Earth Charter Cities Online Course: Ethics in Sustainable Urban Development

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.

This program has been offered since 2020.


Irma Verhoeven

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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.


Dirk van de Ven

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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.

Katy Chapman-Pullara

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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.

Carla Celani

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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.

Vincent Chiu

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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.

For more information contact us at [email protected].