Solutions for sustainable cities

University of Strathclyde’s Robert Rogerson talks about the relevance of this field, career opportunities, and more

Over half of the world’s population is now living in cities, generating 80 per cent of the global carbon emissions. To achieve a sustainable future for cities, professionals are required who have the holistic perspective to see beyond one single aspect of city life, and the ability to develop and deliver viable strategies that address various problems. The University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, offers an MSc Global Sustainable Cities programme that aims at producing city leaders, designers and planners with the skills to shape the sustainable cities of the future.

Robert Rogerson, Course Director of the programme, talks about the significance of this field, it’s anticipated growth in the coming years, and more.

What is the relevance of this course in today’s scenario?

The MSc Global Sustainable Cities helps graduates understand cities from different perspectives, and to create solutions that address many of the major urban sustainability challenges. The course, for example, explores ways in which a move to a low carbon economy and society through alternative models of energy supply and different modes of transport could be achieved. The MSc is aimed at graduates or senior professionals with the vision to recognise current challenges and the motivation to create opportunities to improve our future cities.

What are the highlights of the curriculum?

Our current and recent students suggest that one of the unique aspects of the course is that they are investigating real urban issues in conjunction with other partners in their ‘transformative projects’. These replace the traditional master’s dissertation and enable each student to work on two topics alongside commercial, civic or third sector organisations over a six-week period. This helps them gain valuable insights into how urban challenges are being resolved. Not only do these projects provide valuable work-based experience, they also can be a stepping stone to employment.

What are the additional advantages of joining this course?

The MSc programme is designed to provide for essential key knowledge and skills required to contribute to urban futures. It is also adaptable to reflect the different career paths our graduates wish to follow. Our aim is to help develop future city leaders, designers and planners — the skills required by these leaders encompass not only knowledge of specific city functions and leadership, but also an understanding of the multiple relationships within any city system.

What growth do you anticipate in this sector in the next five years?

Driven by varying factors, globally, the ways we manage and develop our cities will shape all our futures. There is thus a growing need for new forms of urban thinking and leadership. Cities are very much at the heart of our increasingly complex world. Different approaches are needed to manage the use of city assets, to understand how cities can continue to be the growth engines of innovation and economic growth, and to adopt new technologies to help engage citizens in being more actively involved in urban futures. As cities continue to grow, the demand for skills offered in this course will equally grow.

What are the career prospects on completion of the course? What kind of job profiles can students apply to?

The multi-disciplinary nature of the master’s opens up a wide range of employment prospects, covering more traditional careers in urban planning and transport management, for example, to emerging areas around smart cities and sustainability.

Our recent graduates have joined global corporate organisations in project management, worked with international agencies or even formed their own companies.

Are there any scholarships available for international students pursuing this course?

Yes, this programme offers financial aid via merit-based scholarships to the value of £7,000 — currently eight on offer (four international and 34 for EU applicants).

In addition, to celebrate the THE Business School of the Year Award, the school will be releasing additional scholarship opportunities, open to all applicants of its master’s programmes.

Our aim is to help develop future city leaders, designers and planners — the skills required by these leaders encompass not only knowledge of specific city functions and leadership, but also an understanding of the multiple relationships within any city system.

Image: wikimedia.org

Source: thehindu.com

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.