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Module Description : Systems Society and Sustainability
Module Code(s) : CEGEG018 CEGEM011
Module Coordinator : Priti Parikh
Outline :

The global challenge of sustainable development requires solutions and mindsets that bridge traditional divisions between nature and culture, and the technical and social sciences. Sustainable development requires that engineers and other professionals are able to include social and ecological considerations alongside technical requirements in managing projects and infrastructure. Recent developments in theories of socio-technical systems provide some useful tools and ideas for bringing together social, ecological and technical considerations. This course outlines the challenges of sustainability, introduces some theories which can help think through these challenges more clearly, and applies them to the case of urban water and renewable energy systems.

Aims And Learning Outcomes :

​Upon completion of this course you should be able to:

  • Understand the concept of sustainable development as a response to global crises of ecology and human development.
  • Describe the role of engineering systems in achieving sustainable development.
  • Understand the problems of sustainability as a challenge to the modern divide between nature and culture.
  • Outline key features of socio-technical systems and their relevance to the challenge of sustainable development.
  • Apply theories of socio-technical systems in analysing the sustainability of urban infrastructure.

Pre- And Co- Requisites :

Assessment :

​1000 word discussion paper - 40%

2000 word essay - 60%

Reading List :

​There is no required textbook for this module, however the following books will be helpful references for the course:

Bell S. (2011) Engineers, Society, and Sustainability, Morgan and ClayPool Publishers

Dryzek J. S. and Schlosberg D. (eds) Debating the Earth 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press

Hay P. (2002) A Companion to Environmental Thought Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press.

van Vliet, B., Chappells, H. and Shove, E. (2005) Infrastructures of Consumption Earthscan, London.

An extensive recommended reading list will be provided during the first week of the module.

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