Environment, Development and Design


The concept of environmentally sustainable development is at the heart of this subject, and is increasingly becoming the focus of government policy, business and educational institutions.

Students who study this subject will become familiar with environmentally sustainable development and its application globally, and understand the way different environments and societies interact. We investigate design solutions to many current global challenges.

This subject is recommended for students wishing to study the Bachelor of Design at the University of Melbourne.

Course outline

Topics studied include:

  • ecological history of humanity
  • population growth and resource consumption
  • what is sustainability?
  • economic sustainability and globalisation
  • sustainable business
  • social sustainability and gender
  • climate change and related hazards
  • what is climate change?
  • who is affected most by climate change?
  • consequences of climate change
  • responses to climate change
  • renewable energy as a solution
  • sustainable water use
  • what is a city?
  • sustainable city design
  • megacities
  • slums
  • resilient and liveable cities
  • sustainable building design
  • Melbourne: a sustainable, liveable, resilient city?
  • urban agriculture


Exam: 30%
Field work report: 25%
Group research presentation: 15%
Quiz: 5%
Research essay: 25%