Sustainable Urban Intervention - ARCH5570

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 30 (15) Nikolaos Karydis checkmark-circle


This module explores the application of sustainability theory to the practice of urban design. Engaging students in the redesign of an existing urban locality, the module provides an opportunity to investigate sustainable design strategies that address today's environmental, social, and economic challenges. The project starts with a critical analysis of the structure, organisation, and function of the chosen locality, as well as the current design of its streets, squares and urban blocks. This analysis serves as a basis for urban design proposals for the redevelopment of the chosen locality. Explore the potential of adaptive, mixed-use developments, urban infill, and the creation of new urban spaces, these proposals will tackle sustainability goals including the mitigation of the effects of climate change, the reduction of energy use through the promotion of walkability, the optimisation of the urban microclimate, the enhancement of social equity, the economic use of land, the adaptive reuse of existing buildings, and the respect of existing cultural heritage. Relevant models and strategies will be explored through a series of lectures, seminars, and tutorials, which will provide an overview of place-making theories, introducing distinctive contemporary urban plans, analysing their historical provenance, regulatory, historical, theoretical, ergonomic, and aesthetic principles. Workshops and tutorials will also cover the technical and environmental specification of sustainable urban design at various scales, focusing on detailed landscaping proposals with an emphasis on sustainable urban drainage, planting and greenery, material specifications, vehicular and traffic management and public space and pedestrian use. Linking sustainability theory to urban design practice, this module cultivates a holistic understanding of the role of contemporary sustainability agendas in reshaping modern cities.


Contact hours

Total contact time: 65 hours
Total private study: 235 hours
Total study hours: 300 hours

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Design Proposal Submission (100%)

Reassessment methods

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Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages (

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:

1. Adequate knowledge of the application of appropriate theoretical concepts to studio design projects, demonstrating a reflective and critical approach. [GC2.3]
2. Knowledge of the creative application of such work (the fine arts) to studio design projects, in terms of their conceptualization and representation.[GC3.3]
3. Knowledge of theories of urban design and the planning of communities. [GC4.1]
4. Knowledge of the influence of the design and development of cities, past and present on the contemporary built environment. [GC4.2]
5. An understanding of the impact of buildings on the environment, and the precepts of sustainable design. [GC5.2]
6. An understanding of the way in which buildings fit into their local context. [GC5.3]
7. An understanding of the physical properties and characteristics of building materials, components and systems, and the environmental impact of specification choices. [GC8.3]
8. Knowledge of systems for environmental comfort realised within relevant precepts of sustainable design. [GC9.2]

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Apply a range of communication methods and media to present design proposals clearly and effectively. [GA2]
2. Be self- critical and understand one's strengths and weaknesses. [D15]
3. Use images as a communication tool. [D16]


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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