Ethics in Urban Sustainable Development
Through the Lenses of the Earth Charter

Earth Charter Cities Course

21 April - 05 June 2020

Register here

Inspire to Improve, Improve to Inspire

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 urgent response is needed and where results can be more visible. More than anywhere else, urban areas have the critical mass to perform the changes we need on a global scale.

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.

Short Description

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 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.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop knowledge and deepen understanding on sustainable urban development through the lenses of Earth Charter and the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto.
  • Read and assess local urban situation(s) based on the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto and define decision-making criteria coherent to this vision.
  • Use the Earth Charter and the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto as tools to make ethical and sustainable decisions in the urban developing and planning processes.
  • Find ways to connect cities, colleges, companies and communities in effort to realize the EC and ECC vision.
  • Share with local and global communities, how to report on knowledge and experiences on sustainable urban settings through the lenses of an Earth Charter City.

Participants Profile

The Earth Charter Cities Course is designed for city officials, local government executives, managers, planners, urban practitioners or decision makers, as well as urban experts and community leaders, who are interested in:

  • Taking a bold step in bringing a broad vision of sustainability to their local community or city.
  • Expanding their knowledge and skills to implement urban sustainability practices with a comprehensive approach.
  • Learning and applying the Earth Charter and the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto framework in their local contexts and daily work.
  • Turning theories and best practices of urban sustainability into actionable strategies.

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.)

Schedule and Session Topics

Week 1Introductory live webinar
Session 1 - Sustainability and Sustainable Urban Development
Week 2Session 2 - Earth Charter, Ethics and the SDGs
Week 3Session 3 - Earth Charter Cities (awareness)
Week 4Session 4 - Self-awareness, self-assessment, self-improvement, self-reporting
Week 5Session 5 - Earth Charter Cities and the 6C’s (self-assessment)
Week 6Session 6 - Working week for final assignment (self-improvement)
Week 7Final webinar presentation of final assignment
Session 7 - Self-reporting


The course fee is US$499

Early Bird 10% discount until 2 March

10% Discount for groups of 3 participants or more is available

*Flexible payment plans available

For more information on payment contact apply[@]

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“Inspired by and strongly associated with the Earth Charter, Earth Charter Cities seek to contribute to a sustainable future. The Earth Charter Cities Manifesto offers an accessible and useful tool to all citizens and urban organizations, businesses, communities, governments and institutions to implement the sustainability vision at the local level.”

- The Earth Charter Cities Manifesto

21 April –  5 June 2020


Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development
University for Peace
El Rodeo, San José 10701
Costa Rica


Phone: +506 2205-9060

Course fee

US$499 (10% early bird discount for registrations before 2 March 2020, 10% discount for groups of 3 or more)

The fee includes access to the online platform, materials, and certificate.

Questions? Write to


Manila De Iuliis 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.



Irma Verhoeven M.A. 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 inspire 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.



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.