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UNSW's free online course 'Re-enchanting the city: designing the human habitat' starts next week

Do you work in the urban industry, but not directly in a design or planning role? Are you interested in how humans might design a city for 'an ultra-green, ultra-urban' future? Are you thinking of a career change and looking to wet your appetite in the city-making space? Are you interested to learn more about the development process?

Then this massive open online course, 'Re-enchanting the city: designing the human habitat', run by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Built Environment faculty and conducted through the FutureLearn platform, could be for you.

It's free, runs for six weeks and starts next week.

About the Course

The city is humanity's most complex and extraordinary artefact. As the world population grows and becomes ever more urban, the making of future cities is no longer just about aesthetics or convenience. Questions of sustainability and culture are more and more crucial. Increasingly, the future of the city is the future of the species.

This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary nature of city making. The focus is on a cutting-edge, high-density urban infill project, Central Park, in contemporary Sydney. We use this project to explore the interdependencies of the professions at play; urban design, architecture, city planning, construction management, sustainable development, landscape architecture, interior architecture and industrial design.

We investigate the entire development process from the earliest planning and site purchases through to completion and from the broad contextual scale through to the design intricacies. In so doing, we examine design innovations in green technologies, structure, construction, environmental and building service, framing this within the wider context of infrastructure, governance and the political economy.

As a course participant, you will engage in critical discussion from different perspectives; design and sustainability. You will also analyse the cultural, environmental and political conversations that drive the development, gain an understanding of how key players interact in city making and see how different built environment disciplines relate in this process.

Drawing on designers, thinkers and developers at the forefront of their professions, this course will investigate a key question facing global cities today: how do we engage local democracy to make urban density both sustainable and poetic?

Re-Enchanting the City: Designing the Human Habitat

The course is set to run over six weeks commencing September 5 and upon completion, students can buy a printed certificate of achievement and/or a statement of participation. The course is structured as follows:

Week one
What is the built environment?
Week two
Fight for the Site
Week three
Architecture in the City
Week four
Being Green
Week five
Technopolis
Week six
Inside Out

To enrol, head over to the FutureLearn website. See also the UNSW's Built Environment website for more detailed information about the course.

Development & Planning

Friday, January 20, 2017 - 00:00
A rush of planning applications either side of the festive break are cumulatively seeking to add to South Melbourne's robust development scene, with four major apartment projects lodged. City of Port Phillip will now assess the respective merits of the fresh applications, along with a handful of other noteworthy towers already at planning that when combined, would provide the popular suburb with thousands of new apartments.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 00:00
On 2 January 2017, it was reported that several popular eateries and bars in Footscray had been vandalised, including the perennially successful 8 Bit Burgers on Droop Street, and Up In Smoke on Hopkins Street. 8 Bit had the warm new year's welcome gift of 14 smashed windows and the words “F**k off hipster scum” spray-painted on their entrance.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 17:00
Melbourne’s architectural landscape is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and Victorian architecture. Although the CBD has been peppered with many skyscrapers, its historical structures have won Melbourne the title of “Australia’s most European city”.

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Transport & Design

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 12:00
Timber mid-rise buildings are becoming the preferred choice for many stakeholders in Melbourne, due to a combination of factors, including cost-effectiveness, liveability, ease and efficiency of construction. Within the recent National Construction Code change, Deemed-To-Satisfy provisions allow mid-rise timber construction for buildings up to 25 metres “effective height” (typically, eight storeys).