships, as we look to see how humans and environment shape each other here in town. The process of global warming and its effects on human society are discussed throughout the course as an outcomse of these relationships; human society is changing the environment we live in, and that change will have profound effects on human society  

Required Texts

Bell, M., An Invitation to Environmental Sociology.  Sage, 4 ed. Swearingen, W.  Environmental City: People, Place, Politics, and the Meaning of Modern Austin.  UTPress, Austin.  

Grading Policy

Your grade is based on weekly responses to the course material.  These responses are "mini-essays" of 2 or so pages. A detailed description and rubric for the responses will be provided in class.  

SOC 321K • Environmental Sociology

45511 • Spring 2012
Meets MW 300pm-430pm BUR 134
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Description

The course provides an overview of the ways humans and the natural environment interrelate.   The course investigates the ways human social patterns and ideologies  shape the environment, and how the environment shapes our human lives.  The relationship includes the natural and built environments (city space).  The city of Austin is used as a case study of these relationships.  The process of global warming and its effects on human society is discussed throughout the course as effect of these relationships.

Required Texts 

Bell, M., An Invitation to Environmental Sociology.  Sage, 4 ed.

Swearingen, W.  Environmental City: People, Place, Politics, and the Meaning of Modern Austin.  UTPress, Austin.

Grading Policy

Your grade is based on four unit tests and one paper on global warming.  The paper will be 3-4 pages in length and use material from all four  units to explain the connection between humans, global warming, and sustainable futures.  A detailed description and rubric for the paper will be provided in class. 

Four tests 20% each

Global warming paper  20%

 

 

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