Semester Offering: January

With more than half of world’s population now living in urban areas, urbanization as a trend will have diverging impacts and influences on future humankind’s living environment. As a result of such an exceptional increase in the scale of individual cities over the course of decades, the urban phenomenon of this century will be mega-cities, high-density metropolises or mega urban regions of more than 10 million inhabitants. Asia is already home to more mega-cities than any other continents, most of which are in emerging economies. The management of these mega-cities, the provision of shelter, services, and a livelihood to their inhabitants in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable manner, will be a major challenge in the coming years. With this in view, the course aims to provide students with an integrated understanding of the consequences of urban growth and appropriate strategies and plans essential to sustainable development and management of mega-cities.


Upon completion of this course, the students will be able to:

1.     Identify the growth components of mega-cities and their relation to environmental consequences.
2.     Apply concepts of sustainability and the tools to achieve sustainable, resource efficient mega-city management.
3.     Analyze city-region scale interactions between the built environment and the ecological systems of the natural environment.




I.          Mega-cities and Urbanization
1.     Measuring urbanization trend and patterns
2.     Mega-cities and global cities
3.     Urban growth components

II.         Environmental Consequences of Mega-city Growth in Asian Developing Countries
1.     Urbanization and environmental challenges in Asian mega-cities
2.     Traditional land use and ecosystem in Asian cities
3.     Mega-city vulnerability and resilience

III.        Mega-city Planning and Management Frameworks
1.     Environmental management for sustainability
2.     Collaborative environmental planning and learning for sustainability
3.     Urban-rural linkage and sustainable urban region

IV.       Policy and Planning for Environmental Land Management
1.     Land use management for rural-urban transitional space
2.     Land conservation for green space and ecological protection
3.     Integration methods for environmental land analysis

V.        Sustainable, Livable, Smart Growth Cities
1.     Smart growth management
2.     Low-carbon and eco-cities
3.     Strategic decisions for transportation in mega-cities




No designated textbook, but lecture notes and reading materials will be provided.


1.      Randolph, J. (2012). Environmental Land Use Planning and Management (2nd ed.). Washington DC: Island Press.
2.      Fuchs, R. J. et al. (1994). Mega-city Growth and the Future. Tokyo: United Nations University Press
3.      Lo, F. C. & Marcotullio, P. J. (Eds.) (2001). Globalization and the Sustainability of Cities in the Asia Pacific Region. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.


1.      Land Use Policy, Elsevier
2.      Environmental Science & Policy, Elsevier
3.      Cities, Elsevier


·         Lectures                                               : 40 hours
·         Class discussions and presentations  : 10 hours
·         Self-study                                             : 80 hours
·         Assignments                                        : 20 hours
·         Individual project                                  : 20 hours


The course will consist of formal lecture, structured discussion of topics related to the lectures and readings, individual project, case-based problem solving exercises and presentations.


The final grade will be computed from the following constituent parts;

  • Assignments 30%
  • Mid-term exam (closed books) 30%
  • Final exam (Individual project work and oral presentation) 40%

An “A” would be awarded if a student can contextualize the knowledge learned in class by including their own their own insight and analysis. A “B” would be given if a student shows an overall understanding of all topics, a “C” would be given if a student meets below average expectation in terms of comprehension and analysis, and a “D” would be given if a student does not meet basic expectations in analyzing or understanding the issues presented in the course.