About this course
Cities are full of opportunities, but they also face many challenges. Rapid urbanization often threatens the environment, human health, and fair distribution of resources and funds.
In cities and local communities, sustainability and the quest to implement new solutions are more tangible than in any other place. These are places where an urgent response is needed and where results can be more visible. Urban areas have the critical mass to perform the changes we need on a global scale. More than anywhere else.
The Earth Charter is a document with 16 ethical principles to foster sustainable development. The Earth Charter Cities Manifesto is a call to action that was developed to help communities, cities, colleges, and companies implement the Earth Charter.
This Earth Charter Cities Course will equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to take urban sustainability practices to higher levels by using the Earth Charter (EC) and the Earth Charter Cities (ECC) Manifesto.
This course helps participants develop a broad approach to sustainability and make the EC Principles actionable at an urban level.
By creating some space to dive into the theory and good practices, the course intends to help participants be prepared to develop sustainable and inclusive communities in an era of uncertainty and disruption. It offers a space to learn about the nexus between the Sustainable Development Goals, the Earth Charter and urban sustainability.
This experience seeks to build a pool of experts and consultants with a systemic and ethical approach to sustainability, who are able to provide quality support and guidance to cities facing challenges during their development and planning process.
Course format and planning
The Earth Charter Cities Course is an online, facilitated course.
Participants are introduced to the content through sessions that include videos, articles, live webinars and discussion forums. In each session, participants are expected to complete assignments, which are posted to forums for discussion between participants and facilitators.
During the closing webinar, participants will present the result of their final project. This course will allow the interaction between participants, where they will be encouraged to build connections and to collaborate with each other.
- The challenges of our time
- Urban development (socially, financially and environmentally sustainable)
- The Earth Charter and The Earth Charter Cities Manifesto
- Ethics and the Sustainable Development Goals (with a special focus on Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and interlinking it with the other goals.)
- Introductory live webinar
- Session 1 – Sustainability and Sustainable Urban Development
- Session 2 – Earth Charter, Ethics and the SDGs
- Session 3 – Earth Charter Cities (awareness)
- Session 4 – (Self) Awareness, self-assessment, self-improvement, self-reporting
- Session 5 – Earth Charter Cities and the 6C’s (self-assessment)
- Session 6 – Working week for final assignment (self-improvement)
- Session 7– Working week for presentation and writing article of the final assignment (reporting)
- Final webinar presentation of final assignment
- Session 8 – Self-reporting
Dirk van de Ven
It was a journey of 8 weeks full of excellent learnings, new and deeper insights and a very interesting exchange of idea’s between classmates from different parts of the world.
I compliment the design of the course. It started relatively easy and over the weeks the assignments became more and more challenging and forced me to study hard and to go out of my comfort zone. It helped to motivate me every week to put in the hours needed for the assignments and studies and make this course enjoyable.
Before the course, I felt interest and curiosity, during the course I regularly felt stress, but I also gained a lot of insights and after the course I felt full of knowledge and also relieved.
The course gave me the opportunity to know, to think about, to broaden my horizons, to make decisions, and to act. The power of Education. The motto was “inspire to improve, improve to inspire”. This course inspires us to improve. This improvement, in turn, inspires others to improve themselves. That is what happens among the participants: one’s ideas or inspiration have become an improvement for others.
As someone interested in how we can create more sustainable and ethical cities, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn with like-minded individuals from around the world.
This course was developed under the framework of the UNESCO Chair in Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter, coordinated by the Earth Charter Center for Education. The Chair is a collaborative effort between UNESCO, Earth Charter International, and the University for Peace to develop educational programmes and research activities related to education, sustainability, and ethics using the Earth Charter as a fundamental reference.
Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development
The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development, established by Earth Charter International, has a mission to “promote the transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework that includes respect and care of the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace “, with a special focus on education.
The Center offers a variety of executive, formative, and educational programmes in leadership for sustainable development, for policy makers, education professionals, youth, and the general public. Research projects are specially developed in partnerships with institutions of national and global relevance.
World of Walas
This course is offered by the Earth Charter Education Center in collaboration with World of Walas.
Earth Charter Cities is a collaboration between Earth Charter International and World of Walas.
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Irma Verhoeven M.A. (The Netherlands) is an educator and communicator. Her purpose lies in working towards a just, sustainable, peaceful and ethical society. She works towards this vision by developing educational materials that create awareness of the effects of the Anthropocene and inspiring people and communities to implement regenerative sustainable solutions. As a co-founder of World of Walas she has been closely involved in developing a Walas Method for Urban Sustainable Development based on the principles of the Earth Charter. Irma works as programme developer for Earth Charter International and World of Walas.
Manila De Luliis
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Manila De Luliis (Italy) is General Manager Italy for World of Walas. She graduated in Architecture at the University of Florence, Italy, and she got a PhD in Construction and Property Management at the University of Salford, UK. She is member of CIB – International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction, and member of INU – Italian Institute for Urban Planning. Sustainable Development in urban contexts with focus on the role of time in decision making processes are the main fields of interests in her daily research and working activity. Dr De Iuliis lives in Italy.