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Green Infrastructure for Liveable Cities (HORT90039)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Burnley)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeHORT90039
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Green infrastructure is the network of natural and designed vegetation elements within our cities and towns, in both public and private domains. Green infrastructure includes traditional green elements such as urban parks, gardens and trees, as well as newer green roofs, green walls and rain garden technologies. Green infrastructure provides a number of significant economic, social and environmental benefits and is an effective means of helping to adapt our buildings, communities and cities to future climate change conditions. In this subject students will gain insights into aspects of planning, design and management of green infrastructure including green roofs, green walls, urban forests and water sensitive urban design strategies. The use of green infrastructure as ‘living architecture’ and the design considerations involved will be discussed. At the building scale, this will include an understanding of the improved energy efficiencies provided by green infrastructure and their role in building star energy rating systems. At the neighbourhood and landscape scale, the role and function of different green infrastructure technologies and systems will be discussed, including roles in ameliorating urban climates, improving urban water retention, use and quality and providing more liveable urban communities.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • Recognise different green infrastructure types and their use to mitigate and adapt to climate change
  • Describe the different roles, functions and application of green infrastructure and related technologies
  • Analyse the design, planning, implementation and management issues relevant to green infrastructure
  • Describe the principles of water sensitive urban design and filtration media and the potential to reduce peak flows and improve water quality
  • Calculate basic building energy balances and star rating systems
  • Discuss factors that influence the ‘urban heat island’ and determine the costs and benefits of different green infrastructure systems for energy saving and climate amelioration.

Generic skills

Generic skills obtained during this course will be:

  • Climate change adaption issues from the local (building) to macro (city-wide) scale
  • Perspectives of private industry, policy-governance and public for green infrastructure
  • Design considerations for ‘living architecture’ in retro-fitted and new developments
  • Systems understanding of urban landscapes (water, substrate, vegetation, society, energy)
  • Cost-benefit analysis of sustainability initiatives
  • Building star rating systems

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

This course requires all students to actively and safely participate in field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Student Equity and Disability Support.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

1) Pre-intensive essay (max. 1000 words), submitted Friday before intensive (20%),

2) Online short answer questions, submitted Day 2 and Day 4 of intensive (20%),

3) Report (max. 3000 words), submitted 2 weeks after intensive (60%)

Dates & times

  • February
    CoordinatorNicholas Williams
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Burnley
    Contact hoursTotal hours 52 hours - 25 hours of lectures, 22 hours of practicals and 1x 5-hour field trip.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period24 February 2019 to 1 March 2019
    Last self-enrol date25 February 2019
    Census date28 February 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail 9 March 2019
    Assessment period ends15 March 2019

    February contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

Last updated: 24 January 2019