ESC3887 - Designing urban futures: Urban climate, water and adaptation - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment


Professor Nigel Tapper

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


Urbanisation has profound influences on cities that causes local changes in climate including increased temperature (the Urban Heat Island). Additional impacts include reduced moisture, modified urban waterways, and reduced vegetation. Moreover,

urbanisation is linked to hazards such as poor air quality and heat related illnesses. These matters are of particular concern in the context of climate change. This unit will provide an understanding of the relevant physical processes and impacts, along with the associated technological, and socio-political contexts and examine potential solutions by undertaking a sustainable cities approach including the concept of a water sensitive city as an approach to heat mitigation and climate change adaptation. Emphasis is placed on practical, theoretical, observational, analytical and modeling skills developed through lectures, practical's and project work.


On completion students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate urban climate knowledge and the critical role of water in the urban environment.
  2. Be able to apply climate knowledge to issues of urban sustainability and adaptation to climate change.
  3. Have gained practical experience in problem formulation and solution, and in addition.
  4. Level 4 students will have developed specialised skills in research/project formulation.


Within semester assessment: 70%

Examination (2 hours): 30%

Workload requirements

  • Two 1-hour lectures per week
  • One 3-hour practical per fortnight
  • Private study/research time.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


ATS2780 or 18 points of Geography, Climate and physical environments or Atmospheric science or permission of the unit co-ordinator


APG4887, ATM3370, ATS3887