Sustainable Cities and Urban Innovation


It is expected that the student acquires the capacity of analysis and a solid understanding of the main challenges, reasons and consequences of the (in)sustainability of the cities, in their various dimensions and in an integrated and systemic perspective.
Students will also be prepared to intervene professionally in the resolution of problems by learning new methods and innovative techniques. Furthermore, students will get to know the UN-Habitat orientations and the strategic European and national policies and programs about sustainable cities and come into contact with innovative projects in cities that are leaders in the urban sustainability. Inspiring and benchmarking case studies will be analyzed which in different European cities (Barcelona, Hamburg, Freiburg, Copenhagen, Grenoble, Lisbon) are recognized of being an excellent example of urban sustainability, and the respective conclusions will be registered.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João António Muralha Ribeiro Farinha


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 168

Teaching language



No special requirements are needed. But knowledge of English is important.


Cities of Tomorrow; Comissão Europeia, Direção Geral da Politica Regional; União Europeia, 2011.
Neighborhood Management in Berlin - Information on the program “Socially Integrative City“; Senate Department for Urban
Development; Senate of Berlin; Berlim, 2010.
OECD, Compact City Policies: A Comparative Assessment, OECD Green Growth Studies, OECD Publishing. 2012.
State of Biodiversity Markets -- Offset and Compensation Programs Worldwide; UNDP and Forest Trends, Washington, DC;
Sustaining Cities - Environmental Planning and Management in Urban Design; Leitmann, Josef; Ed. McGraw-Hill, 1999.
Sustainable Communities – The Potential for Eco-Neighbourhoods; Ed. Barton, Hugh; Earthscan Publications; London, 2000.
Urban Future 21 – A Global Agenda for 21’s Century Cities; Hall, Peter and Pfeiffer, Ulrich; The Federal Ministry of Transport,
Building and Housing of Germany; Ed. Alexandrine Press, Oxford 2000.

Teaching method

Exposition of the theoretical and practical contents by means of slides projected by the professor. Discussion in groups about crucial themes. Analysis of case studies. Exercises of application of techniques and methods in practical lessons. Field studies.
Individual works on special themes. Team works about audits in sustainability of a urban space in the city of Lisbon.

Evaluation method

Individual work(30%), Student's active participation during the lessons and in the realization of practical exercises(30%), Written team work with oral presentation(40%)

Subject matter

1.Cities and Sustainability
2.The Context for Sustainable Cities
3.Planning for Sustainable Cities–Strategic instruments for planning and action towards sustainable cities, etc.
4.Tools for Analysis and Planning–Analysis, auditing and certifying the sustainability of urban areas (ex: SWOT, TOWS, Placecheck, Eco-City model, Quality of Life Capital; Environmental Carrying Capacity;Neighbourhood Sustainable Management; LEED Neighbourhood Certification; urban acupuncture, etc.)
5.Ecological Balance and Compensation; Ecological Banking – Mitigation Banking – Biodiversity Offsetting
6.Sustainable Urban Form. Compact vs Dispersed City.
7.Urban Regeneration. Case studies in Lisbon (BIP/ZIP),Madrid (Planes de Barrios), Berlin (Neighbourhood Management in the Program Socially Integrative City).
8.Practical Exercise – Auditing an urban area in the AM Lisbon and developing a strategy for action.
9.Front Runners and Good Practice in Sustainable Cities. Case study analyses of innovative projects.


Programs where the course is taught: