|Course Type||Course Code||No. Of Credits|
Semester and Year Offered: 2nd Semester, 1st Year
Course Coordinator and Team: Rohit Negi
Email of course coordinator: rohit[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in
Aim: The course introduces concepts and issues related to the environment, especially as they intersect with processes of urbanisation. Students will study how urbanisation reconfigures environments, that is, irreversibly changing certain ecosystems and replacing them with other, human-dominated ones. The means through which scientists and advocates look to ameliorate damage will be also highlighted.
On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the major environmental and ecological impacts of urbanisation
- Be sensitive to their own surroundings and personal environmental footprints
- Evaluate important policies and frameworks through which environmental protection has been attempted
- Read humanities and science-based material and express their thoughts systematically
Brief description of modules/ Main modules:
- Introduction: The opening unit introduces basic concepts such as nature, environment, ecology, resource, ecosystem, biodiversity, population, community, adaptation.
- The Nature of Urbanisation: The first concern of the module is to consider the manner urban areas draw on proximate and distant resources. The second, is to examine the landscapes that urban areas are themselves transformed into.
- Land: The unit concerns the changes brought about on and underneath the earth’s surface. These include changes in soil chemistry, extraction and excavation of earth, land cover change, and the progressive paving over natural surfaces.
- Water: This unit will think through water in its multiple dimensions, urging students to evaluate their own relationship with it via means like noting use etc.
- Air:This unit will examine the constituents of toxic air, its causes, its impacts, and the several attempts to ameliorate pollution.
- Health: Environmental health has emerged as a critical area of study and action in urban areas. The unit will consider emergent concepts in urban health alongwith the existing and planned infrastructures that aim to cope with them.
Assessment Details with weights:
Assessment structure (modes and frequency of assessments): A City’s Environment - students choose any city from anywhere in the world, describe its geography and demography, and detail any one environmental issue of importance to the city (20%), In-class mid-term examination, based on the first three units (25%). Personal Medical Experience—students describe their neighborhood, list the diseases that their family members have faced in the last 2-3 years, select one of these and then write an experiential account of what it meant to go through that ailment (20%). In-class final examination based on the final three units (25%). Class participation (10%).
- McKinney, M. L. (2008) Effects of urbanization on species richness: a review of plants and animals. Urban Ecosystems 11(2): 161-176.
- Gandy, M. (2012) Where does the city end?’ Architectural Design, 82 (1): 118–119
- Misra, T. (2018) The Kerala foods: a disastrous consequence of unchecked urbanization. CityLab. Available at https://www.citylab.com/environment/2018/08/the-kerala-floods-a-disastrous-consequence-of-unchecked-urbanization/569014/
- Walsh, B (2012) Urban planet: how growing cities will wreck the environment unless we build them right. Time. Available at http://science.time.com/2012/09/18/urban-planet-how-growing-cities-will-wreck-the-environment-unless-we-build-them-right/
- Ohlson, Kristing (2014) The Soil will Save us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet. NY: Rodale. Ch 1 and 4
- Zalasiewicz, Jan (2018) Geology: A Very Short Introduction. OUP. Ch 5 (Earth Surface Geology)
- Banerjee, Sarnath. All Quiet in Vikaspuri. HarperCollins India.
- Dawson, Ashley (2018) Cape Town has a New Apartheid. Washington Post. Available from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/theworldpost/wp/2018/07/10/cape-town/?noredirect=on
- Singh, Siddharth (2018) The Great Smog of India. Penguin India. Ch 1-2.
- Guttikanda, Sarath (2017) Primer on Source Apportionment of Air Pollution. Urban Emissions. Available from http://urbanemissions.info/wp-content/uploads/docs/What_is_Source_Apportionment.pdf
- Bollyky, Thomas (2018) Plagues and the Paradox of Progress: Why the World is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways. MIT Press. Ch 4, 5.
- Patel, Raj (2012) Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System (expanded edition). Melville House. Introduction and Ch 8.