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Urban Ecology of Asian Cities


Admission requirements

MA-Students who are interested in taking this course, but who are not admitted to one of the master programmes mentioned , are requested to contact the education co-ordinator.


Asia, the largest continent on Earth, exhibits diverse climatic and geographic features that have influenced the development of life forms and the overall landscape. Rapid urbanization and population growth in recent times have presented both environmental opportunities and challenges for cities, which are often perceived as human habitats. Recognizing the imperative to enhance the sustainability and resilience of Asian cities, this course takes a critical approach in exploring spatial intervention and design strategies that aim to foster urban ecology. By examining case studies from historical and contemporary contexts, we will delve into a range of topics including built form and morphology, energy performance, green infrastructure, water systems, food and agriculture, animals and biodiversity, waste management, and heritage preservation. Students will select an Asian city as their research focus, analyzing the dynamics of urban systems and conducting comparative studies on practices and approaches adopted in the region. They will be encouraged to employ visual analytics techniques to present their research findings.

Course objectives

By the end of the module, students will be able to:
1. Develop a understanding of key concepts and principles of urban ecology in the context of Asian cities, considering its social, economic, and political dimensions.
2. Critically analyse and evaluate spatial design strategies that involve human and non-human actors in shaping the ecosystem.
3. Cultivate interdisciplinary research skills to actively engage in academic discussions and propose practical solutions addressing environmental issues in urban settings.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Attendance is compulsory for all sessions. Students must prepare well and contribute to in-class discussion. If a student cannot attend because of illness or misadventure, they should promptly inform the convener. Extra assignments may be set to make up for missed class time, at the convener’s discretion. Absence without notification may result in lower grades or exclusion from assessment components and a failing grade for the course.

Assessment method

Assessment and weighing

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average of the following:

Attendance and seminar engagement 10%
Reading reports and discussions 10%
Group presentation 30%
Research paper (4000 words) 50%

It is recommended that students send a draft or outline of research paper to the instructor within a reasonal timeframe to allow for feedback before the final submission. Only the final version will be graded.

The final mark of this module is determined by evaluating all four components individually.

In order to pass the course, students need a passing mark (“voldoende”, i.e. “5.50” or higher) for the course as a whole.


Only if the total weighted average is 5.49 or lower and this is the result of a paper graded 5.49 or lower, a re-sit of the paper is possible (50%).
No re-sits or resubmissions are possible for the other assignments.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Reading list

The reading list will be available on Brightspace before the course starts.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.