CPT885: Governance of the Eco-City Development Process

School Cardiff School of Geography and Planning
Department Code GEOPL
Module Code CPT885
External Subject Code K400
Number of Credits 20
Level L7
Language of Delivery English
Module Leader Dr Andrew Flynn
Semester Spring Semester
Academic Year 2017/8

How the module will be assessed


100% contribution

Governance of Eco-City Development Essay

4,000 words


Students are permitted to be reassessed (usually once) in a module which they have failed, in line with course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer

How the module will be delivered

The module will be delivered by a combination of:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars structured around key contemporary debates
  • Directed reading

Lectures and seminars are supplemented by Powerpoint presentations (slides are copied and made available) and handouts. Key readings that are used in teaching sessions will be available in Learning Central before the session in which they are to be discussed. During seminars you may be required to lead a discussion and you will always have to contribute to debate/discussion.

Outline Description of Module

The purpose of this module is to provide a theoretically informed base from which to analyse the nature and variety of forms of governance that characterise eco and low carbon developments around the world. It does so by examining conceptual approaches to governance – the interactions between public and private sectors and citizens – in the delivery of eco-development policy. The module explores: the role of key actors, contrasts top-down and bottom-up forms of governance for eco-developments, and assesses how key actors shape the nature of development of eco and low carbon cities and how they construct notions of environmentally friendly development.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

  1. Critically appreciate key approaches to governance
  2. The process of ‘steering’ development in a variety of settings
  3. The ways in which key actors construct notions of ‘eco’ and low carbon development
  4. Evaluate key debates in eco-city and low carbon city developments
  5. Demonstrate a good understanding of the interactions between key actors in the delivery of eco-developments

Skills that will be practised and developed

Skills that will be practised and developed

Academic/subject specific skills

  • Students will be expected to demonstrate skills of critical analysis through an ability to:
  • Identify key issues and relationships
  • Critically evaluate various approaches – top-down and bottom-up forms of governance, eco city and low carbon city – and to distinguish their merits and drawbacks
  • Application of eco-development thinking to a range of national, regional and organisational contexts

Transferable/employability skills

  • Students will practice and develop the following:
  • Data collection skills – including qualitative data, data collection and synthesis using databases, web and other sources
  • Use language accurately and communicate information efficiently and effectively
  • Process large quantities of information rapidly

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 100 Essay N/A 1 N/A

Essential Reading and Resource List

Baeumler A, Ijjasz-Vasquez E and MehndirattaS(2012a) Overview: Sustainable Low Carbon Cities in China: Why it matters and what can be done, in Baeumler A et al (eds) Sustainable Low-Carbon City Development in China, The World Bank

Baeumler A, Chen M, Luchi K and Suzuki H (2012b) Eco-Cities and Low Carbon Cities: The China Context and Global Perspectives in Baeumler A et al (eds) Sustainable Low-Carbon City Development in China, The World Bank

Beatley, Timothy (ED) (2012) Green cities of Europe : global lessons on green urbanism, Washington, DC : Island Press

Joss, Simon  (2012) Eco-City Governance: A Case Study of Treasure Island and Sonoma Mountain Village, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 13 (4), pp331-48

Managi, Shunsuke and Shinji Kaneko (2009) Chinese economic development and the environment, Cheltenham : Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd

Marshall, Tim (2013) Planning major infrastructure : a critical analysis, London :Routledge

Morrison-Saunders, Angus and Howitt R (2013) Sustainability assessment: pluralism, practice and progress , Alan Bond, London ; New York :Routledge, c2013.

Premalatha M, Tauseef S M, Abbasi and Abbasi S A (2013) The promise and performance of the world’s first two zero carbon eco-cities, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol 25, pp660-69

Xiangming Chen,. Orum, A M, and K E. Paulsen, K E (2013) Introduction to cities : how place and space shape human experience , Chichester : Wiley-Blackwell

Background Reading and Resource List

Caprotti, F (2014) Critical research on eco-cities? A walk through the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, China, Cities, Vol 36, pp10-17

Chang, I-C C and Sheppard E (2013) China’s Eco-Cities as Variegated Urban Sustainability: Dongtan Eco-City and Chongming Eco-Island, Journal of Urban Technology, Vol 10, Issue 1

Cao, S and Li C (2011) The exploration of concepts and methods for Low-Carbon Eco-City Planning, Procedia Environmental Sciences, Vol 5, pp199-207

Duckett, J (1998) The entrepreneurial state in China: Real Estate and Commerce Departments in Reform Era Tianjin, London, Routledge

Geng, Y; Fu J, Sarkis J and Xue B (2012) Towards a national circular economy indicator system in China: an evaluation and critical analysis, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol 23, Issue 1, pp216-24

Harris, P G (2006) Environmental perspective and behaviour in China: Synopsis and bibliography, Environment and Behavior Vol 38, Issue 1, pp 5-21

He, G; Lu Y, Mol A P J and Beckers T (2012) Changes and challenges: China’s environmental management in transition, Environmental Development, Vol 3 July pp25-38

De Jong, M, Yu C, Chen X, Wang D and Weijnen M (2013) Developing robust organizational frameworks for Sino-Dutch Shenzhen Low Carbon City with other initiatives, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol 57, pp209-20

Liu, L, Zhang B and Bi J (2012) Reforming China’s multi-level environmental governance: Lessons from the 11th Five Year Plan, Environmental Science & Policy, Vol 21, August pp106-11

Mol, A. P. J. (2006) Environment and Modernity in Transitional China: Frontiers of Ecological Modernization, Development and Change, 37(1), pp. 29-56

Preston, F (2012) A Global Redesign? Shaping the Circular Economy, Chatham House briefing paper, March

Ravetz, J (2000) City-Region 2020. Integrated planning for a sustainable environment, London, Earthscan

Reichertz, J (2004): Objective Hermeneutics and Hermeneutic Sociology of Knowledge. In: Flick, U.,

Rohracher H and Spath P (2013) The Interplay of Urban Energy Policy and Socio-Technical Transitions: The Eco-Cities of Graz and Freiburg in Retrospect, Urban Studies, pp1-17

Su, B, Heshmatai A, Geng Y and Yu X (2013), A review of the circular economy in China: moving from rhetoric to implementation, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol 42, March pp215-27

Williams, K. and Dair C. (2007), A framework of sustainable behaviours that can be enabled through the design of neighbourhood-scale developments, Sustainable Development, 15, pp. 160–73

Syllabus content

The module will cover: critical perspectives on governance and urban development, and the nature of governance in different settings (for example, Europe and Asia). This will provide the basis for exploring how citizens, governments and economic actors interact to construct ideas (e.g. through the use of indicators) of eco-city development. The module will then go on to explore how these actors deliver a range of eco-developments, and how bundles of technologies (e.g. for transport) and design can become labeled as ‘eco’ and why the label eco matters in the development process. The module will conclude by assessing how different models of governance can best deliver eco-city development.

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