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This subject explores how environments shape us and we humans reshape the environment. It examines human attitudes to, impacts on and interactions with the environments in which we live by considering ‘natural', transformed and built environments as sites of production and consumption, imagining and contest, in different parts of the globe. The subject considers the material relationship between the natural and built environments by exploring issues of resource use. Human demands for water, energy, food, fibres and minerals, will be examined in relation to the technologies and practices used to meet those needs, and the resulting creation of waste and pollution and impacts on climate and a range of ecosystems and species. These issues and processes will be presented and considered using thematic, geographically varied, historic and contemporary examples. The subject will operate at three ‘scales' including: ‘natural' landscapes and their ecosystems; cities and the urban environment; buildings.
Intended learning outcomes
At the conclusion of the subject students should be able to:
- Discuss and critique ideas of sustainability;
- Identify and describe the physical and social needs of humans and non-human species within their environments;
- Identify and describe the ways that humans re-shape their environments to suit needs, expectations, and ethics;
- Identify and describe the ways that economic, social and environmental norms shape environmentally significant action;
- Identify, describe as a system, and detect the physical and social consequences of human efforts to reshape their environments;
- Discuss how human-environment relationships and interactions have impacts for sustainability, future environmental design, norms and management.
At the completion of this subject students should have developed the following skills:
- Basic analytical skills for observing human-environment interactions
- Skills for the observation and interpretation of practices which transform natural and urban environments
- Skills in synthesising, reporting on and discussing issues relevant to this subject
Last updated: 20 February 2024