Course Title: Global Urban Transitions: Processes and Outcomes

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Global Urban Transitions: Processes and Outcomes

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Marco Amati

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9887

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Level 11

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

We are living in the urban age with close to 54% of the world’s population living in cities. By 2050, this proportion is anticipated to grow to 84%, with most of this growth in China and India, which are projected to become the two largest economies in 2050. 

At the same as our population and economic activity continues to grow, scientists argue that to avoid dangerous, runaway climate change, we must greatly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. 

At present, approximately 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide is being emitted worldwide annually. If emissions continue at this rate, the global carbon budget could be exhausted as early as 2035. The window of opportunity to begin the transformation society to shift away from fossil fuels is closing, and emissions must begin declining before 2020. This energy transition, from fossil fuels to renewables, will impact on how our cities are organised and function. From a more positive perspective, there is research to show that there are pathways to achieve deep decarbonisation available for many countries. 

In this course, the main capability developed is a skill in examining possible future directions for cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Bangkok, Melbourne, Honolulu and Apia to respond effectively to the interconnected concerns for climate, energy, food security and other pressing global issues. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyze major social and environmental challenges facing cities in the Asia Pacific
  2. Explain the differences between GHG emissions and how they can be counted in different ways
  3. Identify city wide approaches to making a low carbon transition
  4. Identify personal approaches to making a low carbon transition
  5. Work independently and collaboratively in planning and undertaking assignments
  6. Gain competence in the medium of video-conferencing tools as a means of face-to-face communication 

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is offered via videoconference linking the classrooms real-time at each partner university. As a result, the students will have direct access to experts from across the region. Students are encouraged to be strategic in how they approach the videoconferencing and take advantage of this opportunity to raise questions and discuss topics with the lecturers and other students. The University of Hawaii provides technical support for the video conferencing component of the course. 


Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The University Library has extensive resources for planning students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.

Assessment Tasks

1. Issues Review Task (20%) (Linked to CLO 1, 2 and 3) 

2. Urban Transitions Research Project Task (45%) (Linked to CLO 3, 4, 5 and 6) 

3. Critical Analysis of Urban Transitions (35%) (Linked to CLO 1, 2, 3 and 4) 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program manager or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.