Sustainable Territory Development



  • Sokolova Ekaterina, Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration, Graduate School of Management, St.Petersburg University

  • Kholodnov Aleksandr, deputy director, Urbanica spatial planning institute,



45 contact hours


Contemporary Public Management, Urban economics and development

Course Description:

The aim of this course is to familiarize students with basic principles of sustainable territory development and actual cases in this field, as well as opportunities and constraints for implementation of this concept in modern social and economic circumstances. Theoretical background includes different interpretations of sustainable development concept as an interdisciplinary and systematic respond to current global challenges. Throughout the course, students learn to find areas of improvement of different environmental, economic and social aspects using applicable sustainability approaches.

Actual issues of urban and spatial development are studied as examples and opportunities for integration of sustainability tools in modern public administration. Implementation of sustainability principles into decision making process can be observed by students during testing of long-term urban development model. After completing the course, students will have comprehensive picture and understanding of the sustainable development concept as an important decision making priority, as well as practical skills in assessment and interpretation of sustainability indicators, setting sustainable development objectives and targets considering interests of different stakeholders.

Course Content (Topics and subtopics):

Introduction. What is sustainable development?

• The purpose, objectives and structure of a course;
• Global challenges. Why should we consider sustainable development?
• Concept of sustainable development;
• Values. Sustainable ethics and lifestyle.

Topic 1. Environmental aspects of sustainable development

• Structure, features and life-cycle of ecosystem;
• Material and energy flows in ecosystem;
• Limited material and energy resources;
• Limited carrying capacity of ecosystems;
• Sustainability of ecosystems and quality of life.

Topic 2. Social aspects of sustainable development

• Social sustainability. Demography and welfare;
• Principles of sustainable consumption;
• Sustainable development politics.
• International cooperation issues;
• Local sustainability strategies in public administration and community development sector

Topic 3. Economic aspects of sustainable development

• Economy and Ecology. Externalities;
• Principles of Sustainable Growth;
• Indicators of sustainable development.
• Sustainable production. Environmental management systems. ISO 14000 standards

Topic 4. Sustainable Urban Development

• Urbanization. Sprawling cities and Shrinking cities;
• Sustainable Cities;
• Sustainable Neighborhoods;
• Sustainable Housing;
• Sustainable Mobility;
• Urban landscapes and open space;
• Redevelopment of urban fabric. Investing in downtowns. Reusing brownfields;
• Sustainable Urban Management. Spatial planning. Authorities and communities.
• Sustainable Utilities (energy, water, waste management, sanitation)

Course Organization:

Lectures, seminars, case studies, tests, in-class discussions, individual projects.

Course Reading (the full list):

Core reading:
There is no single required book for this course

Supplementary reading:

• Beyond Economic Growth: An Introduction to Sustainable Development. By Tatyana P. Soubbotina. World Bank, 2004 (2nd edition)
• Eco-Efficiency: The Business Link to Sustainable Development. By Livio D. DeSimone; Frank Popoff, MIT Press, 2000
• Growing Greener Cities: Urban Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century. By Eugenie L. Birch; Susan M. Wachter. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008
• Tools for Integrated Sustainablity Management in Cities and Towns. By Lars Rydén Baltic University Press, 2008

Exam format:

Duration: 90 minutes

Grading Policy (% or points):

Course progress – 50 %, exam – 50%.

Course progress tasks
• Test #1 - 5%
• Test #2 - 5%
• Test #3 - 5%
• Test #4 - 5%
• Two in-class group-works - 15% (5 and 10% each)
• Group project - 15%

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