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Water for Liveable and Resilient Cities

Learn how water can be used in the planning of cities to improve liveability in the face of climate change and population growth.

7,452 enrolled on this course

Water for Liveable and Resilient Cities
  • Duration7 weeks
  • Weekly study4 hours
  • CertificatesAvailable

Water plays a central role in almost every aspect of our urban environment and quality of life in our cities. Alarmingly, the combined impacts of rapid population growth and climate change are now posing a severe threat to the liveability and resilience of our cities.

However, it’s possible to design water systems that provide cities with the capacity to cope with these threats. So-called “water sensitive urban design” creates water sensitive cities that enhance and protect the health of watercourses and wetlands; mitigate flood risk and damage; and create public spaces that harvest, clean and recycle water.

This approach poses complex planning and urban design challenges. And it requires solutions that address equally complex and interrelated considerations, such as social, environmental, political, economic, planning and engineering disciplines.

In this free online course, you’ll hear from leading researchers and thought-leaders in Australia and internationally about key actions in delivering water sensitive cities. You’ll consider and discuss the latest solutions and concepts on urban design and modelling, climate change adaptation, behaviour change, and social and government engagement.

Specifically, you’ll consider:

  • the emerging challenges facing our cities
  • how water sensitive cities can be the driver for more resilient cities
  • how water can be managed in our cities to improve their liveability
  • the potential for stormwater, urban aquatic systems, and green infrastructure to improve the urban climate
  • how changes in human behaviour and institutions can complement and assist transitions to water sensitive cities.

We’ll focus on effective ways to create water sensitive cities as we draw upon case studies from Australia and around the world. We’ll challenge you to consider how you can help make your urban environment more water sensitive.

You can find out more in Robert Skinner’s post for the FutureLearn blog: “Can water help our cities cope with rapid urbanization and climate change?

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds ROB SKINNER: 100 years ago, only two out of ten people lived in cities. Today, around half the people on Earth are living in urban areas. And by 2050, that proportion will be seven out of ten. Urbanisation is remorseless. And with the compounding impacts of climate change, how can we design cities that provide the livability that people need? Well fortunately, water plays a major role in ensuring cities provide for the fundamental human needs of its residents. But to do this, cities must have good quality water for all our household needs. They need to be productive and prosper, with adequate water for business and industry. Cities must be greener and provide for our recreational needs.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second There must be healthy places to live, even during heat waves. All urban areas need to be designed to cope with the increasing risks of flooding. And cities need to protect natural environments to preserve the ecosystem services that ultimately sustain our planet. This course explores the concept of water sensitive cities. How can we design cities with water in mind to ensure they are livable and resilient to population growth and to climate change shocks, such as prolonged drought, more frequent and intense flooding, extreme heat waves? The challenges associated with building a water sensitive city are complex, involving interrelated and often competing social, environmental, engineering, economic, and even political disciplines.

Skip to 1 minute and 52 seconds This course is tailored for you even if you are new to the subject. It’s ideal for you if you’re interested in what makes cities sustainable. Cities that meet your needs and the needs of your future generations. In this course, you’ll learn from Australia’s leading researchers and practitioners about what is needed to deliver water sensitive cities. The late educators for this course will be from the Water for Liveability Centre at Monash University, Australia, with input from key people in the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities.

Skip to 2 minutes and 26 seconds Over the next seven week course, you’ll consider and discuss the latest solutions and concepts relating to integrated urban water management, river and stream management in urban settings, climate change adaptation, flood resilience, integrating urban design with water system management to achieve water sensitive cities, and finally, the regulatory institutional and cultural settings needed to deliver water sensitive cities. You will focus on effective ways to create water sensitive cities by examining case studies from Australia and around the world, and even your own backyard. This course is really about building cities that your grandchildren can enjoy. So if you want to know how to make your city water sensitive, join us on this course.

What topics will you cover?

Who is the course for?

The course is intended for those with an interest in water and sustainable cities, and does not require previous experience or knowledge.

Who will you learn with?

Rob Skinner is Professorial Fellow and Director of Monash University’s Water for Liveability Centre and also Deputy Chair of the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.

Who developed the course?

Monash University

Monash University is one of Australia’s leading universities, ranked in the world’s top 1% by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It was established in Melbourne in 1958.

  • Established1958
  • LocationMelbourne, Australia
  • World rankingTop 80Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate

You can buy a Statement of Participation for this course — a personalised certificate in both digital and printed formats, to celebrate taking part.