Urban Water – Innovations for Environmental Sustainability

University of British Columbia Water-Sensitive cities

Target Audience

This introductory course has been designed for all those interested on the water-related dimensions of environmentally sustainable urbanism


Learn about innovative urban solutions to the global water crisis, with inspiring real-life examples from architects, engineers, planners, ecologists, and artists.

In this interdisciplinary course you will learn about the water-related dimensions of environmentally sustainable urbanism. The course features Vancouver, one of the world’s leading cities for green design.

Each week, you’ll watch lectures plus a compelling documentary-style video featuring architects, planners, artists, engineers, and academics that have created real-world innovations which link water and sustainability in the built environment. You’ll meet the inspiring founder of the Center for Interactive Research on Sustainability (one of the greenest buildings in North America); visit North America’s largest urban wastewater-to-energy plant; learn from architects designing urban waterscapes as ‘landscape infrastructure’ along Vancouver’s revitalized waterfront; travel along one of North America’s largest revitalized urban streams, which has become a hub for community engagement; and explore the creation of a ‘watershed mind’ with an award-winning poet and artist. 

Learning Objectives

Core concepts such as the “water nexus” and “regenerative sustainability” 
Blue-green building design 
Eco-health and the role of water in environmentally-sensitive urban planning 
Urban stream regeneration 
Water ethics