Topics in Sustainable Development

This course is a trans-disciplinary graduate level seminar designed to critically explore the concept and practice of sustainable development from a variety of vantage points. The class is cross-listed in business, architecture, planning, law, public policy. It will be taught by UT faculty as well as outside speakers representing the full range of interest and experience with sustainable development. Topics vary by year, but generally include: the philosophical origins of sustainability; systems thinking; sustainable food systems; commerce in a sustainable world; government and market solutions to social and environmental problems; role of international governing institutions; sustainable community initiatives; sustainable architecture and cities; industrial ecology; and the difficult question of "equity". For the spring 2007 course, we participated and won First Prize in a national competition sponsored by Austin Energy. This substantial award is being placed in a perpetual fund to support graduate student research related to sustainable development. For the spring 2008 course we will investigate the long-term viability of the Alley-Flat Initiative (AFI), a proposal to create a delivery system for affordable/sustainable housing in Austin. This project is being co- developed by the UT Center for Sustainable Development (UTCSD), the Austin Community Design and Development Center (ACDDC), and the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation (GNDC). Findings of research teams will be used to raise funds and gather community support for the project. Through this experience transdiciplinary research teams will find a concrete opportunity to apply the theoretical concepts examined in class. In addition to the major research project, assignments will include weekly critical reading reviews. Enrollment has historically been limited to five students from each of the five participating disciplines. This year, students from other disciplines-- particularly real estate and geography--are encouraged to register.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Thursday 3:30 - 6:30 pm BTL 101

Examination information not available

Additional Information

Course Type


Moore, Steven A. Moore, Steven A.